Hawks considering Ettore Messina as head coach, according to report

USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry is thinking outside of the proverbial NBA box in his search for a head coach. The latest rumor pegs a European coaching legend as a candidate.

Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry is giving "significant consideration" to hiring CSKA Moscow head coach Ettore Messina as the team's next head coach, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. No NBA team has ever hired a European-born coach as a head man, so the move would be an historic one for the league.

Messina has won four Euroleague Championships and two Coach of the Year awards. He previously worked in the NBA on Mike Brown's staff with the Lakers in 2011-12, and he is reportedly "intrigued with the chance to be a global trail blazer in the NBA." He and Ferry have discussed the possibility of the hiring, but Stan Van Gundy is still the team's top target.

For more on the Hawks' offseason, visit Peachtree Hoops

Head coach Larry Drew is technically still under contract as the coach of the Hawks, but Ferry has been active in searching for someone to replace him when his deal expires on June 30. Ferry interviewed former head coach Nate McMillan for the job on Wednesday, and he has granted Drew permission to talk with other teams.

This isn't the first time Ferry has taken interest in Messina. When Ferry was the GM of the Cavaliers, he sent Mike Brown overseas to study Messina's offense in action.

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