ATLANTA (AP) - The Atlanta Hawks have entered a painfully early start to their offseason of uncertainty.
After advancing to the second round of the playoffs three straight years, the Hawks were eliminated in the first round with Thursday night's Game 6 loss at Boston.
Atlanta's players, bleary from lack of sleep, were told by coach Larry Drew in a final team meeting on Friday morning they should be proud of winning 40 regular-season games despite losing All-Star center Al Horford for almost the full season.
Drew and general manager Rick Sund are in the final years of their contracts. Nine players are free agents, leaving only the five starters and backup center Zaza Pachulia signed for next season.
Jeff Teague and other players said Friday they hope management keeps the team together.