In sports, what do you do if you see what you want to be? In this case, the Hawks were impressed with the foundation built by the Golden State Warriors “that NBA Team in the Bay” to World Champions. Assistant GM Travis Schlenek was an integral part of the front office team that crafted the strategic plans for success.
A world champion pedigree has arrived in the A.T.L. Schlenek was lured away and introduced as the new General Manager of the Atlanta Hawks today at Phillips Arena. He is believed to have the blueprint or access to the process of developing a champion. He is experienced in multiple facets of Basketball Operations from the video room, bench as an assistant coach, scouting, and successful Front Office experience amassing five years as the assistant GM to Bob Myers who earned 2015 NBA Executive of the Year. Now final decisions about personnel end with him.
In his 12 years there he has seen a team go from near obscurity to World Champions dominating the Western Conference for three straight titles. If that’s not enough, free agency provided them a former MVP, sharpshooter Kevin Durant perhaps the best pure shooter in the NBA to go alongside the splash brothers Clay Thompson and MVP marksman Stephen Curry who is as deadly. The Warriors appear to be a dynasty in the making.
The Hawks are not in need of a total makeover having ten consecutive years of playoff appearances. A much better situation than the Warriors was when he joined them 12 years ago. Schlenek has been groomed by some NBA Legends, Pat Riley, Chuck Dailey, Don Nelson, and Jerry West who gave a ringing endorsement. Dominique Wilkins, the man with a statue in front of the building, was excited about the acquisition of Schlenek.
After meeting with Travis, our search committee and I knew that he was the right choice to become the new general manager and head of basketball operations for the Atlanta Hawks. In addition to his significant experience with two organizations that have built championship cultures, he is ready to lead our basketball operations at a critical time for making big decisions as we prepare for the 2017-2018 season and beyond. said Principal Owner Tony Ressler.
He’s going to be faced with tough decisions right away, What to do about Paul Milsap the best Hawk on the team who decided to explore free agency expecting more than the 21.5 million the Hawks had on the table seeking his signature. A max contract doesn’t appear to be a good thing Schlenek has already gone on record to say he doesn’t like bad contracts. It has to be somewhat of a dilemma when you have a four-time All-Star testing the market to drive up his value, but you need other pieces to compliment him in his current role. Money has to make sense, or you have to make that difficult decision to allow a player to move on.
The question is what you can get back? The draft is right around the corner, and the Hawks are picking 19th, 31st, and 60th at that level there probably won’t be any obvious franchise players available. “While it’s hard to see Travis leave our organization, this is a terrific opportunity for him,” said Warriors President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Bob Myers. “He’s one of the bright, young executives in the league and someone who has played a major role in our success over the last several years. His attention to detail, leadership ability, and work ethic are traits that will serve him well in his new role with the Hawks. They are fortunate to have him and will benefit greatly from his presence in the organization.”
Travis Schlenek on getting the job in Atlanta
I am excited to get started and look forward to collaborating with the team to build a first-class, championship-level franchise with a goal of sustained success. I would also like to thank Joe Lacob, Bob Myers, Steve Kerr, Larry Riley and Jerry West for being great mentors, strong advocates, and friends during my time with Golden State, and for helping me prepare to serve in this role.”