Quin Snyder

Hawks Notes: Coaching Staff, Snyder, Bogdanovic, Tax

Quin Snyder‘s coaching staff in Atlanta has grown by two members, according to Lauren Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (subscription required), who reports that the Hawks have hired Steven Klei as an assistant coach and Jeff Watkinson as an assistant with a focus on “integrative basketball development.”

As Williams outlines, both Klei and Watkinson worked with Snyder in Utah, though Watkinson is no stranger to Atlanta, having previously served as the Hawks’ strength and conditioning coach. According to Snyder, Watkinson is taking on something of a hybrid role in his second go-round with the team.

“He’s working right now with the front office in a player-development role,” Snyder said. “It’s kind of (the) line is blurred as far as him being able to do some stuff on the floor. That’s kind of something we’ve talked about, (Hawks general manager) Landry (Fields) and I, you want that type of intersection in different things, and some of it’s organic.”

Besides the two new additions, Snyder’s coaching staff is otherwise made of Nate McMillan‘s old assistants. According to Williams, most of those coaches still have at least one year left on their contracts, though it’s unclear what sort of changes Snyder might make to the staff during the offseason.

Here’s more on the Hawks:

  • In a conversation with David Aldridge of The Athletic, Snyder explained why the Hawks’ coaching job appealed to him and discussed the challenges of stepping into the role midway through the season. Snyder said his conversations with Hawks owner Tony Ressler, Fields, and assistant GM Kyle Korver (who played under Snyder in both Atlanta and Utah) helped convince him to take the job. “I didn’t anticipate this happening now, but it was intriguing enough,” Snyder said. “And then the more I learned about it, it just made sense to me, even though the timing wasn’t what you thought it would be, that it made sense to do.”
  • Bobby Marks of ESPN provides some additional information on Bogdan Bogdanovic‘s new extension with the Hawks, tweeting that the deal will begin at $18.7MM next season, then decline a little in subsequent seasons before staying flat for the final two years. The contract includes a $16.02MM team option in the fourth year, Marks adds.
  • Having locked up Bogdanovic, the Hawks now have approximately $162MM in guaranteed salaries on their books for 2023/24, according to Marks. Next season’s projected tax line? $162MM.

Hawks Notes: Young, Snyder, Lineups, Murray

The bond between maximum-salaried Hawks star point guard Trae Young and newly signed head coach Quin Snyder will be imperative to establish for the future of the club, per Jeff Schultz of The Athletic.

“My focus with Trae is on what lies ahead,” Snyder said. “It’s an opportunity for both of us to make each other better, to challenge him and for him to respond and grow. He’s had so much success at a young age, and this is a tough league and you become highly scrutinized with everything you do. The discussions we’ve had is, let’s just get better. I’m not going to be right all the time and that’s the partnership that allows people to grow together. That relationship is important to me and I think it’s important to him.”

Rumored tensions between Young and former head coach Nate McMillan clearly soured that duo’s dynamic, and seem to have played a part in McMillan’s firing late last month.

There’s more out of Atlanta:

  • Snyder elaborated on his decision to take over the head coaching gig midway through the 2022/23 season, as opposed to waiting to sign on until the summer, per ESPN/The Associated Press. “It’s always a challenge, but those challenges are often most rewarding and the best opportunity,” Snyder said. “As I thought about it, I think the opportunity to come in now, although maybe challenging, is also an opportunity to hopefully go on a run… Also, and I think these things are not mutually exclusive, to begin to build a foundation, a culture.”
  • Hard choices await Snyder with Atlanta, details John Hollinger of The Athletic. Hollinger opines that he may want to start by juicing up the team’s three-point shooting and moving new addition Saddiq Bey into the starting five for power forward John Collins. Hollinger also has a few other small improvements in mind for freeing up the club’s offense, as well as team-building ideas beyond 2022/23.
  • For his part, Hawks shooting guard Dejounte Murray appears to be excited to collaborate with Snyder, writes Lauren Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “For me, it’s his attention to detail,” Murray said of the element that most stands out in Snyder’s coaching technique. “He’s already been breaking down film, since there’s been a conversation for him to come here, and just listening to everything from defensive personnel to the offense of focusing on getting more mismatches and everything we want to do just to come together and build toward being a great team.”

Quin Snyder Named Hawks’ Head Coach

6:48pm: The Hawks have officially named Snyder as their head coach, according to a team press release.

