ATLANTA — Danny Ferry is on the clock for his first NBA Draft with the Hawks only three days after his introduction as general manager.
Ferry, who scouted 2012 draft prospects in his former role as vice president of basketball operations for the Spurs, on Monday took over the Hawks. He’ll have the final say as the Hawks have the 23rd and 43rd overall picks in tonight’s draft.
It has been a hectic week, but Ferry said he has a good feel for the draft after scouting the prospects in his former role as vice president of basketball operations for the Spurs.
“I’ve been out scouting all year,” Ferry said. “I feel like I have a solid handle on the players that are out there.”
Ferry said his focus has changed this week as he now must view the prospects from the Hawks’ perspective.
Atlanta’s new GM will have help from the old GM. Rick Sund, who was general manager for four years, is remaining in a loosely defined advisory role at least through July.
Ferry needs to make his first pick a player who can play as a rookie.
The Hawks have only six players under contract and need to find immediate help.
Possible picks include Syracuse center Fab Melo and two Vanderbilt players, small forward Jeff Taylor and shooting guard John Jenkins.
PACERS: Parted ways with Larry Bird, owner Herb Simon announced Wednesday. He said Bird will stay on for the draft, when the Pacers are scheduled to pick No. 26 overall in the first round.
The 55-year-old Bird was the Pacers coach from 1997-2000, taking the team to its only NBA Finals appearance that final year, before returning to the front office in 2003. He took full control as president of basketball decisions after the 2007-08 season, when Donnie Walsh left to become the New York Knicks’ president.
Walsh is returning as the Pacers’ president. Kevin Pritchard, the director of player personnel, is being promoted to general manager, replacing David Morway, who resigned Tuesday.
Bird said health issues were among the reasons for his departure.
“I just think it’s time,” he said.
TRADE: The Milwaukee Bucks acquired veteran center Samuel Dalembert from the Houston Rockets in a trade.
The Bucks said Wednesday they got Dalembert, the 14th overall pick in tonight’s draft, a future second-round pick and cash considerations from Houston in exchange for forwards Jon Brockman and Jon Leuer, guard Shaun Livingston and the 12th pick.