Atlanta Hawks General Manager Rick Sund sat down for an interview with the AJC’s Jeff Schultz and discussed the process of evaluating the team and coach Mike Woodson. During this interview he indicated that he had not sat down and deliberated on the subject as of yet. However, as it is pointed it out it will have to come soon. Despite his contract not officially ending until the end of June, Woodson has a provision in his contract that allows him to begin negotiating with other teams as soon as next week.
When asked about the just completed season Sund replied that he was “ecstatic” with the regular season but was “disappointed” during the playoffs. As far as Woodson’s future with the club is concerned:
We all want this done yesterday. Woodson wants this done yesterday. A clause in his contract actually allows him to begin talking to other teams next week. Is Sund concerned? No. In matters such as these, he moves with the pace of moon phases – and there’s nothing wrong with that.
“I don’t have a time frame yet,” he said
So why all of the posturing on a decision that seems to be already made? Well Sund is deliberate and he no doubt wants to survey the landscape of which is the market for Woodson as well as any potential replacement for him.
Interesting is his comments about going into the Orlando Series:
He said he was a realist before the Orlando series. He had a staff member research the eight teams in the conference semifinals and how they fared against each other. Cleveland (13-7) and Orlando (12-8) had the best records, followed by the Hawks and Los Angeles (both 11-7).
“I knew to beat [Orlando] we were definitely going to have to bring an A game and have them bring a B game,” he said. “As it turned out, we didn’t bring an A game and they did and they spanked us.”
Sounds like he didn’t really expect a victory in the second round although it would have been a pleasant surprise like the 53 wins in the regular season.
Despite all of the talk of patience I am still not convinced that this won’t get done quickly. Woodson if he is not coming back wants to get a start on negotiating for his future with another team and the Hawks no doubt want to begin the search for his replacement. I only hope that they are not waiting for Woodson to gain an offer from another team first. An offer than I am still not convinced that will come. So expect this to extend into the weekend with a decision or announcement coming next week.
In other news Michael Cunningham reports that the Joe Johnson free agent posturing has begun. This time it is a flirtation with the Miami Heat. This is just the beginning of what is to come as reports will link Joe to a variety of teams all summer long.