Hawks lure 'well-regarded' executive from Super Bowl team: Report

The Atlanta Hawks bucked convention with their latest hire to the basketball operations team.
Atlanta Hawks head coach Quin Snyder
Atlanta Hawks head coach Quin Snyder / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

In a bit of a break from the normal rumors at this time of year, the Atlanta Hawks went outside of the box for their latest hire.

“The Atlanta Hawks are hiring #49ers head of player health & performance Ben Peterson as VP of Player Health and Performance, per sources,” NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported on X on June 20. “Peterson was well-regarded in SF. He oversaw athletic training, functional performance, nutrition and strength & conditioning since 2019.

“Peterson previously was director of sports science for the Philadelphia Flyers, making him the rare sports figure to hit the NHL [to] NFL [to] NBA trifecta.”

This appears to be a new position created by the Hawks for Peterson. 

“Ben Peterson is in his fourth season with the 49ers as head of player health & performance, overseeing athletic training, functional performance, nutrition and strength & conditioning. In his role, he manages and orchestrates all available resources to ensure 49ers players are provided the best standard of care, with the goal of maximizing their availability,” reads Peterson’s bio on the 49ers website.

“He joined the 49ers after spending more than two years as the director of sports science with the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League. In his role with the Flyers, he helped integrate strength and conditioning, sports medicine, physical therapy and nutrition.”

It remains to be seen what kind of ripped effect this has on the Hawks who are embarking on a potentially pivotal offseason.

They hold the top pick and could trade away one of their star guards.

Hawks continue to build franchise infrastructure with Ben Peterson hire

Two of the top three prospects projected for the No. 1 pick – Alexandre Sarr and Zaccharie Risacher – could both stand to get stronger for the next level. Peterson’s hire could also prove key for the Hawks' veterans.

They have dealt with myriad injuries for years. It robbed Head Coach Quin Snyder of the ability to execute his plan as desired, per Murray during his season-ending presser.

After retooling Quin Snyder's coaching staff last offseason, the Hawks have turned to the front office.

They brought Onsi Saleh over from the Golden State Warriors to be co-assistant GM with Kyle Korver. Former Hawks president Travis Schlenk – the architect of the Eastern Conference Finals team in 2020-21 – also came from the Warriors.

"A significant hire at a big moment for the Hawks, who own the No. 1 pick in next week’s NBA Draft," Pelissero wrote.