“From our first conversation, it was clear that Quin had all the characteristics we were looking for in our next head coach. He has both an incredible basketball and emotional IQ, and we share the same core values and basketball philosophies of having honest communication and collaboration with players, tremendous attention to detail and placing a great emphasis on player development,” Fields said in a statement.

Snyder is a former Hawks assistant coach.

“I am thrilled to go back to Atlanta as the next head coach of the Hawks,” he said. “Landry has a tremendous reputation as an incredibly bright, high character, high quality individual and it was quickly evident that we share a passion and commitment to building a winning team with a strong foundation and high standards. I am excited to collaborate with Landry to create a successful program that devoted Hawks fans are proud of and cheer for and am grateful to Tony, Jami and the Ressler family for this opportunity.  My family and I are looking forward to immersing ourselves in the community and calling Atlanta home.”

6:07pm: Former Jazz coach Quin Snyder has agreed to become the Hawks’ head coach, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

Atlanta will give Snyder a five-year contract and he could be coaching as soon as Tuesday, when the Hawks face Washington.

Snyder replaces Nate McMillan, who was dismissed by the franchise on Tuesday. At the time, the Hawks were expected to conduct a wide-ranging search but they quickly focused on Snyder.

Snyder was Utah’s head coach from 2014-22 and compiled a 372-264 (.585) record during the regular season. However, the Jazz were unable to get over the hump in the postseason. They were 21-30 in the playoffs over the last six seasons, never getting past the Western Conference semifinals.

Assistant Joe Prunty served as the interim coach since McMillan was let go, including in a 129-127 win over Brooklyn on Sunday.

The Hawks chose to hire a permanent coach before the end of the season because they hope to make a deep run in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They also wanted to give Snyder a chance to start implementing his program while evaluating the roster in order to facilitate their offseason approach.

Snyder will have a significant say in player personnel matters, according to Woj. Snyder has been in talks with general manager Landry Fields, assistant GM Kyle Korver and owner Tony Ressler on a number of philosophical, team building and staff budgetary issues, Woj adds.

McMillan was named the club’s interim coach in March 2021 in place of Lloyd Pierce. Atlanta made a surprise run to the Eastern Conference Finals, prompting the Hawks to remove the interim tag and give him a four-year contract in July 2021.

The Hawks finished the regular season at 43-39 and lost in the first round of the playoffs last spring and were 29-30 when they fired him. Atlanta won both of its games under Prunty.

Hawks Offer Head Coaching Job To Quin Snyder

6:40pm: Atlanta is nearing a deal with Snyder, Wojnarowski said on NBA Countdown (Twitter video link).

5:17pm: The Hawks have offered their head coaching job to Quin Snyder and there are “strong signs” that the former Jazz head coach will accept the position, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports on The Rally (Twitter video link).

According to Charania, Snyder is still gathering information on the job and the organization, but it sounds as if it’s only a matter of time before he accepts the offer. Charania hears from sources that Snyder’s contract could be around $8MM per year, and the 56-year-old has “significant interest” in the opening.

Charania reported yesterday that Snyder was in formal negotiations with Atlanta and he looked like the team’s top choice. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Friday that Snyder and the Hawks were making progress in their discussions about a deal.

The Hawks fired former head coach Nate McMillan on Tuesday following a disappointing 29-30 start to the season. Assistant Joe Prunty was named interim coach, but that may be temporary.

Snyder spent eight years as head coach of the Jazz before resigning in June. He compiled a 372-264 record and took Utah to the playoffs in his final six seasons with the team. He is considered the best coach available on this year’s marketplace.

Western Notes: Jazz, Snyder, Vassell, Fox, Wiggins

The Jazz won’t seek any compensation from Atlanta if the Hawks move forward with Quin Snyder and hire him as their new head coach, reports Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune.

As Walden explains, Snyder technically resigned from his position as the Jazz’s head coach last June rather than being fired. Because Atlanta may hire Snyder before his contract with Utah would have expired, the Jazz would be entitled to seek compensation in the form of draft assets or cash before allowing him to officially join the Hawks.

