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Hawks close to hiring executive with UGA ties as GM

The Atlanta Hawks are on the verge of hiring Travis Schlenk for their vacant general manager position, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution confirmed.

Schlenk currently is the assistant general manager of the Golden State Warriors. The 41-year-old Schlenk has spent the past 12 seasons with the Warriors, including the past five as the assistant to general manager Bob Myers. Details of a contract are being finalized.

The Hawks did not confirm the imminent hiring but an announcement could come as soon as Thursday. News of Schlenk hiring was first reported by The Vertical.

Schlenk also spent two seasons as the Warriors’ director of player personnel. Prior to joining the front office he was a video coordinator with the Warriors and Heat and also worked for the Magic. Schlenk also served as director of basketball operations at UGA during the 1998-99 season under coach Ron Jirsa.

Schlenk was part of the Warriors’ front office that signed current Hawks guard Kent Bazemore as an undrafted free agent in 2012. Bazemore said it was Schlenk who told him his contract had been guaranteed in his first season with the Warriors.

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“He said ‘Don’t stop working’ and just walked off,” Bazemore said.

Bazemore said Schlenk is known for his scouting ability.

“He is a great guy,” Bazemore said. “You’ve seen the success they’ve had at Golden State and he’s a huge part of it. I’m excited that he is on board now. You can tell he is always focused on something. He is about his business. Every time you see him he is speed-walking somewhere to get something done.”

The Hawks got permission to speak to Schlenk last week. The Warriors completed their sweep of the Spurs in the Western Conference finals Monday and await the winner of the Eastern Conference finals between the Cavaliers and the Celtics. The Warriors, in the NBA Finals for the third straight year, are scheduled to host Game 1 of the NBA Finals on June 1.

Schlenk was a candidate for a front office position with the Magic.

Hawks principal owner Tony Ressler announced a restructuring of the team’s front office earlier this month. Mike Budenholzer lost his title of president of basketball operations and remained head coach. Wes Wilcox moved from general manager to special assistant to ownership.

“Let’s not kid ourselves, we want to get the best person we can get,” Ressler told the AJC at the beginning of the search on May 8. “We are not going to be rushed and we are not going to accept being rushed. What we are going to do is evaluate everyone imaginable. We do expect to be very thorough in the process. We have confidence in the decision-making process and the people we have here but we think we can be better and that’s why we are making this hire.”

The Hawks conducted an extensive search that included many people with all facets of experience.

Schlenk is a native of Selden, Kansas. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Management and Human Ecology from Bethel College, where he was also a member of the basketball team. He went on to receive a Masters of Education with an emphasis in Sports Administration from Wichita State University. He and his wife have three children.

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