ATLANTA (AP) — Hawks general manager Danny Ferry says that he hasn't lost confidence in first-year coach Mike Budenholzer with training camp beginning next week.
Ferry anguished when Budenholzer, an assistant in San Antonio the last 19 years, was arrested last month on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol.
But Ferry says Budenholzer's legal issue is taking its course and won't affect the Hawks as they open camp Tuesday in Athens at the University of Georgia.
"It's an important issue, and it's one that I respect," Ferry said. "I also respect that there's a legal process going on. As I said, I'll support Bud as he goes through the whole thing."
Budenholzer's hiring in late May was the first big move made in the offseason by Ferry, who signed forwards Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll as free agents, re-signed point guard Jeff Teague and swingman Kyle Korver and drafted German point guard Dennis Schröder with the 17th overall pick.
Ferry decided to let Josh Smith, who tantalized and frustrated Atlanta fans over the last nine seasons, leave as a free agent for Detroit. Larry Drew, the Hawks' head coach over the last three years and an assistant under Mike Woodson for six years before that, departed for Milwaukee.
Ferry won't publicly place a timeline on the potential return of eighth-year shooting guard Lou Williams from reconstructive knee surgery.
Williams, who averaged 14.1 points in his first season with the Hawks, was injured last January. Ferry said his rehab has gone well.
"He's really had a good last few months," Ferry said. "It was hard at first because he's never been injured, but he's worked hard to get back. We're not going to set timeline. He's in the mode now of playing one-on-one and has no restrictions in doing so."
Along with Korver, Millsap, Williams and reserve center Elton Brand, Ferry likes the veteran nucleus he's built around two-time All-Star center and franchise centerpiece Al Horford.
The Hawks don't exactly see themselves as contenders for a championship this season, but Ferry believes Budenholzer, who's worked countless practice sessions with San Antonio's Big Three — Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli — has a solid group of role models in the locker room.
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