The Hawks decided to go with Larry Drew as their new head coach. The Hawks were pretty good vs. the online gambling NBA odds under former coach Mike Woodson so Drew has his work cut out for him.
Internet gambling companies listed the Hawks as favorites quite a bit this past NBA season. Atlanta was very good in the regular season and they ended up going 48-34 against the online gambling NBA odds. The problem for Woodson and the Hawks is that they didn’t win enough in the playoffs. Woodson was let go and not the job is Drew’s.
This will be the first head coaching job for Larry Drew. He has been an assistant with the Hawks since 2004. As a player he was a member of the Pistons, Kings, Clippers and Lakers. His son is the point guard at North Carolina. The deal between Drew and the Hawks is reportedly for three-years and $5 million dollars with two of the years guaranteed.
Atlanta general manager Rick Sund said that the team was very comfortable about hiring from within the organization. The Hawks were also looking to appease star guard Joe Johnson who they hope to re-sign. Drew is a former point guard and he should appeal to Johnson as a head coach. Johnson is a free agent and has not said whether or not he will return. The Hawks are looking to keep Johnson but they may not be willing to pay what it takes. Johnson did not end the season well as he played poorly in the playoff loss to Orlando.
The Hawks were the third seed in the Eastern Conference this past season but they did not do enough in the playoffs. They still have a talented roster that includes All-Star Al Horford, Josh Smith and Jamal Crawford. If they get Johnson to return they would be a threat again in the Eastern Conference in 2010-2011. The question is free agency as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Johnson and others have not yet decided what to do and their ultimate decisions could decide how the Eastern Conference shapes up next season.