Ime Udoka Among Candidates For Hawks’ Coaching Vacancy

The Hawks are considering Ime Udoka as a potential replacement for Nate McMillan, sources tell Marc Stein (Twitter link).

Rumors swirled about several prominent coaches after McMillan’s dismissal was announced Tuesday, but this is the first time we’ve heard Udoka as a possibility. Stein notes that Atlanta officials have only acknowledged former Jazz coach Quin Snyder as a candidate, but adds that he’s heard Bucks assistant Charles Lee mentioned frequently among his sources.

Udoka parted ways with the Celtics last week after the organization removed the interim tag from Joe Mazzulla, according to Brian Robb of MassLive. Udoka had been under suspension since September for having an affair with a staff member.

The 45-year-old could be one of the most sought-after names on the coaching market when the season ends, so Atlanta has the chance to lock him down before any other teams make coaching changes. In his only year as a head coach, Udoka took the Celtics to the NBA Finals last season.

Udoka was briefly considered the favorite to replace Steve Nash when he reached a mutual agreement with the Nets to step down in November, but protests regarding Udoka’s conduct in Boston convinced Brooklyn to move in a different direction and give the job to Jacque Vaughn. We’ll have to see if a similar situation arises involving the Hawks or any other franchise that may consider hiring Udoka.

In addition to the names mentioned above, Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, Kings assistant Jordi Fernandez, Spurs assistant Mitch Johnson, and South Bay Lakers coach Miles Simon are considered to be candidates in Atlanta’s coaching search. Interim head coach Joe Prunty will lead the team when it resumes its season on Friday.

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