Landry Fields prepares to assume new role as Hawks’ general manager

Landry Fields is proof that a lot can happen in a short time. In just under a decade, he has worked his way from being an NBA player to a decision-maker with the Hawks. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

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Landry Fields is proof that a lot can happen in a short time. In just under a decade, he has worked his way from being an NBA player to a decision-maker with the Hawks. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Landry Fields is proof that a lot can happen in a short time. In just under a decade, he has worked his way from being a player to a decision-maker.

Fields began his NBA playing career in 2010 after being drafted as the 39th overall pick out of Stanford. Fields spent five years playing with the Knicks and Raptors until a nerve issue affecting his shooting elbow cut his playing career short in 2016.

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Since his playing career ended, Fields has climbed the NBA ranks working with the Spurs, where he served as a college scout and the general manager of the G League’s Austin Spurs, and now the Hawks.

Two years after assuming the role as the assistant general manager for the Hawks, where he worked closely alongside general manager and team president Travis Schlenk, Fields has been promoted to be the Hawks’ next general manager. The title will become official July 1. Schlenk will retain his role and most of his responsibilities.

“Being under Travis the past couple seasons and seeing how he envisions this whole thing to be, it’s truly inspiring,” Fields said Monday, representing the Hawks in a pre-draft news conference. “And I’m grateful that he’s given me the opportunity to help them in that and really empowered me to, to help bring it to where he ultimately wants it to go and take into my input to see if that’s the same vision we have.”

Fields sees the game from a different lens. Being just a few years away from playing the game and still the same age as some of the top talents on the court now, he can ultimately help the Hawks during the 2022 draft as they look to return as a top-contending team next season, just a year after making the Eastern Conference finals.

“I think it’s a matter of perspective,” Fields said. “I think everyone has experiences, they have certain cultures and traditions that they come from that help piece together how we’re looking at anything, whether it’s a big decision on the player, or it’s just where we want to be as a front office. Hopefully, at the end of the day, my perspective is taken into account with everyone else’s.”

Building a great organization happens just as much off the court as it does on the court. While his new position doesn’t officially begin for two weeks, Fields has already begun looking to make an internal difference.

With the NBA draft on Thursday, Fields will work alongside Schlenk in prioritizing the improvement of the defense and getting help for Hawks star Trae Young. However, his main focus is helping the front office continue to thrive and be unified in its decision-making processes in order to bring the Hawks back to their fullest potential.

“For me, it’s about how do I create a space where people that are under my care, they can win and grow at their jobs,” Fields said. “And I take that seriously. And I take pride in that. So, it’s about pouring into every single person in that office, figuring out how they can be their best and equipping them for that empowerment.”