Monday June 8th, 2015

Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry is not expected to return to the team, according to a report from Jeff Schultz of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Ferry has been on indefinite leave of absence since September, when an audio recording of him discussing free-agent-to-be Luol Deng emerged after a June conference call with Atlanta ownership and management.

Ferry was heard saying, "[Deng is] a good guy overall but he's not perfect. He's got some African in him. And I don't say that in a bad way.”

Deng was traded last season from the Chicago Bulls to the Cleveland Cavaliers and eventually signed a two-year, $20 million deal with the Miami Heat.

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Schultz writes that there are three scenarios for Ferry, but only two that are plausible:

• Ferry resigns: This is the favorite. It could happen any day. The Hawks likely would agree to pay off the balance of Ferry’s contract and it would allow him to make an exit statement along the lines of, “I’m proud of the work I did here but I feel it’s the best for all parties to move on.”

• Ferry is fired: It doesn’t serve anybody to have this thing end ugly, least of all Ferry, who wants to get another job (and will). But he has been resistant to leaving, loves living in Atlanta and it may come to this.

• Ferry is kept: Think “PowerBall” odds.

This season Atlanta posted the best record in the Eastern Conference (60-22) and reached the Eastern Conference Finals, where it fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In April, Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said Ferry is the person most responsible for compiling roster, which included four players selected to participate in the All-Star game.

- Scooby Axson and Chris Johnson

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