Five questions for Hawks GM Danny Ferry

With the start of the regular season just days away, Hawks general manager Danny Ferry answered five questions about what he expects this season — his second as GM and Mike Budenholzer’s first as head coach.

Q: Now that you’ve got a chance to see the beginnings of how the assembled roster is working together, what is the biggest reason for encouragement?

A: Our training camp and preseason practices have been good. All involved have really put the work in. Good hard work. Our players are learning a new system on both ends of the court. They are learning a common language to use to make it all tie together more simply. There has been a lot to learn, and every day you see another step of progress.

Q: The roster has gone through substantial changes the past two years. Is there any insight you can give as to where you are in the process of creating that “corporate knowledge” of franchise stability?

A: The most important element is that there is a consistency of identity that we are establishing. As a basketball team, we must keep moving forward with high standards in everything we do and walk into the practice gym or arena with a collective grit to do a great job that day. Watching (Budenholzer) and his staff work with our players and seeing the daily focus, reinforcing how we want to practice, how we want to play, working to build habits, really creates a positive feeling on how we are moving forward. This all sets a foundation for success.

Q: What will you consider a successful season?

A: We have consistently communicated that our focus is on daily improvement. I believe we have a competitive group of people. If we see progress and improvement as the season evolves, we believe good things will happen.

Q: What do you consider the biggest off-the-court change, not a roster move, that has been made since you hired Budenholzer?

A: Bud and his staff, along with my group in the front office, have been building a good chemistry as we look at things like roster planning or on court decisions. Good attention to detail, good debates. I believe more good decisions will happen because of this chemistry and depth of work. Off the court, as a collective staff, we are becoming a good team as we keep moving down the path.

Q: How important will the return of Lou Williams be to how you envisioned the roster and style of play equaling success on the court?

A: Lou certainly represents what we are looking for in our players and how we build our team. He is an athletic, smart, resilient basketball player, but his return to full strength will be a process and one that will not be rushed. When he has full medical clearance, we know he will contribute in so many ways. At the same time, he will be the first to tell you that it is about the whole team.

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