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NBA Rumors: Atlanta Hawks Targeting Stan Van Gundy for Head Coach?

May 2, 2012; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy during the fourth quarter of game three in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Amway Center. Indiana defeated Orlando 97-74. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

There have been a number of names that have crossed the rumor mill for the seemingly soon-to-be vacant Atlanta Hawks head coaching position. First, Mike Budenholzer of Gregg Popovich’s San Antonio coaching tree and then Quin Snyder with connections to General Manager Danny Ferry although way back to Duke in the 1980s have been passed around as a possible view into GM Danny Ferry’s short list of replacements for Larry Drew.

Now, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports has a report that Atlanta is interested in Stan Van Gundy. He last coached with the Orlando Magic from 2007 to 2012, a run that included an NBA Finals appearance. Wojnarowski even speculates that his hiring could help lure Dwight Howard to Atlanta.

The Hawks plan to make a hard push for free-agent center Dwight Howard on July 1, and there’s some belief that Van Gundy could actually turn out to be a benefit in recruiting Howard back to his hometown. [...] Howard has expressed some sentiment that he better appreciates Van Gundy as a head coach, despite their clashes together in Orlando that ultimately led to the coach’s firing after the 2011-12 season.

Van Gundy would be the first Hawks hiring with previous head coaching experience since Lenny Wilkens in 1994. Van Gundy previously coached the Miami Heat from 2003 to 2006, ending when Pat Riley took over the team in 2006 midseason. That season culminated in Riley bringing a championship to Miami-Dade County. Van Gundy has a career record of 371-208 for a winning percentage of 64.1% and numerous other accolades in his career on an NBA bench.

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