ATLANTA — The Atlanta Hawks announced Friday that they will restructure its basketball operations group. Following internal discussions among Mike Budenholzer, Wes Wilcox and principal owner Tony Ressler after the conclusion of the 2016-2017 season, the following changes have been made.
Budenholzer will continue to serve as head coach and will remain involved in basketball personnel decisions, while resigning from his position as president of basketball operations. Wilcox will become a special advisor to ownership and has resigned from his position as general manager. The team will utilize an executive search firm to identify and secure a new general manager.
“As we have said from the beginning, we are committed to building the Atlanta Hawks into a championship-caliber team, and after the end of our season, it was clear to all of us that our basketball operations leadership needed this reorganization,” Ressler said. “With Bud moving his focus exclusively to his position as head coach, we are freeing him up to do what he does best as one of the most respected coaches in the NBA. As owners, we value Wes’ dedication, intellect and capabilities, however we believe that our leadership would be best served by recruiting a new general manager to bring our team to the level of play that we expect.”
Budenholzer, the 2014-15 NBA Coach of the Year, has amassed a 189-139 (.576) in four seasons as head coach and led the Hawks to its winningest season in franchise history in 2014-15 recording 60 wins before reaching the Eastern Conference Finals during the postseason. The Hawks have reached the playoffs in each of his four seasons and in 10 consecutive seasons overall, the second-longest streak in the NBA.
“For our franchise, I believe that this was a necessary and positive set of changes. I am fully committed to the Hawks organization and look forward to helping with the search process and eventually working with the incoming GM,” Budenholzer said. “Together with ownership, the incoming GM and front office staff, and our coaching staff, we will continue to work toward building a team that can achieve a high level of sustainable success.”
Hired in June 2012 as assistant general manager, Wilcox was promoted to general manager in June 2015. During his tenure in basketball operations, he played a key role in signing all-star forward Paul Millsap, acquiring Tim Hardaway Jr., drafting Dennis Schröder and Taurean Prince as well as acquiring multiple future first- and second-round draft picks.
“What makes our organization strong is that everyone is working together for the good of the Hawks. That was my thinking when Bud and I met with ownership after the season and recommended this new structure,” Wilcox said. “I’m grateful for my time as general manager and consider it a privilege to be asked by Tony to continue on as a special advisor. I look forward to working closely with ownership to bring a championship to Atlanta.”