Working Out Without a Coach

Philip Maymin
Basketball News Services 

The fact that Atlanta doesn't have a head coach yet is not stopping them from bringing in players for workouts starting today. Here's who the Hawks will work out today: swingman Michael Haynes of Fordham, shot-blocking center Herve Lamizana of Rutgers, forward James Moore of New Mexico State, and Croatian forward Damir Omerhodzic who is said to have NBA three-point range. They will also start interviewing Denver's John MacLeod these next few days, and then Seattle's Dwane Casey later in the week.

Quite a busy week for the Hawks. Their stated goal is to get a head coach in place by July 1. For those of you without calendars, that means they'll be getting a coach after the draft lottery, after the expansion draft, and after the first and second round of the regular draft.

In other words, getting a coach by July 1 would leave the new head coach in the exact same position Terry Stotts was in last year. Who are these players? What do they do? What are their skills, their weaknesses? Who knows? How long will they even be here?

Today's player workouts feature two forwards, a center, and a swingman. All of them are projected to go no earlier than the second round. The Hawks have two first round picks and three second round picks. Many GMs consider second round picks quite valuable because the players are not guaranteed a contract and can be cut from the roster without any money having been spent. They can also be used to pick up players and ship them overseas to develop while retaining their draft rights.

The Hawks have 104 chances of winning one of the top three picks in the draft.

You can check out the career stats for the players coming in to practice tonight: Michael Haynes, Herve Lamizana, James Moore, andDamir Omerhodzic.


The Associated Press writes inAccess North Georgia:The Hawks are reportedly looking at a Denver Nuggets associate coach as a replacement to former coach Terry Stotts. John MacLeod is expected to meet with Hawks executives Tuesday through Thursday.The 66-year-old has already said he does not plan to return to Denver next season after his contract expires in June. He ranks 14th on the list of all-time NBA victories at 707 games. The Hawks are also slated to interview Seattle associate head coach Dwane Casey later in the week. The Hawks return to practice Tuesday to begin workouts for the June 24th draft.

The Associated Press and Seattle Times staff write inThe Seattle Times: The Sonics granted permission to associate head coach Dwane Casey to speak with Atlanta about the Hawks' vacant coaching position.Casey, whose contract with Seattle expires next month, is expected to meet with the Hawks tomorrow. He is among several candidates for the job, including Dallas assistant Del Harris and Denver associate head coach John MacLeod. Atlanta fired Terry Stotts, a former Sonics assistant who worked with Casey, on May 6. The Hawks reportedly would like to hire a coach before July 1. Last year, Casey interviewed with the Toronto Raptors and was linked to the opening in Milwaukee. He has spent 10 years in Seattle and assumed his current position in 2000.

Adam Thompson ofThe Denver Postwrites: Nuggets associate head coach John MacLeod said Monday he will begin two days of interviews with the Atlanta Hawks today to discuss their head coaching vacancy."I'm excited about it," he said. "I think it could be a good situation." According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Dallas assistant Del Harris interviewed with the Hawks on Monday and Seattle assistant Dwane Casey also will interview this week.

Michael Lee ofThe Atlanta Journal-Constitutionwrites: The Hawks will focus their attention on Denver Nuggets associate head coach John MacLeod today as the team continues its search to replace former coach Terry Stotts.MacLeod declined to comment when reached Monday afternoon by telephone, but he is expected to meet with the Hawks through Wednesday. MacLeod, who ranks 14th on the NBA coaches all-time list with 707 victories, has not hidden his desire to return to the NBA head coaching ranks.

Michael Lee ofThe Atlanta Journal-Constitutionwrites: In addition to finding a new coach, the Hawks will also begin workouts today in preparation for the June 24 draft.The first players expected to arrive are swingman Michael Haynes of Fordham, Rutgers' Herve Lamizana, forward James Moore of New Mexico State and Croatian forward Damir Omerhodzic. The Hawks have five picks in the draft -- two first-rounders and three second-rounders -- and Knight said he plans to look at 50 to 60 players.