It is unorthodox, no question. Hawks general manager Danny Ferry is conducting a head coach search while Larry Drew still holds the position. Drew, under contract until June 30, is interviewing for other head coaching jobs in the NBA.

Not how it’s usually done. What makes the situation unique is that both sides are operating with an approach of complete honesty.

Ferry informed Drew following the season that he would talk and interview other candidates for the position while determining the direction of the franchise. Drew is still being considered for the job he did in leading the Hawks to another playoff berth. Ferry certainly didn’t have to inform Drew of his plans. He could have let Drew wait until the end of June before allowing him to move on. Or he could have cut ties with Drew shortly after the season-ending loss to the Pacers.

Ferry also didn’t have to allow Drew to interview for other positions since he is still under contract. When the NHL’s Thrashers were sold and moved from Atlanta to Winnipeg, Craig Ramsey was still the head coach. However, the new management let Ramsey sit and wait on his fate. When they finally granted him an interview, and subsequently made another hire, all the available head coach vacancies in the league had been filled. Ramsey eventually took an assistant coach position with the Panthers.

It has been an awkward situation for Drew. He made it known that he would like to continue to coach the Hawks. He also stated that he understands that Ferry inherited him as coach and has the right to find his own person for the job. He asked for, and was granted, the ability to seek another position while the process continues.