Atlanta Hawks make move on candidate to replace Nate McMillan: Report

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports /

We might not see Atlanta Hawks interim head coach Joe Prunty sitting in the big chair very long amid reports that there was a “formal” discussion with confirmed candidate Quin Snyder, formerly of the Utah Jazz to replace the recently fired Nate McMillan, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (subscription required). Snyder stepped down from his post after last season as the Jazz underwent a major overhaul of their roster just completed at the trade deadline.

The 56-year-old spent the 2014 season on the staff o Mike Budenholzer in Atlanta and went on to earn a .585 winning percentage.

“I strongly feel they need a new voice to continue to evolve,” Snyder said in a statement announcing his resignation via “That’s it. No philosophical differences, no other reason. After 8 years, I just feel it is time to move onward. I needed to take time to detach after the season and make sure this was the right decision.”

Snyder led Utah to six straight playoff appearances, though never beyond the second round.

That is not a harbinger of success or failure but he would not be the first head coach to achieve greater success with a Hawks team that went to the Eastern Conference Finals just two seasons ago.

To forward John Collins’ point, though, this is a different team and needs a “different kind of guidance” hence the change from McMillan.

Snyder has been linked to the position since last June amid questions about McMillan’s abilities.

“I don’t know how I can make it any more clear,” Jazz general manager Justin Zanik said Friday, the day after the Jazz’s first-round playoff exit, per Sarah Todd of Deseret News. “Quin Snyder is one of the best coaches in the NBA. There is no other partner that I would rather have as a coach, a leader of our players and a partner in the front office, than Quin Snyder.”

Jazz president Danny Ainge said he “desperately” wanted Quin to remain in Utah.

As for his former superstar, Donovan Mitchell, who is now lighting things up for the Cleveland Cavaliers?

“I love Quin,” Mitchell said, according to Todd. “He’s a guy that gave me an opportunity when I first got here — entrusted in me, believed in me. … And you know, we’re not like a big-market team that gets talked about every day but there is talk. And I think he’s done a phenomenal job of continuing to lead us and improve and I love him.”

That’s a strong endorsement.

Trae Young’s Preference for Atlanta Hawks HC May Already Be Known

Connecting with the players was something of a theme from Collins – the longest-tenured player of the team – to general manager Landry Fields with player development right up there as a priority for the next head coach.

But, if the team’s franchise player, Trae Young, is not fully on board, then what?

It’s treacherous water that Fields has to navigate, though he has clearly shown a willingness to jump right into the changes that he – and ownership – want to make after diminishing returns in the postseason and a slower-than-anticipated start to the campaign this season at 29-30 sitting in eighth in a jumbled-up East.

Young shared a set of images on his Instagram account and, in two of those images, he was wearing a Steve Nash jersey.

He has not said anything to the media since McMillan was fired after being excused from practice the last two days but has previously chosen to keep in-house matters as just that, a path teammates chose when pressed to get specific about certain things.

Next. Hawks stars get brutally honest about former HC Nate McMillan. dark

The Hawks are believed to have a large pool of candidates including the controversial Ime Udoka. But Snyder is said to be at the top of it which could lead to a swift resolution.