Travis Schlenk doesn’t provide a lot of detail, but it is clear that the decision to part ways happened over several conversation during the past few weeks. This wasn’t something they were thinking about during the season. Schlenk emphasized “it wasn’t negative on either side” but it was time for both sides to move on.
A common point I noticed in the interview questions and in print from Atlanta reporters was the decision to let Budenholzer speak to other teams:
This split was driven by Budenholzer, but it’s not like the Hawks handled it perfectly, either. Schlenk allowed the coach to interview for other jobs. By doing so, he created a situation that made the organization look silly — and looking silly is the last thing the Hawks need. They majored in silly under previous ownership. After two weeks of this drama playing out publicly, and with no clear resolution in sight, Ressler and Schlenk likely understood something had to be done to end the embarrassment.
So why did the Hawks agree to part ways without compensation?
Ressler and Schlenk would have liked to leverage another team’s interest in Budenholzer to get draft pick compensation. But the longer this dragged on, the less time it would give the two to begin interviewing other candidates.