Hawks general manager Landry Fields and coach Quin Snyder met with local media Friday to reflect on the season and discuss what’s ahead for the franchise.

Sixteen players also met with the media, including star guards Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. Neither player nor Fields would directly address any offseason trade speculation:

-Young talked about wanting to be here and his desire to win a championship.

-Murray did not mention if he saw himself back with the team when discussing his offseason preparation.

-Fields did not provide a clear answer on what Young’s future with the team would be.

“Trae is the ultimate competitor, he really is,” Fields said. “Without a doubt, I know he wants to win. And you know, it never comes down to just one guy. Because as great as Trae is, he is a fantastic basketball player All-Star-caliber player. He knows and we know that it’s going to take more than one. So we’ll look at this roster and continuously build out because we all want the same thing at the end of the day. We want to win.”

The Hawks’ season ended Wednesday night with a 131-116 loss to the Chicago Bulls in an NBA Play-In Tournament game. Now, Fields and the Hawks’ staff will evaluate the team’s roster.

“It’s been happening, and it will continue to happen,” Fields said. “Just making those changes, we never want that to just be arbitrary, never want to do anything that is whimsical, but (rather) well thought out.”

Inconsistency plagued the Hawks this season, as it has the past few years. From players moving in and out of the rotation to their struggles to find a connection on the court, the Hawks understand that work needs to be done.

To do that, Fields and the front office will need to make the right moves to strengthen the roster.

The Hawks have made few and often small changes to the fringes of the roster, but at the core, it has stayed mostly the same. That core includes Young, De’Andre Hunter, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Clint Capela. Of course, they’ve made some bigger changes to that core such as acquiring Murray and trading John Collins last offseason.

While the players have said they’ve found chemistry off the court, they’ve struggled to find that same connection on the court.

This season, the Hawks finished among the top five teams in points per game and consistently ranked among the top half of the league when it came to their offense. But they struggled when playing defense.

The Hawks also dealt with discontinuity when it came to their rotation, with players in and out of the lineup because of injuries. They don’t want to use it as an excuse, but the lack of depth eventually caught up with them. They finished the regular season with a 36-46 record and in 10th place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference before the Bulls bounced them from the postseason.

“You know that every season does have challenges with injuries, sometimes the timing of the injuries,” Snyder said. “Not all injuries are created equal – how long guys are out, who’s injured, who’s injured at the same time. I know there’s all kinds of metrics that try to measure that. I think we’re one of the teams that clearly was impacted. The other part of that though, is again, building on the idea that it’s part of it, you really want to use any adversity, in this case injuries, to try to figure out a way to get better.”

While the Hawks saw several players try to take the “next-man-up” mentality, the flaws of how the roster was constructed showed. The Hawks often found themselves in situations where their lack of size impacted their play, even in moments where they stepped up their physicality.

That’s among the many things that Fields said he and the Hawks’ front office will continue to evaluate, as well as what players mentioned about the lack of an on-court connection.

“We are always looking to improve upon connectivity, selflessness,” Fields said. “Those are two key themes for our group and the type of culture and the type of personnel that we want in our environment. And in doing so, the way we prepare for that is by defining what that looks like for us in particular, and then whether right now it’s going to be the (NBA) draft or getting into free agency or getting into trades or whatnot. You’re always gathering intel and scouting different players that will exhibit those levels of character and connectedness and selflessness.

“I would define that as the move from ‘me to we’ and apart from just asking it, it’s watching actions and how guys operate with one another.”

Over the past five years, the Hawks have gone through front-office changes and coaching changes. Now, it’s time to address the roster.


Hawks to hire Saleh from Warriors

The Hawks are hiring Onsi Saleh as assistant general manager. Saleh comes from the Warriors, where he had been Vice President of Basketball Strategy and Team Counsel. The hiring was first reported by ESPN and confirmed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The hire is an addition to the front office under general manager Landry Fields. Kyle Korver, who has been the assistant general manager, will remain in his role, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Atlanta Hawks head coach Quin Snyder speaks during team exit interviews as the season comes to an end at the Atlanta Hawks practice facility, Friday, April 19, 2024, in Brookhaven. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)


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