Hawks eye Stan Van Gundy
Stan Van Gundy is one of the biggest names in the coaching market. It was never a question that he will find himself on an NBA bench sometime soon. Despite an unceremonious exit from the Orlando Magic involving their superstar, Dwight Howard, there is a high respect for SVG’s expertise. It seemed inevitable that their two names will be intertwined, and some teams have shied away from hiring SVG as they want to make a push for Howard, who also becomes a free agent in the summer. The Atlanta Hawks, a known Howard suitor and his hometown team, are considering the opposite route,using SVG as a bargaining chip for Howard.
per Yahoo NBA
General manager Danny Ferry has made Van Gundy his top target to replace Larry Drew, sources said.
There has been contact between Ferry and Van Gundy, but the two sides have yet to meet in person.
The Hawks plan to make a hard push for free-agent center Dwight Howard on July 1, and there’s some belief that Van Gundy could actually turn out to be a benefit in recruiting Howard back to his hometown.
Howard has expressed some sentiment that he better appreciates Van Gundy as a head coach, despite their clashes together in Orlando that ultimately led to the coach’s firing after the 2011-12 season.
Van Gundy hasn’t made a decision about returning to coaching this year, but he holds Ferry in high regard, league sources said. Van Gundy has declined interest in the Milwaukee Bucks‘ head-coaching job.
In parts of eight seasons with the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic, Van Gundy (371-208) has a .641 regular season winning percentage and (48-39) a .552 postseason winning percentage. He led the Magic to the NBA Finals in 2009 and reached the conference finals in both Miami and Orlando.
Drew’s contract runs out on June 30, and he’s been informed the organization will start to talk with other candidates. While it’s almost assured that Drew has coached his final game in Atlanta, there’s a small possibility the Hawks could miss out on several of their top targets and return to Drew, sources said.