The Atlanta Hawks were eliminated in the first round of the NBA Playoffs for the second straight year and now will be looking to make a ton of moves this off-season. The most obvious and noted move that the franchise will make will be to let Josh Smith walk as he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Another move that is being debated right now is the decision on whether or not the team will retain Larry Drew as their head coach for next season. Though no official word has been given about Drew’s future with the organization, the team has announced that they are letting him pursue other options. The Hawks are also reportedly looking at Stan Van Gundy to potentially become their next head coach, even though Drew hasn’t officially been told he will not be back.
Though it’s a weird situation considering the simple fact that Drew hasn’t been let go, pursuing Van Gundy as the team’s head coach is the right move for Atlanta. Van Gundy proved himself as a more than capable coach during his time with the Orlando Magic before Dwight Howard ran him out of town.
More than that, Van Gundy is the perfect fit for a team like the Hawks. Going forward without Smith, the Hawks will be focusing the team around big man Al Horford and emerging point guard Jeff Teague. That situation will be similar to the one Van Gundy was at the helm for in Orlando with Howard and Jameer Nelson. He is wonderful at gearing a team around a dominant big man and getting the complimentary players to fit well into his system.
There’s no real word on how the pursuit is going and if Van Gundy would be interested in the position with the Hawks. However, Atlanta is making the right move in trying to get him. Considering the direction that the team is headed in for next season and the future, there aren’t many coaches better suited than Van Gundy.