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Hawks look to build chemistry after more turnover

Published on NewsOK Modified: October 1, 2013 at 6:30 pm •  Published: October 1, 2013

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks look like they're starting over.


After a disjointed season with a lame-duck coach and bunch of one-and-done players, the Hawks have kept up their rebuilding efforts with another summer of heavy turnover.

Only seven players return from a year ago, and even they'll face a bit of an adjustment having to mesh with a new coaching staff and style.

"Chemistry just takes time," guard Kyle Korver said. "We're not talking about weeks. Teams that have real chemistry, they have same team together for a couple of years at a time. They have several training camps together."

When camp began Tuesday with three days of workouts at the University of Georgia, building chemistry was a major focus. In fact, rookie coach Mike Budenholzer had that in mind when he set up the schedule, believing a few days outside of Atlanta would help speed the process.

He's also counting on his system bringing the players together.

"The way we want to play, starting defensively, where everybody knows their roles and assignments and there's a high degree of accountability, that builds a chemistry. They can hold each other accountable," Budenholzer said. "Offensively, moving the ball and sharing it, I just think there's a lot of different things this group is going to do well. Those things are going to help us build a great team chemistry."

The Hawks began this effort last summer when general manager Danny Ferry traded longtime starters Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams, largely to acquire players with expiring contracts and free up salary cap space. Ferry also declined to extend the contract of coach Larry Drew, who guided the patchwork team to the playoffs but was still let go after the season.

This summer was essentially Round 2 of the franchise's makeover. Josh Smith, who had played his entire career with the Hawks, signed with the Detroit Pistons. Backup center Zaza Pachulia, a fan favorite, wound up in Milwaukee along with Drew. The Bucks also tried to lure point guard Jeff Teague, but the Hawks matched a $32-million, four-year offer sheet.

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