Danny Ferry. This man deserves a parade or rioting in the streets outside of Phillips Arena this summer. It was uncanny how he managed to not only unload what was widely considered one of the most daunting contracts in the NBA, but he managed to keep the Hawks more than viable for yet another playoff appearance. Ferry comes to Atlanta fresh off a stint as the Vice President of Basketball Operations with the San Antonio Spurs. So fortunately, Hawks fans can be optimistic with the hopes that he will bring San Antonio’s impeccable success to a franchise that has flirted with mediocrity for the last few seasons.
Unfortunately flexibility does come at a price, as Atlanta did lose their leading scorer and all-star in Joe Johnson, along with an under-preforming tweener in Marvin Williams. However, the hawks also gained a former all-star point guard in Devin Harris, the runner up for the sixth man of the year award in Louis Williams, and sweet shooters Kyle Korver and Anthony Morrow. The Hawks also managed to procure one of the many prized Vanderbilt products on draft night in the form of marksman John Jenkins. Jenkins proved he belonged in this years summer league, making 44% of his shots from deep and averaging 15.6 points per game for Atlanta.
Although this all may sound great on paper, it’s easy to still find yourself asking how will all of these new players mesh on a team with a surplus of talented guards. Lucky for us Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal Constitution found himself asking none other than Danny Ferry the same thing. Ferry replied,“The ball will be in Devin Harris’ hands a lot and Jeff Teague’s hands a lot. We’ll have space for them to attack the rim. We’ll play through Josh a little more. We’ll use Josh and Al to pick-and-roll or post up. We’ll be fun to watch.” While this might not be the worlds most distinctive game plan, I have reason to believe Hawks coach Larry Drew might have something a little more elaborate in store.
And while Atlanta’s back court court clearly undergone a huge transformation, their starting front court remains as strong and dynamic as ever. Not to mention Josh Smith has publicly stated his enthusiasm with the Hawks new direction in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated (SI’s Sam Amick). When asked about Ferry he stated, “It’s interesting…I think we have a great GM in Danny Ferry, and he has a plan that he’s putting together. It looks good. I really am just trying to get to know these guys, to build a relationship and see where the team is going to end up closer to veterans’ camp. I’m just excited. We have a lot of elite shooters, and I can see us being a run-and-gun shooting team.” Smith should also be excited to hear about the possibility of Atlanta landing free agents Dwight Howard and Chris Paul. With an upwards of 40 million dollars in cap space next summer, it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility. That said, with a bevvy of competent guards and re-energized all-star caliber players, it’s a bright today for Hawks fans. But with the possibilities of next years off season looming, they can certainly believe in a brighter tomorrow.