The Atlanta Hawks announced on Wednesday morning that President of Basketball Operations Travis Schlenk would be stepping down into an advisory role. Landry Fields will continue to serve as the team’s GM, but will now oversee the day-to-day operations of the Basketball Operations team.
Schlenk was hired by the organization in 2017, and helped rebuild the roster back into a playoff contender, as evidenced by Atlanta’s run to the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals. He offered comment on the move via Hawks press release.
“Throughout this season, Tony and I have had multiple, honest conversations about some of the personal things I’ve been going through and how I’ve been feeling, and I appreciate the counsel he has provided me as well as the opportunity he gave me six seasons ago to be a first-time general manager. As we enter a new year, the timing feels right for me to take a step back, reflect and prioritize my family,” Schlenk said.
The former GM continued to speak highly of the group around him as he finished his statement, and stated his excitement in continuing to help the Hawks build going forward.
“I am proud of the group I assembled both on the floor and in the front office. We have built a strong foundation for the Hawks franchise and achieved a high level of success. As an advisor, I look forward to working with Tony and Landry and continuing to make contributions in less visible but still impactful ways.”
This move overall comes as a fairly big surprise given it’s the middle of the season, but the overall turmoil surrounding the Hawks hasn’t been a secret this season. Star point guard Trae Young and head coach Nate McMillan had some sort of disagreement that went public last month, and it seems the overall discontent surrounding the franchise reached a point where changes needed to be made.
Hawks owner Tony Ressler also offered comment on the change in front office structure.
“We have a great appreciation for the work Travis has done in guiding our franchise through a quick rebuilding process and shaping us into a playoff contender. He has worked tirelessly from his first day with our organization to move us toward our ultimate goal of becoming a championship franchise,” Ressler said. “With his strong eye for talent, work ethic and knowledge of our team, we are confident that he will serve us well as a trusted advisor.”
The Hawks will play at home on Wednesday night vs. the Chicago Bulls as they look to build on back-to-back wins.