Danny Ferry has made all the right moves for Hawks

dshirley@macon.comJuly 15, 2012 

Atlanta Hawks fans will need to get their hands on a roster and hold on to it before the upcoming season, and that’s a good thing.

And they can thank new general manager Danny Ferry for that.

Since taking over the franchise, which had been mired in a malaise for several years because of bad drafts and contracts, Ferry has blown up the roster and given the team a breath of fresh air with his moves. At the very least Ferry has made the Hawks interesting again and given Hawks fans hope that their team can take the next step up the NBA ladder.

In just a couple of weeks, Ferry has changed the face of the team, which was something that was much needed.

For years, Hawks fans have focused their venom on Joe Johnson and his ridiculous contract. Johnson is a terrific player -- a good shooter and defender -- but he’s better off as a complementary piece because he is not a leader or go-to star. He will get that chance with the Brooklyn Nets after being traded in a coup pulled off by Ferry, who got the expiring contracts of Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro, Anthony Morrow and Jordan Williams along with DeShawn Stevenson and a future first-round pick back in the deal.

Ferry then turned around quickly and traded Marvin Williams to Utah for Devin Harris.

In getting rid of the contracts of Johnson and Williams, Ferry freed up the Hawks to move forward, something they haven’t done in some time because they didn’t have the financial freedom to do so. Johnson’s contract was an albatross around the franchise’s neck that kept it from making other needed moves. Williams’ contract wasn’t as bad, but he wasn’t living up to it either, so having that off the books also will be a big boost.

The team has seen the benefits of that already as former Atlanta high school legend Lou Williams signed a contract to join the Hawks past this week. Lou Williams led the Philadelphia 76ers in scoring this past season and was second in the Sixth Man of the Year Award voting, and he is just now entering the prime of his career.

He will be a key piece for the Hawks as they move on with a new core that is made up of Josh Smith (if the Hawks can keep him when he becomes a free agent), Al Horford, point guard Jeff Teague, Harris and Morrow (the Hawks should keep him instead of letting go of his contract). And the team got better on draft night, as well, as Ferry selected John Jenkins, who was the best shooter in the draft, and Mike Scott, who will provide depth at forward.

And that’s all just if Ferry doesn’t make any more moves. But if he does, Hawks fans should be excited to see what’s next and make sure to have a roster handy.

Contact Daniel Shirley at 744-4227 or dshirley@macon.com

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