|Ferry, who brought Shaq to Cleveland during his five years as Cavs GM, takes over in Atlanta. (Getty Images)|
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Hawks have hired Danny Ferry as president of basketball operations and general manager.
Ferry, 45, is replacing Rick Sund, whose contract expires at the end of June.
Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson said Monday that Ferry has the right character and experience to take over a team which lost to Boston in the first round of this year's playoffs after making it to the second round three straight years.
"Over the past nine years Danny Ferry has earned tremendous respect as a front office executive in the NBA," Levenson said.
"His philosophy, character and commitment to creating enduring and successful organizations exemplify exactly what we are looking for in a leader of the Atlanta Hawks. Danny's systematic and value-driven approach has helped him become one of the pre-eminent minds in basketball. He is passionate about building an organization the right way, knows how to win and knows how to forge winning teams. We look forward to having him as our leader of basketball operations."
Ferry comes to the Hawks after two years as vice president of basketball operations for the San Antonio Spurs. As general manager for the Cavaliers from 2005-10, Ferry helped to build the team that advanced to the 2007 NBA Finals.
Ferry will be introduced at a news conference Monday afternoon.
The NBA Draft is Thursday. The Hawks have the No. 23 overall pick and will need to a player who can provide depth behind five returning starters.
The Hawks return six-time All-Star guard Joe Johnson, center Horford, forwards Josh Smith and Marvin Williams, point guard Jeff Teague and backup center Zaza Pachulia.
The status of Smith, who is entering the final year of his contract, will become an immediate priority for Ferry.
Ferry also must build the remainder of the roster as the team's other nine players are free agents.
Ferry, a former standout at Duke, averaged 7 points and 2.8 rebounds in 917 career games with Cleveland (1990-2000) and San Antonio (2000-03).
In a statement released by the Hawks, Ferry said he was "thrilled to join the Hawks organization and Atlanta community."
Ferry's name also had been linked with a similar opportunity with Philadelphia. It is expected he will be granted full control of basketball operations with the Hawks.
"There were many components that made this the right fit for me but clearly my confidence in the ownership group and their dedication to building a championship caliber franchise was most important," Ferry said. "They are committed to building with the right people and investing in critical areas for development, both essential elements if we want to create sustained success."
The Hawks have exercised their option on coach Larry Drew's contract for next season but didn't offer Drew a new deal.
The Hawks said Ferry was given a multi-year contract. Terms were not announced.
Sund was hired by Atlanta in 2008 to replace Billy Knight. Sund had been Seattle's general manager from 2001-07.