Apr 12, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks head coach Larry Drew (suit) greets his players as they come off the floor while making a second half comeback against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half at Philips Arena. The hawks defeated the Bucks 109-104. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
It has been a week since the Hawks were eliminated by the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the playoffs, and there is still no clear indication who will be coaching the squad when next season arrives.
Larry Drew has taken the Hawks to the playoffs in three consecutive years while compiling a 128-102 record, but his contract expires on July 1st, and Danny Ferry, the Hawks General Manager, has not decided whether Drew and staff will be back.
According to a report from Yahoo! Sports, one source close to the situation believes there to be a “slim chance” that Drew and his staff are retained beyond July 1st, and that the coaches have begun making inquiries around the league about possible openings.
Drew was previously an assistant under Mike Woodson from 2004-2010, until Woodson was let go, and took over the helm of the New York Knicks.
In his three seasons as head coach, Drew has compiled a winning percentage of .557, which is higher than the previous two Hawks coaches. The aforementioned Woodson compiled a .419 winning percentage in six seasons, and Terry Stotts had a .380 mark in just under two full years at the helm.
Drew has been recently linked to the Philadelphia 76ers, after Doug Collins resigned to take on more of an administrative roll, as well as the Brooklyn Nets, who are not retaining interim coach PJ Carlesimo, and were recently turned down by legendary coach Phil Jackson.
As to who could replace Drew if Ferry decides to go that route, there are a plethora of options. Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer and Oklahoma City Thunder assistant Maurice Cheeks (a former Hawks assistant from 1991-1992 who spent time as a head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers and Philadelphia 76ers) have been mentioned as possible interview candidates, and there are certainly other available “off-the-radar” candidates.
Another intriguing candidate name being tossed around is Quin Snyder, who spent this past season as an assistant coach to CSKA Moskow in Russia. Snyder and Ferry were college roommates when they played for Duke, and this could be a connection to watch going forward.
In the coming days, this will be a must-watch situation, and the future of the Hawks is very much up in the air. Stay tuned!