The Atlanta Hawks underwent a major restructuring of its front office this week. Mike Budenholzer is still the team’s head coach although he does retain some say so in player personnel matters. At one point it looked like general manager Wes Wilcox would be leaving the organization all together but will be sticking around as a special advisor to ownership.
The Hawks will immediately begin a search for a new general manager whom both Budenholzer and Wilcox will answer to.
It remains to be seen whether the changes will be for the better. Ressler has already admitted that he is heavily involved in the decision-making process as well.
What though do these changes mean for free agent to be Paul Millsap? Ressler has already said that the Hawks would make “every effort” to retain Millsap this summer.
He also indicated that it was unlikely there would be changes made to the front office and we see how that turned out.
But what will Millsap think of the changes? That is the question that The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor is asking of Millsap who has seen his fair share of changes during his short time in Atlanta.
“Free agency is not an easy thing for the player or for the organization. There are a lot of things that go into it.” You said it, Bud. There are a lot of factors. And from Millsap’s perspective, it’s not hard to recognize patterns, and when it might be time to look elsewhere: three of the Hawks’ core players left over two consecutive summers, and in Millsap’s four years with the organization, it has undergone a significant upheaval. It’s hard not wonder if the trend will continue with Millsap deciding to follow Carroll, Horford, and Teague out the door.
O’Connor adds that Budenholzer already missed the opportunity for the franchise to blow it up but we already know that it wasn’t his decision to make. But the question in regards to Millsap is a good one.
All indications are that Millsap has a great relationship with Budenholzer who helped unlock his complete game and pushed him to an All-Star level after arriving from Utah. The team took great pains this season to remove his name from trade discussions long before the deadline.
Still, there are a lot of question marks. Budenholzer is probably Millsap’s closest link to the franchise but he now merely is only a voice in the decision-making process. We don’t know who the GM will be at this point but if may not even matter if Ressler is calling the shots.
What it may, in fact, come down to is whether or not Millsap believes that this team and this franchise can win big before his next contract is up. Atlanta’s cap situation and the moment isn’t in good shape and only gets worse if Millsap is unwilling to sacrifice money so that the team can improve. Is that on the table? We will just have to wait to find out.