Danny Ferry's Post-Draft Quotes

Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images

Here's what Hawks President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry said after the NBA Draft Thursday night in response to questions from the media:

Opening Statement after drafting Payne:

“We want to play with pace and space, and Adreian is someone that can do both. From being able to run the court and compete on both ends, along with being able to shoot the basketball, he fits the way we want to play. Along with that, Michigan State guys are guys that we like. They play with a high level of competitiveness. It’s a program that we greatly respect, and obviously he’s been raised the right way by Tom Izzo and Michigan State. Excited to have him.”

You consider him a stretch four then? Someone who can shoot a three?

“He’s a stretch big. He’ll be able to shoot and open the court up for our guards and everybody in general. That’s something we value.”

You’ve spoken a lot in the past about wanting character guys, was his character something that helped make your decision?

“He’s a good young man,” Ferry said. “We look forward to getting to know him even more. Coming from a program like Michigan State and being around Tom Izzo and the values that program has, and playing in a style that we think fits the style that we play. We like shooting, we like guys that can get up and down. I think he’s a good fit for what we’re trying to do.”

Because he’s a little older and not a guy who’s like a freshman or sophomore is he a guy that can help you right away?

“I don’t know. That’s something they’ll have to determine on the court, but he is a little older with four years of college, and where we were drafting that may be a good thing. He might’ve been a little undervalued because he’s older. Sometimes we overvalue the younger guys and undervalue the guys who have been in college for four years. Hopefully this is one of those instances.”

What are the advantages of having somebody from that type of program who stays for all four years? What are the advantages of bringing someone like that to your team?

“Playing for a guy like Tom Izzo for four years can be nothing but good. He’s a terrific coach and he’s a mentor to the young guys he has. We have tremendous respect for the program and Adreian’s been raised the right way, and hopefully we can help him continue his development as a person and a player. Again, he fits the values and the way we want to play.”

Last year you go with Lucas and Dennis, guys who you need to develop and can have an impact somewhere down the road, is Adreian a guy who can come in and contribute immediately?

“We’re trying to develop everyone. I think Kyle Korver got better last year. I think DeMarre Carroll got better last year. We’ll want Dennis and we’ll want Adreian to get better as well. That’s a pillar for us, having a strong player development focus, and we feel like we do a good job with that. Another good challenge for our group and we look forward to that.”

Did you work Payne out?

“Yes”

Edy Tavares. Did you get a chance to look at him a lot with Lucas and Mike [Muscala] in Spain?

“You know, Walter is an interesting player. Obviously his size is unique, but he’s also a guy that’s a very hard worker and a young player and only been playing for a few years. We felt like it was a good risk to take, and we look forward to helping him develop going forward.”

What do you think about his athleticism?

“He’s made great progress over the last couple of years as it relates to his athleticism, and he’s an interesting player. He’s a kid that will work hard and do the things that he needs to do and 7'3", 260 pounds, we felt like with where we were picking, it was a very good opportunity for us to try.”

The two picks that you made, what can you tell us now that you have a draft as a whole, were there chances to do other things [with those picks]?

“There were lots of conversations throughout the league on different ways to move up, move down, move around, move a player. In the end, I feel like in the first round getting a big who’s got pretty good college experience that can play the way we want to play, and in the second round Walter is a very interesting player, and if we can help him develop we might have something unique. Lasty. Lamar is a player that just knows how to play basketball. Smart, good feel for the game. Good passer, and he would fit into our system in regards to just his ability to see the court and pass the ball.”

Three years in, with all the picks you’ve made, and bringing in Coach Bud and installing a system, where do you feel you are?

“It feels like I’ve been here for a short time. I think in some ways it hasn’t been three years. It’s been a lot of change over the last year in establishing an identity in who we want to be and how we want to play, and I feel like we made great progress with that last year and we need to keep chipping away at that. Continue to build an even stronger identity and get better at that, and get good players. At the end of the day, this is about players. The system that we play, all of the things that we do hopefully puts them in the best position to succeed, but we have to get good players.”