Ressler spills on franchise future

Atlanta as a free-agent destination & shift in NBA thinking

The Morning Show w/ John & Hugh
June 19, 2019 - 11:16 am

© Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

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Atlanta Hawks owner Tony Ressler joined John and Hugh on Wednesday morning in advance of Thursday's NBA draft and spoke in length about the Hawks, future plans, and how they've reached the point they are at.

Here are some excerpts from his interview. Click above for his full comments. 

  • ​​ ​​"You're supposed to have great people running the show. Ownership involved, but offering flexibility and when you think about what Schlenk and Koonin are doing, we feel pretty good about where we are right now."
  • "It's about good decision-making. We have a core that we feel good about and Travis' job is to figure how we keep moving forward. How do our young people keep getting better and how we attract more young quality players, and at the right times a free agent or two that turn good into great, and that's the process."
  • "The eventual goal is to win a championship, and it doesn't happen easily. We have an awfully young team and we think you take Young, Huerter, Collins, young players that are getting better, and it's our job to keep improving. At some point the free agent market will be relevant to the Hawks, but you have to do it with players that compliment other players, and that's what Travis is trying to achieve and our objective is to make progress and get better as team, that's the plan"
  • "We'll be ready to spend appropriately whenever it is the right time. The idea of our payroll going up to be as high as reasonable is not the problem for this franchise. The franchise is really trying finding the right player at the right time and draft as well as we can in the interim."
  • "We needed someone to lead basketball operations that was a talent evaluator first and a head coach that knew how to make young players better. We couldn't be happier with who we have running basketball ops and who we have leading our team from a coaching perspective."
  • "I don't believe there are players out there that look at the Atlanta Hawks today and say it's a second tier franchise. It's our job to build on that."
  • "I don't accept excuses on attracting free agents. We think that we are soon, really soon, an extraordinary free agent destination. Players live in Atlanta, ex players live in Atlanta, there is no doubt in our mind Atlanta will be a free agent destination. To us it's just a matter of time."
  • "If we are committed to getting better, our team the 2nd half of the season we have a team that competes. We're not putting a flag in the ground and saying this is the only definition of success. As long as we are showing genuine improvement, if we miss playoffs and are much better and compete every night we can live with that. The key is making progress."