The Hawks have yet to officially dismiss Larry Drew as head coach, but the question is "when?" not "if?" Despite not making an official decision, the Hawks are reportedly very active in pursuing their next head coach. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that, according to league sources, the Hawks and Danny Ferry are being very aggressive in trying to sign Stan Van Gundy.
The Atlanta Hawks are aggressively pursuing Stan Van Gundy for the franchise's head-coaching job, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
General manager Danny Ferry has made Van Gundy his top target to replace Larry Drew, sources said. There has been contact between Ferry and Van Gundy, but the two sides have yet to meet in person.
The notion that the Hawks are interested in Van Gundy's services should come as no surprise, being that Van Gundy is one of the most coveted coaches on the market. Van Gundy has a proven track record and immediately brings a certain credibility and allure to the Hawks that they have not had since Lenny Wilkens. The thing that sticks out the most in Wojnarowski's story is that this is not just in an effort to hire a great coach, but that it is acting as a lure for Dwight Howard.
Howard's long, ugly departure from Orlando included Howard airing grievances against Van Gundy, but, according to the story, this season in Los Angeles has given Howard some perspective on Van Gundy as a coach and has made him appreciate what Van Gundy did in Orlando.
Wojnarowski also added that, after Van Gundy, the Hawks' coaching search will include San Antonio Spurs' assistant coach Mike Budenholzer (Ferry's Spurs connection) and Quin Snyder, assistant for CSKA Moscow, (Ferry's Duke connection). Van Gundy appeared to be a long shot prior to this offseason, but in light of this report it seems that his respect for Ferry makes it a distinct possibility that we see SVG on the sidelines this fall.