Sam Amick has a piece in The Athletic today that details what the last year has looked like inside the Atlanta Hawks' front office. And if you don't want to read the whole thing, the best summary I can give you is that the team is apparently being run by the owner's son, who has helped get rid of former president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk and seems to be on a Littlefinger-esque quest for power.
Probably the craziest anecdote in the report is that Nick Ressler basically pushed the Dejounte Murray trade through and gave up three first round picks, despite concerns from Schlenk.
The Athletic — As I discussed on a December podcast visit with The Ringer, this reality that key Hawks figures were feeling undermined by Nick Ressler’s influence became a growing issue internally in recent months – specifically in relation to Trae Young — and had everything to do with Tony Ressler’s choice to overhaul the staff. The Dejounte Murray trade with San Antonio was the beginning of the end, as sources say it went down despite Schlenk expressing his concerns about the price being paid (three first-rounders, a first-round pick swap and Danilo Gallinari) and with Nick Ressler known to be a driving force behind the deal. League sources say Fields and several other team officials were in favor of the deal as well. As our John Hollinger detailed on Monday, the Murray deal essentially cost the Hawks Kevin Huerter as well when they had to trade him to Sacramento to get under the luxury tax.
So this guy is out here making rogue trades?!
I guess if the Hawks being 19-22 despite having a pretty talented roster didn't make sense — beyond having some injuries and the coach sucking — we now at least have a little bit of insight that it's probably due in no small part to a 27-year-old nepo baby undermining the entire front office. If that isn't peak Atlanta sports, I don't know what is.
The good news is that most sports fans rarely remember the Atlanta Hawks are a franchise, anyway, so this will largely go unnoticed and be forgotten shortly. I would prefer, though, that someone in that organization would grow some balls and tell the owner to have his kid go get a real job before Trae Young gets shipped off for Grant Williams and a handful of second round picks.