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Rick Sund (born June 4, 1951 in Elgin, Illinois) is an NBA executive who is the current GM of the Atlanta Hawks, replacing Billy Knight in 2008. He is a journeyman GM who hopes to help the Hawks maintain the position of playoff contender, which they finally achieved in 2008 after nine years of missing out.

Managerial career

Sund began his managerial career in 1974 with the Milwaukee Bucks after graduating from Ohio University with a degree in sports administration. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Northwestern University where he was a two-sport athlete, twice named academic All-Big Ten on the basketball squad, while also seeing action as a tight end and wide receiver on the football team. At Northwestern, he joined Delta Upsilon Fraternity. Source

The expansion Dallas Mavericks hired him in 1979 at 28 years of age, making him the youngest general manager in the NBA's history. He helped assemble the first ever Mavericks roster, and for the remainder of his multiple-year tenure around the organization, brought in Brad Davis, Rolando Blackman, Mark Aguirre and others. His 1986-87 Mavericks won a then-franchise record 55 games and took home the Midwest division crown. SourceMavericks history They reached the Western Conference Finals the next year, but fell to the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games.

He aided the then-rookie general manager of the former Seattle SuperSonics, Wally Walker in 1994. Source

He moved on to the Detroit Pistons in 1995-96, a rollercoaster five seasons at the helm of a talented team holding a young Grant Hill. They made the playoffs four of six seasons Sund ran the front office, and while they did so, Sund traded Hill, Allan Houston (to New York), and acquired Ben Wallace, setting up a pillar for Joe Dumars to build the team on in 2001.

Sund then left for the old Sonics, running the team for six seasons until the total revamping of the club by new owner and presumed "bad guy" Clay Bennett. Before any of the fracas that Seattle was involved in occurred, Sund traded for Ray Allen (using franchise figure Gary Payton), drafted talented young players like Nick Collison, and built his Sonics around Allen and fellow sharpshooter Rashard Lewis. Unfortunately, the SuperSonics made the playoffs but twice, although they captured the inaugural Northwest Division crown in the 2004-05 NBA season.

After his firing, as part of a clean sweep by Bennett to ultimately move the Sonics to Oklahoma (where coach Bob Hill was also canned, alongside every other major and minor executive), Sund was hired by the Hawks, who had fired Billy Knight despite their commitment to youth paying off. Even prior to season's start, sixth man Josh Childress bolted for Europe, but the subsequent acquisitions of Maurice Evans and Ronald "Flip" Murray more than filled Childress' hole. The Hawks clinched the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference during the 2008-09 NBA season, and beat the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs. Over the summer 2009, Sund's Hawks drafted Jeff Teague (and Sergei Gladyr), resigned free agents Mike Bibby, Zaza Pachulia, and Marvin Williams at affordable rates, acquired Jamal Crawford via trade of the useless Speedy Claxton and Acie Law, and signed free agents Joe Smith and Jason Collins.

Sources

HAWKS: Rick Sund Bio

Mavericks history

Sonics fire coach Hill, remove GM Sund in shakeup

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