The Atlanta Hawks have a vacancy for their top two front office positions after former general manager Wes Wilcox was demoted to an advisor and coach Mike Budenholzer left his position as vice president of basketball operations to focus solely on coaching. The Hawks have been connected to some tenured front office candidates to fill one or both positions, but they are also reportedly considering some former players for the general manager position as well.
Former Pistons star and current ESPN analyst Chauncey Billups is among those they’ve been rumored to be interested in, and that interest is reportedly serious enough for the Hawks to set up an interview with Billups in Los Angeles this Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes. According to Haynes, Atlanta “isn’t looking to drag out the hiring process,” which makes sense considering the draft is a month away and this offseason will be pivotal for the franchise moving forward.
That would also seem to indicate that Billups is a serious candidate for the job and the rumors that the Hawks are interested in pairing an inexperienced general manager with a veteran vice president of basketball operations, rather than giving one person both titles, have some legitimacy. Billups isn’t necessarily the top candidate, though, as Marc Stein has reported that Wizards vice president of basketball operations Tommy Sheppard and Warriors assistant GM Travis Schlenk have both been interviewed by the Hawks.
With Paul Millsap a free agent this offseason and decisions to be made about Tim Hardaway Jr. and potentially dealing Dwight Howard, whoever is hired by the Hawks will be in for a busy first two months of work. Because of that, it would certainly be a trial by fire for Billups if he were to be the man Atlanta chooses, rather than being a job he could ease into.