ATLANTA — New Atlanta Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk was on The Midday Show Friday with Rick Kamla and Randy McMichael. Schlenk shared many of his philosophies he brings with him to Atlanta.
When it comes to the NBA draft and the Hawks pick at No. 19, Schlenk said there’s definitely guidelines, but no hard-and-true rules. In the front office with Golden State, Schlenk said they made picks early in the draft based on need, and those sometimes didn’t work out. Using the best-player-available approach sounded like Schlenk’s main approach until later in the draft when it was possible to look at team needs.
“You can’t be scared to go against the mock drafts,” said Schlenk, in terms of being flexible wherever the Hawks are in the draft.
Schlenk also commented on the idea that the Hawks may take a step back to take two steps forward, a notion team owner Tony Ressler floated a few weeks ago. Schlenk said that was “certainly a direction you could go,” but warned that interpretation of that statement has a lot of wiggle room.
Schlenk said staying competitive while continuing to develop young assets was at the forefront of what he wanted to do with the Hawks. He also said accumulating more young assets was of the utmost importance.
“I’m not a proponent of blowing it up,” said Schlenk in regard to a complete rebuild option for the Hawks.
Schlenk also talked about his relationship with head coach Mike Budenholzer and his feelings on center Dwight Howard. Schlenk said Howard was a “huge rim protector,” and “those guys are hard to find.”