2:13pm: Vanterpool won’t be among the Hawks’ head coaching candidates after all, tweets Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
9:30am: The Hawks are the latest NBA team to embark on a search for a new head coach, having confirmed on Wednesday that they’ve parted ways with Mike Budenholzer, who had held the position since 2013. While there’s no presumed frontrunner to replace Budenholzer yet, a number of potential candidates have already emerged for Atlanta.
The Hawks are expected to talk to former Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale and current Trail Blazers assistant Nate Tibbetts about their head coaching position, a source tells Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. Fizdale has been one of this spring’s most popular head coaching candidates, having previously been linked to the Knicks, Suns, and Hornets. It’s the first time we’ve heard Tibbetts connected to one of the ongoing searches, however.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski adds a few more names to the Hawks’ list of candidates, reporting that the club is also expected to consider Hornets assistant Stephen Silas, Spurs assistants Ime Udoka and James Borrego, and another Trail Blazers assistant, David Vanterpool.
Borrego has been another assistant whose name has frequently popped up in coaching rumors this spring — he has been linked to the Knicks and Suns. Meanwhile, Silas was identified as a possible head coaching candidate in the wake of Steve Clifford‘s ouster in Charlotte. As Amick and Zillgitt note, Silas is “widely respected” around the NBA and was with the Warriors at the same time as current Hawks GM Travis Schlenk.
It’s no surprise that the initial group of candidates for the rebuilding Hawks includes a number of NBA assistants. Wojnarowski writes that the team wants to hire an up-and-coming coach who can evolve along with Atlanta’s young roster. Vanterpool, Silas, and Tibbetts all showed up near the top of a recent list of NBA assistants who should receive head coaching consideration — that list was voted on by about three dozen executives around the league.