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Hawks coaches bracing for decision on future

Marc J. Spears
Yahoo Sports

Atlanta Hawks coach Larry Drew and his staff have begun exploring other job opportunities in anticipation of the possibility they won't be retained, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

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Larry Drew has taken the Hawks to the playoffs each of the past three seasons. (AP)

Hawks general manager Danny Ferry is expected to make a final decision by the middle of this week, sources said. One source close to the coaching staff believes there is a "slim chance" the coaches will be brought back because Ferry has often talked about changing the franchise's culture.

The contracts of Drew and his staff expire July 1.

Drew has a 128-102 record in three seasons as head coach of the Hawks and has guided the team to the playoffs in each season. The Hawks went 44-38 this season and secured the Eastern Conference's No. 6 playoff seed after Ferry overhauled the roster by trading star guard Joe Johnson and the remaining $90 million on his contract to the Brooklyn Nets.

Drew's regular-season winning percentage of .557 is better than the Hawks' previous two coaches; the New York Knicks' Mike Woodson was .419 in six seasons in Atlanta and the Portland Trail Blazers' Terry Stotts was .380 across nearly two seasons.

The Hawks' season ended Friday when they lost their first-round series to the Indiana Pacers in six games. Forward Josh Smith will be one of several Atlanta free agents this summer. Starting center Al Horford and reserve guards Lou Williams and John Jenkins are the only players with guaranteed contracts next season.

The Hawks are expected to be a major player in free agency this summer with around $40 million in salary-cap room.

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