While the Hawks are supposed to have sat down and interviewed Dwane Casey sometime this weekend for their vacant head coaching position, it was Avery Johnson that received his second interview with the team on Friday.
That news comes amongst the news that the favorite to land Johnson, The New Orleans Hornets had moved on in their search and were now focusing on Boston assistant Tom Thibodeau and Portland assistant Monty Williams. Reports are that Johnson wants to coach in New Orleans only if the club is able to complete its sale from George Shinn to Gary Chouest. Also it was reported that Johnson wanted control of basketball operations.
Seems like a lot to ask for. So why is he still talking to the Hawks? Surely Johnson isn’t going to get control of basketball operations in Atlanta with Rick Sund planted firmly in the GM role. Also as I stated earlier, I was skeptical as to whether or not the Hawks could give in to Johnson’s demands salary wise.
However, the fact that the two sides are continuing to negotiate is good news right? Well it in fact could be. Perhaps Johnson is ready to jump back into coaching and views the Atlanta job as a good one. They certainly should be one of the more talented teams with a coaching vacancy especially in the short term if Joe Johnson does in fact re-sign with the team.
New Orleans is talented as well with mega All Star Chris Paul but how much does the potential ownership change and snags cloud its outlook? Still the negotiations by the Johnson camp with the Hawks could be due to the fact that they were looking for leverage against the Hornets in an effort to drive the price up.
Can Johnson be successful with this Hawks team? I think he can and his personality is just the kind of one that have a clamored fora long time . He is a micro manager with a huge attention to detail or the anti Woodson. If he is this team’s coach then they will be well versed in what is a good shot and what is not. If he calls a play then he is going to expect it to be executed. More than anything he brings a fiery personality that allowed him to over achieve in his playing career. I foresee that there will be clear lines when it comes to effort and execution and consequences when players don’t bring it.
I think it would be a huge hire for this team. How big? Probably as big or if not bigger than when the team hired Lenny Wilkens. Still I am not ready to say that it is going to happen. I am looking forward to hearing about the meeting with Casey this weekend at the Chicago Pre Draft Camp. Sources around the league say Casey is the favorite for the Hawks job because of his prior dealings with Rick Sund. I look for Casey to keep his options open until the Hawks make a decision.
All things considered the Hawks depending on the Casey interview the Hawks appear to be in good position. They can make a home run hire with Johnson and have an appealing option at the moment as a back up. No idea on how long this will take to play out.
In the coming days we will be watching the coaching search very carefully. Also we are going to begin reviewing each individual player on this years Hawks team as we look back at the just completed season. We will also be updating our Mock Draft to Post Lottery and look at some of the options the Hawks will have. On another note how many Hawks fans thought that there was any chance that Boston would have Orlando down 3-0 after the way the Magic took apart the Hawks? Just goes to show that you never know in this game.