Hawks' GM still confident in new head coach, offseason moves

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ATLANTA — Hawks general manager Danny Ferry says that he hasn’t lost confidence in first-year coach Mike Budenholzer with training camp beginning next week.

Ferry anguished when Budenholzer was arrested last month on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol.

But he says Budenholzer’s legal issues won’t affect the Hawks as they open camp Tuesday in Athens at the University of Georgia.

“It’s an important issue, and it’s one that I respect,” Ferry said. “I also respect that there’s a legal process going on. As I said, I’ll support Bud as he goes through the whole thing.”

Budenholzer’s hiring in late May was the first big move made in the offseason by Ferry, who signed forwards Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll as free agents, re-signed point guard Jeff Teague and swingman Kyle Korver and drafted German point guard Dennis Schroder with the 17th overall pick.

Ferry decided to let Josh Smith leave as a free agent. Larry Drew, the Hawks’ head coach over the last three years departed for Milwaukee.

Along with Korver, Millsap, Williams and reserve center Elton Brand, Ferry likes the veteran nucleus he’s built around franchise centerpiece Al Horford.

And after watching Schroder excel in the NBA summer league, the Hawks decided he was ready to serve as Teague’s backup.

“Dennis will be on the roster,” Ferry said. “He’s certainly talented and ... We look forward to working with him and helping him.”

Atlanta’s two other draft picks aren’t candidates to help the club this season. Lucas Nogueira, a 7-foot center from Brazil, and former Bucknell center Mike Muscala are playing in Spain.

The Hawks hope Gustavo Ayon will beef up the front line. Pero Antic, a 6-foot-11 forward, will compete for bench minutes, too.

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