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Antony Ressler Rumors

Hawks owner addresses roster upgrade for next season

The Hawks need someone who can consistently break defenses down and get buckets off the dribble to open up the floor even more for Young. “Getting more folks who could handle the ball, create and more defensive-oriented players — or both — that’s an obvious answer,” Ressler said when asked what kinds of players the Hawks need. “When I talk to Travis and Landry (Fields) about this very subject, which you could imagine happens frequently, I think their view is the league is complicated. You have to use the free-agent view, you have to use the draft, you have to use the development of the players — and, frankly, the availability of what’s out there will determine the decisions we make. We have a pretty good sense of where we need to get better.”
“We’re going to pay what we have to pay,” Ressler said. “Sometimes owners set a tone — and I’m trying to set a very clear tone — sometimes we say some things one season that may not pertain to the next. Going into the tax doesn’t scare us. Obviously, you want to spend money intelligently. Obviously, you want to run a good business. For whatever it’s worth, I do not look at going into the tax as only possible if we’re competing for a championship that season. Our job is to go into the tax when it’s good business, to position ourselves for greatness. We do not fear the tax. We do not fear spending money. We fully expect Atlanta to be a truly attractive marketplace for (whoever) considers playing here. Money is not going to be our obstacle.”
I then followed up with a very specific question: Has he given Schlenk clearance to enter the tax this season? “Yes. It’s a one word answer,” Ressler said. “I don’t want to qualify hopefully the obvious. I also say let’s do it intelligently. I don’t think you want to go into the tax to prove the point that we can go into the tax. I don’t worry about those types of things. We can go into the tax for the right reasons at the right time, any time.”

Nate McMillan safe?

For those thinking the Hawks might make a change to their leadership, Ressler quieted the noise when I asked about his confidence in both McMillan and Schlenk being the right leaders for the organization. “The simple answer is I think they are the right guys to lead this team going forward,” Ressler said. “I have enormous confidence in both Travis and Nate. I think I, as owner, Travis, the president of basketball operations, Nate, as head coach, all underperformed this year. I think if you asked any one of us — hopefully all of us — we would all agree that we all underperformed. We all thought we would be better, and we intend to be better. But if the question is do I have great confidence in their ability, the answer is yes.”
“Between Travis, Landry and Nate, we have a hell of a team in our front office and coaching staff,” Ressler said. “I have enormous confidence in all of those folks. We have a really professional sense. As our front office helps the coaching staff set a focus, we have players that need to appreciate that every game matters. I think after this season — I might be wrong — our roster and players were as disappointed as our coaching staff, front office and ownership. It’s not like any of us were completely thrilled with the season. We can give out a list of excuses — we did have injuries, COVID, and didn’t have all of the things you’d expect. This isn’t a business about excuses. I do think with another year, our players will be more mature, our coaching staff and front office will get better, and hopefully our ownership gets better and decision-making, overall, gets better.”
Storyline: Nate McMillan Hot Seat?
“I think if you asked our front office, they would say that they thought, based on last season’s visit to the Eastern Conference finals, that we could bring back predominantly the same team and get better, and (they) expected to be better,” Ressler said. “I don’t think that worked out the way we thought. “Yes, I think we should have tried to get better rather than bring back what we had. That won’t happen again. It was a mistake, in my opinion at least.”
Ressler said every level of the franchise felt like the team was just a step away from winning a title, but that obviously turned out to be an incorrect assessment. “That won’t happen again,” he said. “I think there was complacency across the organization, maybe for the right reasons because we thought we were closer than we were. That’s what this season told me. The idea that you have complacency before you win a championship — maybe after we win a championship, I’ll take a breath. We’re not going to have complacency again at any level.”