Danny Ferry is out at Summer League in Las Vegas to watch the young Hawks as they try to impress Ferry, the front office, and the coaching staff. Ferry spoke with reporters on Monday night after the Hawks loss to the San Antonio Spurs, and he discussed the state of the Hawks roster, among other things.
Ferry talked about his thoughts on the young players and, as expected, he was cautiously optimistic on the rookies and the second year players.
"It's good to see our young players play. You see some good things, but you also see room for growth. You're talking about a group that has no corporate knowledge about how we're going to play or our system Bud's going to put in. They're all learning on the fly, and they're all working hard at it."
He said he felt John Jenkins and Mike Scott looked much more confident than a year ago, but they still had a lot of work to do in terms of learning the new system and becoming comfortable in it. He frequently said that there was "no corporate knowledge" among the rookies and second year players, meaning that they had to re-learn everything that they had in their first year with the team as far as playing in an offensive and defensive system.
When asked about the status of the roster building process, Ferry mentioned the Jeff Teague and Elton Brand signings as major steps towards rounding out the roster.
"Well, obviously, we're excited to have Jeff [Teague] back. We value him, as we said all along, and felt like he'd be an important part of our foundation moving forward. Today we also added Elton Brand. He fits the values we want to have in our players of being tough and physical and competitive. He brings us versatility in being able to play the five and four, he's probably more of a five now than a four at this point in his career, but he'll fit in very well with our group and add veteran leadership. We're still working, exploring all opportunities and avenues to get better, whether that's continuing in free agency, trade, whatever it is, but overall I feel good about how things have unfolded."
When asked about what positions the Hawks still wanted to add depth to, Ferry mentioned the need at two spots, adding another big man and a wing player.
"You look at our roster, and we probably need to add another big. We have decisions to make with Lucas [Nogueira] and Mike [Muscala] in that regard. Along with that, probably another wing would be an area that we may look at as an area to add. I feel like our roster has good flexibility in how it can play, but also in how we can build."
The decisions to be made on Nogueira and Muscala are whether to put them on the NBA roster, or to have them play overseas next year to continue developing, especially physically, where both have a ways to go in terms of adding strength to log solid minutes in the paint.