Hawks’ Schlenk Moving Into Advisory Role; Fields To Run Basketball Ops

9:09am: The Hawks have officially announced that Schlenk is stepping down from his position as president of basketball operations and moving into an advisory role, with Fields assuming control of the team’s basketball ops. A statement from Schlenk suggests that he was the one to initiate the change.

“Throughout this season, Tony and I have had multiple, honest conversations about some of the personal things I’ve been going through and how I’ve been feeling, and I appreciate the counsel he has provided me as well as the opportunity he gave me six seasons ago to be a first-time general manager,” Schlenk said. “As we enter a new year, the timing feels right for me to take a step back, reflect and prioritize my family.

“I am proud of the group I assembled both on the floor and in the front office. We have built a strong foundation for the Hawks franchise and achieved a high level of success. As an advisor, I look forward to working with Tony and Landry and continuing to make contributions in less visible but still impactful ways.”

9:02am: The Hawks are making a change to their front office structure, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who reports (via Twitter) that president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk will be transitioning into a senior advisory role.

General manager Landry Fields will take Schlenk’s place as the executive who oversees and runs Atlanta’s basketball operations, Wojnarowski adds.

It’s unclear whether the move was instigated by the Hawks or whether it stems from a desire on Schlenk’s part to take a step back. Either way, he has multiple years left on his contract and will remain in the organization working alongside team owner Tony Ressler for the foreseeable future, sources tell Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Fields, meanwhile, has enjoyed a meteoric rise as an executive since his NBA playing days ended in 2015. He joined the Spurs as a scout in 2016, then was named the general manager of their G League affiliate in Austin in 2016. The Hawks brought him aboard as an assistant GM in 2020, and he was subsequently promoted to GM earlier this year amid rumors that other teams were trying to lure him away from Atlanta.

Schlenk, formerly an assistant GM in Golden State, was hired as Atlanta’s general manager in 2017 and had been the ninth longest-tenured head of basketball operations in the NBA. He was promoted to president of basketball ops in 2019.

Schlenk launched a rebuild when he initially joined the Hawks and oversaw three losing seasons before the team turned things around in 2020/21, making a run to the Eastern Conference Finals.

During his tenure atop the team’s front office, Schlenk swung two major draft trades to land Trae Young (for Luka Doncic and a future pick) and De’Andre Hunter; drafted John Collins, Kevin Huerter, Cam Reddish, and Onyeka Okongwu; and acquired Dejounte Murray from San Antonio in a blockbuster deal this past summer.

Going forward, Fields will be tasked with trying to transform the Hawks from a playoff team into a legitimate title contender. Atlanta is expected to be active before this season’s trade deadline, with Collins once again believed to be on the block.

View Comments (3)