Lindsey withdraws from consideration to be Hawks' new GM

NEW ORLEANS -- The Atlanta Hawks' search for a new general manager lost perhaps its most prominent target Monday when San Antonio Spurs assistant GM Dennis Lindsey withdrew his name from contention.

Lindsey is in his first full season in San Antonio after spending 11 seasons with the Houston Rockets and has been reluctant to entertain outside interest after just 11 months with his new team in a new city. He was also pursued by the Milwaukee Bucks late in the regular season before the Bucks hired longtime Detroit Pistons executive John Hammond as their new front-office chief.

ESPN.com reported Friday that the Hawks had established an initial list of four candidates in their search to replace outgoing general manager Billy Knight. They are Portland Trail Blazers personnel scout John Gabriel, Washington Wizards vice president of basketball administration Tommy Sheppard and Boston Celtics assistant general manager Dave Wohl, in addition to Lindsey.

"Mr. Gearon has been terrific throughout the whole process and I greatly appreciate the Hawks' interest," Lindsey said Monday, referring to Hawks part-owner Michael Gearon Jr.

"Because of family considerations and professional considerations, I've decided to stay in San Antonio."

Lindsey is widely considered future GM material after his long stint with the Rockets and his move to San Antonio as the top aide to Spurs senior vice president/general manager R.C. Buford.

After winning three championships in the past five seasons, San Antonio has been repeatedly raided for executives in recent years. The Spurs moved in quickly for Lindsey last June after Seattle (Sam Presti) and Cleveland (Danny Ferry) had hired away two of Buford's more recent assistants.

Sources close to the process say that Knight -- widely expected to be fired after the Hawks were eliminated from the playoffs -- actually had the opportunity to stay with the Hawks on a one-year contract. But Knight elected to step down effective July 1 and is reportedly a candidate in New York to work alongside new Knicks president Donnie Walsh.

The fast-rising Sheppard -- who works as a lead assistant to Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld and was a finalist in Seattle for the job that went to Presti -- is also believed to be a candidate in New York.

Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. To e-mail him, click here.