NBA GMs: Hawks rookie Collins is draft ‘steal,’ Budenholzer among best game coaches

Hawks rookie John Collins (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

The NBA released its GM survey today and, as expected, the rebuilding Hawks didn’t receive any votes for the top four teams in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks got the sixth-most votes in that category before the 2016-17 season but since then have traded Dwight Howard to Charlotte and saw Paul Millsap and Tim Hardaway Jr. sign elsewhere as free agents.

However, Hawks coach Mike Budehnolzer, rookie forward John Collins and assistant coach Darvin Ham did receive recognition in the latest GM survey. (GMs were not allowed to vote for their own team or personnel.)

Budenholzer received the fifth-most votes among GMs who answered the question: “Which coach makes the best in-game adjustments?” He finished behind Rick Carlisle (Mavericks), Brad Stevens (Celtics), Gregg Popovich (Spurs) and Stan Van Gundy (Pistons). Budenholzer was named NBA coach of the year for the 2014-15 season in a vote of league media and broadcasters.

Collins was among the “also receiving votes” category in response to the question: “Which rookie was the biggest steal at where he was selected in the draft?” The Hawks selected Collins 19th overall out of Wake Forest. General manager Travis Schlenk recently said he thought Collins would be selected among the 14 lottery picks.

Ham was among those receiving votes from GMs who answered the question: “Who is the best assistant coach in the NBA?” Ham joined the Hawks staff before the 2013-14 season and was promoted to lead assistant in July 2016. Ham played 75 games for the Hawks during the 2002-03 season.

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