Quin Snyder nearing deal to become coach of the Atlanta Hawks, per report
Queen Snyder and the Atlanta Hawks are close to an agreement to appoint the former Utah Jazz leader as their new head coach. Shams Charania from Athletic. Snyder’s new contract will bring him about $8 million a year. Atlanta fired Nate McMillan on Tuesday, and although reports initially said they planned to conduct a thorough search for a head coach, they quickly settled on Snyder as their candidate.
Snyder coached the Jazz for eight seasons and achieved great success there. Utah has made the playoffs in six of his eight years at the helm and set the NBA’s best regular season record in the 2020–21 season. Known for his powerful offense and fall defense, Snyder was a finalist for the NBA Coach of the Year award in 2018 and 2021.
But his jazz teams fell short in the playoffs year after year. The Jazz were knocked out by the Dallas Mavericks a season ago despite Luka Doncic starting his first-round streak with an injury. A year earlier, they were eliminated by the Clippers in the second round, despite Kawhi Leonard missing the last two games of the series. In the 2020 Orlando bubble, they lost to the Denver Nuggets 3-1 in the first round.
These defeats eventually led to the team’s breakup. Snider retired after last season, and Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert were traded. The Jazz, now run by Will Hardy, has been one of the sweetest stories of the 2022-23 season with a 30-31 record.
The Hawks have an almost identical 29-30 record, but their season isn’t rated as well. Unlike Utah, Atlanta has reached the conference finals in the recent past thanks to a stellar run in 2021. However, they were knocked out in the first round last season, and after struggling to hit .500 basketball this season, the Hawks quickly moved on from McMillan.
If Snyder does land in Atlanta, he’ll be taking on a job that comes with a lot of challenges in the near future. Key players Clint Capela, Bogdan Bogdanovich and DeAndre Hunter have dealt with injuries in recent seasons. Rookie DeJonte Murray, for whom the Hawks traded a catch, is virtually non-renewable under current CBA rules, so the Hawks have less than two years to convince him to stay in place as a 2024 free agent.
And then there’s Trae Young, an NBA point guard who’s as brilliant with the ball as any basketball player. He gets into trouble when he doesn’t have one. Young has not developed as a scorer or off-the-ball defender since being selected No. 5 overall in 2018. In December, due to disagreements with McMillan, Young did not show up for a game against the Nuggets. Yang is a symbol of the challenges that will come with this job. The Hawks are a talented but imperfect young team, and Snyder will have to work hard to turn them into winners.