Breaking News: Atlanta Hawks hire away a Golden State Warriors Big executive, again

Atlanta hired Onsi Saleh to be their assistant GM, 16 months after replacing

Seven years ago, the Atlanta Hawks hired Travis Schlenk to be their new general manager. Now, they’re hiring a different Warriors executive to their front office.

Onsi Saleh was the Warriors’ team counsel, as well as vice president of basketball strategy. Before that, Saleh spent five years working for the San Antonio Spurs, where he also provided legal counsel and worked in basketball strategy, particularly regarding the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. In other words, he’s a salary cap expert, though he’s not limited to that job.

The Hawks made big organizational changes last season, which included easing out Schlenk and putting general manager Landry Fields in charge. They also fired head coach Nate McMillan and brought in former Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder.

The changes were spurred by the increased role of Nick Ressler, son of Hawks owner Tony Ressler and actress Jami Gertz, from “Twister.” He’s hired new staff around him, including former “Dubs Talk Live” host Grant Liffman, a close friend of Fields, and one-time Hawks All-Star Kyle Korver, who will reportedly work in parallel with Saleh as assistant general managers.

What does this mean for the Warriors? They need to hire a new lawyer who knows the CBA, for one. It doesn’t necessarily indicate Saleh’s unhappiness, or Mike Dunleavy Jr. cleaning house, as the new job is a clear promotion for Saleh. Dunleavy said there’s no mandate from ownership that the team gets under the luxury tax, but we can probably assume that after losing in the play-in tournament, the Warriors are going to get under the luxury tax. They won’t have Saleh to help guide them, but it doesn’t take a CBA expert to text Joe Lacob, “Release Chris Paul.”

For the Hawks, it may mean they’re planning on shaking up the roster, just like they shook up the front office. It’s always unpredictable when one of the key decision makers for an NBA team is a 28-year-old who’s closely related to the owner. (Don’t worry, Kirk & Kent Lacob are over 30!) But Atlanta likely has an untenable situation with Trae Young and Dejounte Murray, two former All-Stars who play much better when the other is on the bench. Maybe Atlanta could use the steadying veteran influence of a Chris Paul?

For now, Atlanta will add Saleh to the front office. According to The Athletic, one reason Schlenk was no longer with the Hawks (he’s now a Washington Wizards vice president) is that he opposed the trade for Murray. While history has vindicated that move, it has not vindicated his trading Luka Doncic for Young on draft night, even if he picked up an extra first-round pick in the process. When your prize for passing on a generational superstar is Cam Reddish, it’s not good for your job security.

Perhaps this hire will work out well for the Hawks, while the Warriors are scrambling. Maybe they can look to “Dubs Talk Live.” How well does Kerith Burke know salary cap rules?

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