Former Detroit Pistons president Joe Dumars and David Griffin are candidates to head the Atlanta Hawk’s front office, presumably as president of basketball operations or perhaps an even loftier title, according to Marc Stein.
This comes days after confusing reports out of Atlanta first indicated that general manager Wes Wilcox was out and that coach Mike Budenholzer was relinquishing his front office duties but staying on as coach.
The team pushed back, and eventually Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Wilcox was staying on board in a “high-ranking front office role.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution then reported that Wilcox was considering jobs with other teams, so it appears his power is waning.
Dumars has largely stayed out of the limelight since parting ways with Detroit, the only organization he knew as a player and executive for nearly 30 years.
He recently broke his silence with Woj as a guest on The Vertical podcast. At the time, I speculated that the appearance was a calculated effort to get back into basketball consciousness and try and find a new front office gig.
There has been years of speculation that Dumars could wind up in New Orleans, in his home state of Louisiana and working for his friend Tom Benson.
He’s not without connections with Atlanta, however, as the search for a new front office exec is being led in part by Hawks co-owner Grant Hill. Hill also knows Griffin back when both were with the Phoenix Suns.
So, to quickly re-litigate Dumars’ Pistons tenure, he was the genius who traded for Stackhouse, traded Stackhouse for Rip, brought on a bunch of scrappy no-name players and hired an unkown named Rick Carlisle. He lucked into Ben Wallace, had one of the greatest free agency heists of all time in Chauncey Billups and wasn’t afraid to make big swings at Larry Brown and Rasheed Wallace to bring Detroit a championship. He also drafted well (with some very notable exceptions).
Dumars also drafted Darko Milicic instead of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, traded Billups for Allen Iverson, signed Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva for close to $100 million and signed Josh Smith to a huge contract, the move that essentially sealed his fate.
Does Dumars deserve another chance? Sure. Would I be super pumped if I were an Atlanta Hawks fan? NOOOOOOOOOOPE.