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Hawks 'in conversation' with Ferry as possible GM

Associated Press

6/24/2012 9:17:58 PM

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Hawks are in talks with Danny Ferry and could be close to reaching an agreement to hire the San Antonio executive as general manager.

In a statement released to The Associated Press on Sunday night, the Hawks confirmed they have "reached out" to Ferry, also the former Cleveland general manager.

"As we continue to evaluate our franchise and look to build a championship calibre organization, we reached out to Danny Ferry," the Hawks said. "We are engaged in conversation regarding the Atlanta Hawks and our basketball operations. As the situation evolves, we will update at the appropriate time."

Hawks general manager Rick Sund's contract expires at the end of June. Sund did not return messages to The Associated Press on Saturday and Sunday.

Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. told The Associated Press last month he hoped the 61-year-old Sund would continue as general manager.

Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson declined comment Sunday. Gearon did not return messages on Sunday.

Asked Sunday night about Sund's status, including a possible continued role as an adviser, Hawks spokesman Arthur Triche said in an email reply: "No details regarding that at this time."

Ferry became the Spurs' vice-president of basketball operations in 2010. As Cleveland's GM from 2005-10, he led the Cavs through the most successful period in their history.

The NBA draft is Thursday. It is not known if the Hawks are hoping to reach an agreement with Ferry in time to direct the draft.

Ferry also has been linked to a possible position with Philadelphia.

After advancing to the second round of the playoffs three straight years, the Hawks were eliminated in the first round by Boston this year.

The Hawks have exercised their option on coach Larry Drew's contract for next season but did not offer a new deal.

Atlanta finished 40-26, drawing praise from Sund for an "outstanding job," despite being without All-Star centre Al Horford for all but 11 games of the regular season. Horford returned in Game 4 of the Celtics series.

The Hawks will return an experienced nucleus of Horford, six-time All-Star Joe Johnson and Josh Smith, who is entering the final year of his contract. Marvin Williams, point guard Jeff Teague and backup centre Pachulia also are under contract.

The other nine players are free agents, leaving much work to be done by the general manager.