Ok maybe I got a little excited and forgot what I was dealing with here in regards to a coaching search. The Hawks are going about this slow and there really is nothing wrong with that. You basically have nothing terribly pressing at the moment going on except preparations for the NBA Draft in which the Hawks have a late first round pick.
What we know so far is that Avery Johnson has been interviewed twice for the job. He seems interested and Michael Cunningham said in a recent blog post that Johnson’s desire for personnel power has been overstated. If MC is reporting it then it is good enough for me. All indications are that Johnson is absolutely interested in coaching the Hawks and it will be interesting to see what happens once New Jersey really gets involved.
We also know that Dwane Casey was interviewed over the weekend and is slated for a second sit down session as well. Casey is also in demand as he is rumored to be very high on the Clippers wish list.
Mark Bradley also of the AJC lays out the coaching search and Rick Sund’s deliberate approach. Bradley also reports that current Hawks assistant Larry Drew is being considered but will be a long shot. I don’t have anything against Coach Drew but you don’t fire Woodson and say you need a new direction and then immediately hire his assistant. Drew deserves an interview, maybe even a chance to stay on the new staff, but that is where I think the road ends for him.
The most interesting part of Bradley’s post for me is that he states that money won’t factor in to the Hawks decision. I have long speculated that Johnson would ask for more than the Hawks would be willing to spend. That doesn’t seem to be the case yet. Of course we don’t know exactly how much New Jersey has gotten involved yet. Still short of New Jersey hitting an absolute home run in free agency I don’t see them being better than the Hawks next year. Other than perhaps money I don’t see that as a better situation.
If the Hawks want to make a splash then Johnson is without doubt the appropriate hire. He has the fiery personality and the credibility to get the job done. He is the kind of hire that sells season tickets and gets people excited.
No matter what I or anyone else thinks however, Rick Sund is taking a very detailed and methodical approach to the situation. At this point we can’t even be sure that either side has even talked money. While I was excited over hearing that Johnson was interviewed for the second time last week it now appears that nothing is imminent and that the Hawks are still gathering information.