Introduced as Hawks General Manager
Travis Schlenk, 41, a former assistant general manager for the powerhouse Golden State Warriors, was introduced officially Friday as the Atlanta Hawks General Manager. He’s worked the last five years as assistant general manager and worked very closely into shaping the Hawks personnel. In this role, Schlenk reported directly to his former General Manager Bob Myers and assisted in the management of all day-to-day basketball operations, including all player-related matters.
Ressler, when asked how the process will work between the front office and the financial part of the franchise,
“Listen, he runs basketball operations,” Ressler told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution when asked if he will have final say in a decision on Millsap. “I did not bring him in here for me to make basketball decisions. I hope that is as clear as I can be. Yes, every ownership has to sign off on numbers, on (salary) caps, on (luxury) tax. Yes, I will sign off on the business. I promise you I did not bring Travis in here so I can make basketball decisions.”
With more than 16 years of experience in the NBA, Schlenk has held jobs at virtually every level of basketball operations, including positions in the video room, on the bench, scouting for NBA talent and in the front office.
He had a voice in all player personnel matters, while also assisting with trade & free agent discussions, player contracts, salary cap analysis and adherence to Collective Bargaining Agreement rules and regulations. It’s safe to say the Hawks’ have hired someone with a bevy of experience.
Before joining the Warriors’ front office, Schlenk spent five years as an assistant coach and video scout for the Warriors. His duties in that role included the preparation of scouting reports for the coaching staff and players, assisting on-court at practice sessions and working with players on individual skill development.
When asked about his influences and his experience around the NBA he stated,
“Obviously, I’ve received a ton of great advice,” Schlenk said. “One of the biggest pieces is to try to not get overwhelmed and make too many changes at once. And that’s kind of what I’ve implemented here is there’s so many new things happening, so many decisions that have to be made quickly. Don’t get influenced by outside noise, just stick with what’s in the room right now and that’s what I’m really focused on right now.”
One way to fast track rebuilding a franchise is by excellent scouting, watching hours of film, knowing your team’s’ needs, and strong player development practices. He’s shown the ability to do every procedure at a high level. Schlenk when asked about his plans after being introduced,
“Now it’s time to get to work, we want to be in the conversation every year to win a championship”
When asked what the best piece of advice he received before coming to Atlanta, he paused and thought for a moment before answering. Schlenk then stated he learned his craft under the mentorship of many talented basketball minds, he then cited many names including Chuck Daly and John Gabriel with the Magic, Pat Riley and Stan Van Gundy with the Heat and Don Nelson, Chris Mullin, Jerry West and the current ownership and management with the Warriors.
He was asked in a brief interview with Fox 5 news on whether it was necessary to start from scratch as he plans to rebuild, he replied swiftly by saying,
“You don’t automatically have to break down your roster to win”, continuing his response reminding the reporter,
“In Golden State we were still winning 36-37 games, even though we missed the playoffs, we stayed competitive all the way through. Just because you have a #1 pick doesn’t mean you’re going to have a franchise talent. Stephen was pick 7, Klay went 11th, Draymond Green went pick 35. Paul Millsap was second round as well. We will accumulate assets until the time is ready and we have enough to offer a superstar. ”
Powerful words from Schlenk in his first official day on the job. It all starts with the draft, the Hawks have the 19th, 31st, and 60th pick in this upcoming draft. Schlenk talked much about development of players and the importance each summer is to an organization.
He also stated how important the relationship between staff and ownership should be and explained simply,
“We are going to be extremely communicative from the top down, from ownership all the way down to the bottom of basketball operations,” Schlenk said. “Everyone is going to know what our goal is. They are going to know how they fit in that role, and we are all going to be pulling on the rope in the same direction.”
These next two months will be crucial for Atlanta, the roster could be shaped completely different or it could look the exact same. Either way we should be looking forward to seeing the final plan in place.