[RELATED: Hawks, Quin Snyder Making Progress In Talks]

However, according to Walden’s source, the Jazz are comfortable with simply severing ties with Snyder and allowing him to accept whichever job best suits him without holding up the process.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • According to head coach Gregg Popovich, the Spurs are hoping swingman Devin Vassell will be able to return to action on March 2, the team’s next home game (Twitter link via Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News). Vassell has been out since January 2 after undergoing a left knee procedure.
  • Losing took a toll on De’Aaron Fox, who endured five consecutive sub-.500 seasons upon entering the NBA and saw the Kings‘ record-setting playoff drought reach 16 seasons. However, the team’s success this season has rejuvenated Fox, who admits that he’s “a lot happier,” per Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Now, Fox and his teammates are determined to make sure that the Kings’ strong play this season isn’t a “one-off,” as he explained during the All-Star break. “It’s great that this is the first year that it happens, but we kind of want to make this an annual thing,” Fox said.
  • Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins, who didn’t play in the last game before the All-Star break due to a family issue, remains away from the team for personal reasons. He missed Thursday’s contest and has been ruled out for Friday’s too. According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter links), head coach Steve Kerr was unable to provide additional details or a return timeline for Wiggins.

Hawks, Quin Snyder Making Progress In Talks

The Hawks‘ head coaching search continues to focus on Quin Snyder, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who reports that the two sides have made progress in their talks on a deal to make him Nate McMillan‘s permanent replacement. A resolution could come within the next few days, Wojnarowski adds.

As Wojnarowski outlines, Snyder has spent time this week discussing philosophy and team-building with general manager Landry Fields, assistant GM Kyle Korver, and Hawks owner Tony Ressler. Those conversations are giving the involved parties an opportunity to evaluate how a partnership would work.

Following the Hawks’ dismissal of McMillan on Tuesday, reports identified Snyder as one of several head coaching candidates who would receive consideration from the team. However, most of the other candidates mentioned – with the exception of former Celtics coach Ime Udoka – are currently under contract with other NBA teams, complicating Atlanta’s ability to pursue them immediately.

The Hawks promoted assistant Joe Prunty and named him their interim head coach, so they have the option of playing out the season with Prunty and conducting a more exhaustive search in the spring.

However, it appears Atlanta is interested in making a permanent hire sooner rather than later, and there’s nothing standing in the way of negotiating a deal with Snyder, who is the team’s top target, as Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Thursday. Snyder hasn’t taken another job since stepping down as the Jazz’s head coach last June.

Snyder is considered the best coach available on this year’s marketplace, and the Hawks are prepared to make a substantial financial commitment to him, according to Wojnarowski.

It remains possible that the Hawks and Snyder won’t ultimately come to an agreement — it’s worth recalling that the NBA’s most recent coaching search in Brooklyn appeared headed in one direction before the Nets pivoted away from Udoka and hired Jacque Vaughn instead. For the time being though, it appears the Hawks will focus on working things out with Snyder before seriously considering any other options.

Hawks Targeting Quin Snyder In Coaching Search

The Hawks are holding formal negotiations with Quin Snyder in hopes of hiring him as their next head coach, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Sources tell Charania that Snyder, who is reportedly out of the country, had a virtual meeting with Atlanta officials on Wednesday and the sides are hoping to meet in person soon. Charania’s sources add that Snyder appears to be the team’s main target and the Hawks would like to get a deal in place soon.

There is “mutual interest” between Snyder and Atlanta, Charania adds, as management views him as someone who can improve the team’s culture on and off the court.

Snyder spent eight years as head coach of the Jazz before resigning in June. He compiled a 372-264 record and took Utah to the playoffs in his final six seasons with the team. Snyder was expected to take a year off from coaching to consider his next move, but the opportunity with Atlanta might be too good to pass up.

The Hawks fired Nate McMillan on Tuesday following a disappointing 29-30 start to the season. Atlanta was hoping to be among the top teams in the East after paying a high price to acquire Dejounte Murray in an offseason trade, but the club was floundering amid reported locker room tension and a shakeup in the front office.

As the only team currently in the market for a head coach, the Hawks have the advantage of being able to pursue their preferred choice with no competition. Other rumored candidates include Bucks assistant Charles Lee, Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, Kings assistant Jordi Fernandez, Spurs assistant Mitch Johnson, South Bay Lakers coach Miles Simon and former Celtics head coach Ime Udoka.

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.

