Hawks hire Danny Ferry as GM

The Atlanta Hawks announced on Monday that former Cleveland general manager Danny Ferry will take over as their general manager.

The Hawks will have a press conference on Monday at 1 p.m. to announce the move.

“Over the past nine years Danny Ferry has earned tremendous respect as a front office executive in the NBA,” Hawks part owner Bruce Levenson said in a statement issued by the team. “His philosophy, character, and commitment to creating enduring and successful organizations exemplify exactly what we are looking for in a leader of the Atlanta Hawks. Danny’s systematic and value driven approach has helped him become one of the preeminent minds in basketball. He is passionate about building an organization the right way, knows how to win and knows how to forge winning teams. We look forward to having him as our leader of basketball operations.”

The contract of current Hawks general manager Rick Sund is set to expire at the end of the month and the team confirmed late Sunday that they had contacted Ferry, who was in his second stint with San Antonio as an executive.

Ferry also will have the title of president in addition to general
manager. Ferry, currently the Spurs’ vice president of basketball
operations, was a part of the Spurs’ front office in 2005 when they
defeated Detroit for the NBA title. He then left to become Cleveland’s
general manager where he drafted LeBron James first overall and oversaw a
team that reached the NBA Finals in 2007. He resigned after the 2009-10
season and then rejoined San Antonio a few months later.

“My family and I are thrilled to join the Hawks organization and
Atlanta community,” Ferry said in a statement. “There were many
components that made this the right fit for me but clearly my confidence
in the ownership group and their dedication to building a championship
caliber franchise was most important. They are committed to building
with the right people and investing in critical areas for development;
both essential elements if we want to create sustained success.”

Since June 16, the Hawks have been conducting pre-draft workouts, which Sund has continued to oversee. The NBA Draft is on Thursday, which will be the last one for Sund, who has been the team’s general manager since replacing Billy Knight in May 2008. The Hawks have made the playoffs for five straight seasons but this past one was the first in which they did not advance to the second round in the last four seasons.

Sund told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on June 16 that he and Levenson were “kicking around ideas” about how he might stay on with the organization after his contract expires on Sunday. He recently turned 61 and is said to be contemplating retirement or a lesser role.

Ferry is a native of Hyattsville, Md., where he played at DeMatha Catholic High School for one of the country’s legendary coaches, Morgan Wootten, before playing for another of the country’s most legendary coaches at Duke in Mike Krzyzewski. He and Levenson and fellow part owner Ed Peskowitz share ties to Maryland and the Washington, D.C., area. Hyattsville is about a mile from the D.C. line and about 15 miles far from where Levenson lives in Potomac.