By CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks hired Travis Schlenk as general manager and head of basketball operations on Thursday, giving the Golden State assistant GM control of personnel decisions.
Schlenk succeeds Wes Wilcox, who resigned May 5 as part of the restructuring of the Hawks’ front office.
Schlenk spent 12 years with Golden State and is awaiting a third straight NBA Finals. He served as assistant to general manager Bob Myers the past five years. He spent two seasons as the team’s director of player personnel. The hiring gives him his first chance to have final say on personnel moves.
Hawks principal owner Tony Ressler said Schlenk “is ready to lead our basketball operations at a critical time for making big decisions as we prepare for the 2017-2018 season and beyond.”
Schlenk takes over as GM on June 1 as he prepares for the NBA draft and free agency with the Hawks. He said he was “humbled” by the opportunity.
“The passion of the ownership team was evident throughout the process, and the team’s high standard aligns with organizations I’ve been part of and plan to emulate in Atlanta,” Schlenk said.
The Hawks have made the playoffs in 10 straight seasons but were swept by Cleveland in their only Eastern Conference championship appearance in 2015. The team’s win total has declined in two straight seasons, including a 43-39 finish this season.
Schlenk leaves a Golden State organization that won the NBA title in 2015 and has won at least 65 games in three straight years.
A top priority for Schlenk will be negotiations to re-sign the team’s top player, four-time All-Star forward Paul Millsap, a free agent.
As part of the front-office moves this month, coach Mike Budenholzer resigned as president of basketball operations. When announcing the moves, Ressler said it became “painfully obvious” changes were necessary following a first-round playoff loss to Washington.
Wilcox was appointed special assistant to ownership and Budenholzer remains the coach.
Schlenk also spent five seasons as an assistant coach and video scout with Golden State.
“While it’s hard to see Travis leave our organization, this is a terrific opportunity for him,” Myers said in a statement released by the Hawks. “He’s one of the bright, young executives in the league and someone who has played a major role in our success over the last several years. His attention to detail, leadership ability and work ethic are traits that will serve him well in his new role with the Hawks. They are fortunate to have him and will benefit greatly from his presence in the organization.”
Schlenk was a video coordinator for the Miami Heat from 2000-04 and part of Orlando’s basketball operations staff in 1997-98.
He previously worked in the state of Georgia as an assistant coach at the University of Georgia in 1998-99.
More AP NBA: http://www.apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball
(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)