After general manager Billy Knight delivered an abrupt resignation on Tuesday, Hawks ownership is expected to reach out to several candidates, including Billy King and Bernie Bickerstaff, NBA sources said.
King was the 76ers president and GM for five years, until getting fired in December. Nevertheless, several of his trades and draft picks reflect much more favorably on his tenure after the Sixers surged to the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. King and Knight are also considered strong candidates to join New York Knicks president Donnie Walsh in New York as general manager.
Unlike Knight, who pushed for his coach’s ouster this past season, King has a good relationship with the Hawks’ Mike Woodson. After pushing the Boston Celtics to a seventh game in the opening round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, Woodson is expected to receive a contract extension.
Bickerstaff, a 30-year NBA executive and coach, had been Charlotte’s top executive until Michael Jordan bought into the ownership group. He is still working in the Bobcats basketball operations with an executive VP title.
Several assistant GMs are expected to get consideration too, including Washington’s Tommy Sheppard, Cleveland’s Chris Grant and New Orleans’ Brian Hagen.