Hawks Notes: Pierce, McMillan, Collins, Huerter

Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce expects to miss the team’s next two games to attend the birth of his second child, he told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. Barring unexpected postponements, the next two games on Atlanta’s schedule are Wednesday and Friday in Boston against the Celtics.

As Spears writes, associate head coach Nate McMillan will assume interim head coaching duties in Pierce’s absence. McMillan has no shortage of past experience, with lengthy head coaching stints for the Pacers, Trail Blazers, and SuperSonics — he ranks 22nd on the NBA’s all-time list with 661 wins as a head coach.

Here’s more on the Hawks:

  • In an in-depth look at John Collins‘ situation in Atlanta, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report cites one front office executive who says the Hawks are “not in love with him” and writes that the two sides never got close to agreeing to a rookie scale extension before the season. Still, there’s an expectation around the league that Atlanta won’t actively try to trade Collins before this season’s deadline, Fischer notes.
  • Assuming the Hawks do keep Collins through the end of the season, rival executives don’t expect the team to let him walk for nothing, like the Kings did with Bogdan Bogdanovic this past offseason. Matching an offer or working out a sign-and-trade appears more likely. “They’re gonna make sure they get something for him,” one executive told Fischer.
  • Within the same story, Fischer says that although Kevin Huerter was available via trade last fall, rival teams now have “little sense” that the third-year wing is on the block.
  • The Hawks’ recent slump shows how badly the team misses De’Andre Hunter, especially on defense, writes Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Without Hunter on the court, the team’s defensive rating is just 115.2, compared to 105.9 when he plays.
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