Although Larry Drew hasn't been officially dismissed by the Hawks yet, it appears as if the team is exploring plenty of potential replacements for the incumbent head coach. Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Hawks have formally interviewed former Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy, as well as Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer.
In addition to Van Gundy and Budenholzer, the Hawks have interviewed Nate McMillan, but according to Vivlamore, those aren't the only three candidates that have met with GM Danny Ferry so far. Vivlamore writes that while there are other candidates who have been officially interviewed, "how many and who they are remains a secret," as Ferry is keeping details of the search very close to the vest.
One contender for the position who will likely be interviewed, if he hasn't been already, is CSKA head coach Ettore Messina, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Wojnarowski says the Hawks have been in touch wish the Italian-born Messina, who "is intrigued with the chance to be a global trail blazer in the NBA." There's a little history between Messina and Ferry, as the former Cavaliers GM once sent Mike Brown overseas to study Messina's offense. Messina also brought Quin Snyder over as a CSKA Moscow assistant this past season — Snyder and Ferry have a longtime friendship dating back to their playing days at Duke, says Wojnarowski.
Wojnarowski classifies Van Gundy as Atlanta's top candidate, but hears from sources that the ex-Magic coach is a long shot for the position. Messina is receiving "significant consideration" from the Hawks, according to Wojnarowski, while Vivlamore notes that the possibility of Drew returning next season isn't entirely off the table either.