The Jazz have been given the green light to talk to several well-regarded current assistant coaches about their head coaching vacancy, per Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim MacMahon of ESPN.
Several of the names Woj and MacMahon mention had been floated as possibilities in reports earlier this week, but Celtics assistant coach Joe Mazzulla joins an expanding list of assistant coaches under consideration by Jazz brass.
As Jared Weiss of The Athletic tweets, Mazzulla worked as an assistant coach under both Brad Stevens and now Ime Udoka in Boston, and has assumed a more significant role while on Udoka’s bench this season. Mazzulla interviewed for the head coaching position with Boston in 2021 after Stevens moved into a front office role with the franchise and will get an opportunity to meet with the Jazz this spring.
Woj and MacMahon indicate that Utah is also set to interview current Jazz assistant Alex Jensen, who served on the staff of departed head coach Quin Snyder, along with former Blazers coach Terry Stotts, Knicks assistant Johnnie Bryant, Celtics assistant Will Hardy, and Bucks assistant coach Charles Lee. These five candidates had been included on the team’s preliminary list.
Suns assistant coach Kevin Young and Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin were previously cited as possible candidates, but they weren’t mentioned in today’s ESPN report.
The other key piece of new information from Wojnarowski and MacMahon is that the coaching search is anticipated to expand further to include both assistants and recent NBA head coaches. According to ESPN’s duo, the team will cast a wide net and move gradually in its search.
In eight seasons with Snyder at the helm, Utah never advanced beyond the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. This year, the Jazz finished with a 49-33 regular season record and lost 4-2 in the first round to the Mavericks.