The Atlanta Hawks are in a fantastic position for the future, with an exciting young core and notable roster flexibility. With that as the backdrop, general manager Travis Schlenk has received all kinds of praise for his work and, on Monday, word broke that he will ink a contract extension with the organization.
Zach Klein of WSB TV brings word of a “multi-year contract extension” for Schlenk and, while the Hawks have not yet announced the deal, a league source confirms the contract is in place. Schlenk arrived after the 2016-2017 season and, since then, the head of basketball operations has remade the roster with an impressive rebuilding effort.
“We are extremely pleased with the direction that Travis and our entire basketball operations team has us heading as a franchise. He has used the draft to build an impressive young core, hired one of the NBA’s top young coaches in Lloyd Pierce and positioned us to have the cap space, draft picks and financial flexibility needed to have long-term success in the NBA,” Hawks owner Tony Ressler said in a statement released by the club.
The extension also comes with a promotion, with Schlenk’s full title now “President of Basketball Operations and General Manager.” In practice, this promotion likely doesn’t mean much, as Schlenk was already the head basketball decision maker for the club. However, a promotion to President could come with a significant raise in compensation and it further entrenches Schlenk in the organizational hierarchy.
Without litigating his entire body of work, Schlenk is responsible for the selections of Trae Young, John Collins and Kevin Huerter in the NBA Draft, and the hiring of a well-regarded head coach in Lloyd Pierce. While the team hasn’t yet enjoyed high-end success on the floor during his tenure, Atlanta’s future outlook is bright.
It remains to be seen as to how or if the promising young core will morph into a full-fledged contender but, in just two years, Schlenk has played a massive part in reinvigorating the fan base. The move to lock up Schlenk’s services for multiple years is one that continues to provide stability for his long-term vision and principal owner Tony Ressler is seemingly granting a stamp of approval to Schlenk’s work.
There were a number of other promotions and hirings throughout the organization, most notably Stephen Giles’ return to the scouting department and Chelsea Lane’s promotion from Executive Director of Athletic Performance and Sports Medicine to Vice President of Athletic Performance and Sports Medicine. Whether Lane’s promotion actually means anything will change in her day-to-day role remains to be seen, but it’s always encouraging to see a club recognize and elevate its best people.