Hawks coach and head of basketball operations Mike Budenholzer credited Atlanta GM Danny Ferry as the primary creator of the Eastern Conference’s only 60-win team, Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com writes. Budenholzer — instead of Ferry — was nominated by the Hawks for the Executive of the Year award.
“Anyone who has followed the Hawks for the last two or three years knows that Danny Ferry is the executive that’s most responsible for the makeup of our team,” Budenholzer said.
Ferry, who pulled the trigger on most of the moves that set up the Hawks’ current roster, took an indefinite leave of absence in September, shortly after his insensitive remarks about Luol Deng became public. Since then, Budenholzer has handled the day-to-day management of the team with with assistant GM Wes Wilcox and others.
There’s more from the Southeast Division:
- Magic GM Rob Hennigan says the team “intends” to re-sign Tobias Harris, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, regardless of the cost, Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel writes. Last week, Harris said he and his representatives haven’t spoken about the idea of accepting a qualifying offer worth nearly $4.434MM this summer. The forward, who played high school basketball on Long Island, has been linked to the Knicks in rumors. Before the season, Schmitz adds, Hennigan wouldn’t pay Harris near max money, but Hennigan is now telling the league he’ll essentially match any offer.
- Goran Dragic, who has a player option for 2015/16, says he will start to weigh his options once the Heat’s season ends, Shandel Richardson of the Sun Sentinel writes. Dragic previously said he planned to hit free agency this summer. “The last three, four weeks were so crazy,” Dragic said. “Everything was important for us. I tried to get my body right. I didn’t have time to think about [free agency]. That’s not fair to my teammates to think about the future. Right now, I’m part of this team. I give everything what I got on the court. We still got two games left. I’m still not thinking about that.” Dragic hinted that staying in Miami would seem to be the best option. “I’m a free agent,” Dragic said. “I like this organization. Hopefully, I can stay here and try to have a good season next year.”