Hawks GM Danny Ferry is largely responsible for Atlanta’s success this season, but there is almost zero chance of him returning from his leave of absence to the team that he built, Paul Newberry of The Associated Press writes. A number of the Hawks’ current players believe that Ferry deserves a second chance, and some of them applaud the way Ferry rebuilt the club without allowing the franchise to fall to the bottom of the standings while doing it, Newberry notes. “He did it a totally different way,” Hawks forward Kyle Korver said. “I think there’s a whole lot of owners who would rather do it that way, rather than lose for five years and hope their draft picks turn out at the end of the day. Danny is going to have another job. There’s not any doubt about that.“
Here’s more from the Southeast Division:
- The Magic‘s front office had better hope that coach Jacque Vaughn is the reason that the franchise isn’t performing up to expectations if it fires him, Mike Bianchi of The Orlando Sentinel writes. If bringing in a new coach doesn’t improve matters quickly, then GM Rob Hennigan‘s job will be in jeopardy, Bianchi adds, since Hennigan is the architect of the Magic’s underachieving roster.
- Hassan Whiteside has been filling up stat sheets for the Heat this season, but the big man’s chance to shine in the NBA has been a long time coming, Tom Haberstroh of ESPN.com (Insider subscription required) writes in his profile of the player. Whiteside, who is scheduled to earn just $981,348 next season, has quickly become one of the biggest player bargains in the league, Haberstroh opines.
- With Vaughn’s job as Magic coach in serious peril, Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel runs down a number of the team’s options for hiring his replacement. Coaches who could be promoted on an interim basis are Orlando assistant coaches Wes Unseld Jr. and James Borrego. The candidates whom Schmitz speculates the team will consider as long-term solutions include George Karl, Scott Skiles, Tyronn Lue, Michael Curry, and Mark Jackson.