Hawks’ Fields Discusses McMillan’s Dismissal, Coaching Search

Addressing reporters in a press conference a day after dismissing head coach Nate McMillan, Hawks general manager Landry Fields framed the decision as a difficult but necessary one, per Lauren Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

According to Fields, the possibility of a coaching change had been on his radar for “the last month or so,” and he finalized the decision to make the move over the All-Star break after the Hawks closed the first half with losses to Charlotte and New York.

Asked about reports that McMillan considered resigning earlier in the season, Fields said that the Hawks’ coach never expressed that desire to him.

Fields also stated that Atlanta has already begun speaking to potential candidates to replace McMillan on a permanent basis, confirming that Quin Snyder is among the options the team will consider (Snyder was identified by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski as a leading candidate). The Hawks’ general manager declined to confirm any other names on Atlanta’s list of possible targets, explaining that he didn’t want to discuss anyone who’s under contract with another club.

Here are a few more highlights from Fields’ Wednesday presser, as relayed by Williams:

On whether Trae Young or any other Hawks players had input in the decision to dismiss McMillan:

“They did not have any role in this decision. I would not ever go to players on something like this. This was solely my decision at the end of the day. As far as a new candidate, to me our objectives and our values are clear. And the players fall in line with those, as well. So (I) don’t necessarily need their feedback on who that will be.”

On whether McMillan’s relationship with Young was part of the reason for his ouster:

“No, I think that at the end of the day, it came down to how all players were responding to his voice, and I just didn’t see it. I didn’t see the trajectory going anywhere that was going to be beneficial for us.”

On what qualities the Hawks are looking for in their next permanent head coach:

“Well, it always starts with a shared vision. And I always simplify that as being a championship-caliber franchise. And that’s not just with our goals, that’s our day-in-and-day-out approach.

“Character is something that is going to be high on our list, and I think it’s a big broad word but for us, having a great degree of emotional intelligence being able to connect not just with staff members, but also with players, is gonna be high on the list. Somebody that is able and willing to hold the line, accountability is huge for us. And then at the end of the day has a strong emphasis on development. That is something that we will be making sure is part of our priorities here with Atlanta. So, those would be some to start.”

On his expectations for the Hawks going forward:

“I believe we can get a lot better. I think that this is a very talented roster. And looking at our record, like it’s not acceptable with what I believe this roster can be. So that’s why we’re trying to make a change and level up.”

Hawks Dismiss Head Coach Nate McMillan

5:01pm: The Hawks have issued a press release, confirming McMillan’s dismissal as well as Prunty’s promotion to interim head coach.

“I would like to thank Nate for his leadership and professionalism during his time with the Hawks. He is truly a class act, and we appreciate the graciousness and work ethic he brought with him every day,” Hawks GM Landry Fields said. “Decisions like these, especially in-season, are always extremely difficult, but we believe it’s in the best interest of our team to move forward with another voice leading the way.”

4:24pm: The Hawks have fired head coach Nate McMillan, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

Atlanta is one of the league’s most disappointing teams. The Hawks currently rank eighth in the Eastern Conference with a 29-30 record.

Assistant Joe Prunty will be the interim coach, but the franchise is looking at some bigger names to become the permanent head coach, according to Wojnarowski.

Former Jazz coach Quin Snyder tops the list of candidates with Bucks assistant Charles Lee and Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson also on the Hawks’ radar (Twitter links). The team will conduct a wide-ranging search, which will begin immediately.

The Hawks have one of the league’s top point guards in Trae Young and made a blockbuster trade to acquire Dejounte Murray from San Antonio as his backcourt partner. Yet, they have floundered around the .500 mark for much of the season.

McMillan was named the club’s interim coach in March 2021 in place of Lloyd Pierce. Atlanta made a surprise run to the Eastern Conference Finals, prompting the Hawks to remove the interim tag and give him a four-year contract in July 2021.

The Hawks finished the regular season at 43-39 and lost in the first round of the playoffs last spring. A report surfaced last month that stated McMillan was unlikely to remain the head coach beyond this season.

Young has had disagreements with McMillan, although their relationship has reportedly been smoother since an incident that was highly publicized in early December. McMillan had reportedly considered resigning this season, but team officials were able to talk him out of it.

Prunty was the Bucks’ interim head coach during the 2017/18 season and finished with a 21-16 record. Milwaukee lost to Boston in the opening round of the playoffs that season.

Prunty has been an assistant on eight NBA teams. He spent a season with Phoenix and wasn’t in the league for two years before joining the Atlanta staff prior to last season.