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Q & A With Coach Bud At Summer League

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Q&A with Budenholzer: How will Hawks replace Carroll?

2:15 p.m. Tuesday, July 14, 2015 | Filed in: Hawks

Mike Budenholzer, the Hawks president of basketball operations and coach, took a moment away from the Las Vegas Summer League to sit down with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and discuss the offseason. Here are his thoughts about a number subjects including keeping Paul Millsap, losing DeMarre Carroll and adding Tiago Splitter.

Q: How important was it to re-sign Paul Millsap and how nerve-racking were those negotiations?

A: Having Paul come back was critical to our summer and critical to us in free agency. We feel great about hopefully continuing to grow and improve with him. I dont know what word I would use, but I wouldnt use nerve-racking. I think Paul handled it; he and (agent) DeAngelo (Simmons) were great. They worked with us well. You only get those opportunities occasionally in your career, and for them to take their time and hear opportunities and hear people out is understandable and expected. We feel great that ultimately they felt the fit was still as great as we think it is.

Q: Did it come down to you had to choose either Paul or DeMarre?

A: I dont know if I would characterize it that you had to choose one or the other. It may just be word play, but ultimately there is not enough for everybody. I think we value DeMarre, and he was a big part of our success. We will miss him. But sometimes you have to make hard decisions. I guess its part of the NBA of having a good team and having players who play well and deserve opportunities. I dont like to think of it as picking one over the other. I like to think of it as sometimes there is not enough for everything that you want.

Q: I know its early, but is there a starting point on how you might replace DeMarre?

A: Having Thabo (Sefolosha) having played for a year with us and having him know how we do things defensively and offensively. Hes played on really good teams and on teams in the finals and on teams that have had really good success. I think we are very hopeful that he gets healthy and ready. That gives you some confidence that there is a start. I think Kent Bazemores growth and development as the season progressed, including the playoffs. He is a unique player with his length and everything. Then adding Tim Hardaway Jr. and Justin Holiday gives us what we feel like is a lot of depth. You can argue there are big 2s and small 3s in our system, and the wings are interchangeable. Of course, defensively it helps to have some size. Thabo naturally has that. We might have to mush it around with some of the other guys a little bit, but we have good depth on the wing.

Q: What can you tell me about Tiago Splitter and what kind of role will he have with the team?

A: We feel great about adding Tiago to our group and to our front line. He is a smart player. His basketball IQ is through the roof. He is going to add a toughness to us. I think he can guard lots of different types of bigs. Hes a 5 but defensively he can go out and guard a LaMarcus Aldridge, a Dirk Nowitzki and some of the 4s who are more perimeter. Then he can go inside and guard the traditional 5s. So his versatility as a big is going to be really helpful. He is more of a traditional 5. Hes not going to be spacing the court like some of our bigs do. But hes a great passer, a great screen-setter. I think hes going to fit in very quickly and fill a role off the bench. I think he can play with Paul, he can play with Al (Horford), he can play with any of those guys. I think hes going to be very good for us. I think in the locker room he is going to be great too. He is a really good person. The city is going to love him. He is just genuinely easy-going, nice human being. On the court, he is tough and I think in the locker room he is going to be great.

Q: By adding Tiago and Edy (Tavares) is it fair to say that getting bigger was a priority this offseason?

A: No. Im probably a little bit stubborn, but we are looking for players that add to us and help us get better. I will always say if they are bigger, well take them. Im not anti-big. I think Edys ability to impact the game at 7-foot-3 is something that hopefully over time will really help us. It wasnt like we went into it saying weve got to get bigger. We think they are both going to be good players.

Q: Is there somebody from the summer league team that you have been impressed with and that we may see in training camp?

A: The group has worked hard. Its just like a typical summer league. They are busting their butts. I think Glenn Robinson III joined us a little bit late and has only got to play a couple of games, but I think hes an intriguing young player. I think (Terran) Petteway is somebody that went undrafted, but has done a lot of things at both ends of the court. We like that way hes handled himself in practices and preparation. And then I think Lamar (Patterson). He has a feel for the game and an understanding of the game. Even when he doesnt score a point, its not like, Oh, he must have been terrible. He does a lot of other things. Hes got a pace and a vision. I would say those three guys for the non-Mike Muscala, non-Edy Tavares who are kind of intriguing.

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