The Hawks have reached out to Stan Van Gundy, and GM Danny Ferry views him as his top choice to coach the team next season, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The team has let incumbent coach Larry Drew know that it will look at other candidates, though there is a possibility the Hawks circle back to Drew if they strike out with their other targets. Van Gundy was reportedly in Milwaukee today to interview with the Bucks, but the former University of Wisconsin coach has declined interest in that job, according to Wojnarowski.
Van Gundy and the Hawks have had contact, but the coach hasn't met with anyone from the team, writes Wojnarowski, who hears that Van Gundy holds Ferry in high regard. Echoing a report earlier this week from Marc Stein of ESPN.com, Wojnarowski identifies Mike Budenholzer and Quin Snyder as other candidates for the job.
The push for Van Gundy could be part of Ferry's efforts to land Dwight Howard in free agency. Howard and Van Gundy famously clashed in Orlando, but Van Gundy has indicated the two have mended fences and remain in contact, so there's some belief, according to Wojnarowski, that Van Gundy's presence might enhance the team's chances of signing Howard.