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Report: Mike Budenholzer to step down as Hawks’ president, both he and GM Wes Wilcox to have say


Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer, right, talks with forward Paul Millsap, left, and guard Dennis Schroder (17) during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016, in Miami. The Hawks defeated the Heat 93-90. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)


It looks like a new person will be at the top of the front office food chain with the Atlanta Hawks’ front office.

Mike Budenholzer will step down as team president, but he will remain as coach — and both he and GM Wes Wilcox will have a significant voice in player personnel decisions.

After rumors that Wilcox was stepping down leaked earlier this week, the Hawks said that an evaluation was still ongoing and no decisions had been made. It sounds like ones have now and Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports broke the story.

This makes sense. I generally think it’s tough to have a coach with player/personnel power just because the perspectives can be difficult to juggle. Coaches want to win now, GMs/presidents need to think long-term and more strategically.

The real prism to view this move through: Does Atlanta re-sign Paul Millsap this summer a max contract?

At the trade deadline it seemed as if Budenholzer was ready to turn the page, looking to trade Millsap and start a rebuild and the first step in that was trading Kyle Korver (to Cleveland). Then Atlanta ownership is rumored to have stepped in and stopped a Millsap move, so he stayed and the Hawks got to the playoffs (but were eliminated in the first round).

All those picks the Hawks have make rebuilding an easier process.a

If the Hawks re-sign Millsap to a five-year max (what it will cost), they likely stay a good but not great team that finishes the season the 3-6 seed most years and maybe gets to the second round of the playoffs. That would be the team for the foreseeable future. That may work for Hawks ownership — the teams has connected with the Atlanta community, particularly a younger crowd living in the city, and are selling tickets at a pace the organization hasn’t seen in a long time. Ownership may be okay with the status quo.

Or not. We will see this summer. But the ultimate call will fall to some new person who sits in the president’s chair.