President of basketball operations/coach Mike Budenholzer recently sat down with Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to discuss the state of the Hawks.
The entire piece is worth a read, but we’ll pass along a few highlights here:
On Al Horford not wanting to negotiate during season, so his impending free agency doesn’t become a distraction to the team:
“Al is the kind of player that we value, very much respect and want to continue to keep him and build with him. We respect how he’s handled these questions so far. As the season goes on, he’s such a professional and wants to put the team first and keep the focus there. That’s part of the reason he’s somebody you want to keep going forward.”
“Mike has been in the gym every day working unbelievably hard. His focus and diligence has been great. He and I have had a lot of good conversations. It’s a legal process, so I can’t comment on any of that, but his mental focus and preparedness for the season is in a really good place.”
On the changes to the basketball operations department:
“We feel great about the group that we’ve added. It’s like we always said, everything is done in a collaborative way, a collaborative fashion. To bring in guys with different skills and different backgrounds and different perspectives, and all of them incredibly intelligent and all good people. They understand the kind of players we want to have and the kind of people we want to have in the organization and the culture we are building. I think it was a really, really good summer. Going forward, we are better staffed, better prepared, to operate in a more efficient, more eyes on people, more good people with good ideas. The more of that you have, the better chance you have of making good decisions on players, on all the different things that happen during the season or even during a day.”