Things are moving rapidly in the Atlanta Hawks’ pursuit of former Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder to replace Nate McMillan whose firing was reported on February 22, the same day the players returned to practice.
“I’m told the Atlanta Hawks have offered their head coach job to Quin Snyder,” reported Shams Charania on ‘The Rally’ presented by Stadium on February 24. “And Quin Snyder’s doing his due diligence on the position, getting information on the job and exactly when he wants to make a final decision. But there are strong signs that he will accept the job and both sides are working to get a deal done.”
Charania’s report comes just hours after ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported that talks were “progressing” with Snyder and that a deal could be reached “within days”.
Wojnarowski noted the Hawks were prepared to make a “significant contractual commitment”.
According to Charania’s update, that deal could come in around $8 million annually for a coach in Snyder who the Hawks believe can help instill the vision held by the newly entrenched front office in terms of instilling accountability and helping to develop players among other things in areas where they fell short under McMillan.
Accountability was a huge theme for the players that spoke up on Wednesday. And it will be a particularly big one for Trae Young, says Charania.
“When you think about it from a Trae Young perspective, he hasn’t ever really had a superstar head coach,” Charania argued. “Yes, Nate McMillan is very accomplished. But when you think about head coaches right now, Quin Snyder is arguably the best coaching candidate on the market, one of the top coaches in the league. And so, he’s had Lloyd Pierce, expected to be there short term. He was there for only a couple years. Same thing with Nate McMillan. Here you have a guy in Quin Snyder where there’s going to be expectations from the moment he gets there – expectations on him, on Trae Young. This is going to be a star player and star coach relationship that we haven’t yet seen with Trae Young. And, at the end of the day, the bottom line is, there’s no more excuses in Atlanta for Trae Young and soon – potentially – Quin Snyder.”
The lack of media access to Young drove speculation that he was the guiding force behind McMillan’s ouster. General manager Landry Fields also said in no uncertain terms that he “would never” consult with players on such decisions.
Fields also said that he wouldn’t consult with players on the next head coach.
That would seem notable with Young’s recent Instagram posts fueling speculation over the possibility he could want former Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash.
Young dispelled that notion on Friday ahead of the Hawks’ tilt against the Cleveland Cavaliers as well as the idea that he did not get along with McMillan whom he said he has “nothing but love” for after he helped lead them to the Eastern Conference Finals.
“I don’t care, I don’t have any input,” he clarified to Alison Mastrangelo of WSB-TV. “I don’t care to give any input. I trust those guys up top, since I’ve been here I’ve always said that.”
Atlanta Hawks catch tough break with John Collins
Despite no official activity for the last nine days, the Hawks will be without forward John Collins who remains in the NBA’s concussion protocol after leaving the Hawks’ last game, a loss to the New York Knicks on February 15, in the third quarter.
There are no set timetables for a player to return to the floor from the league’s protocols beyond the initial 24-hour evaluation period.
Collins could very well make a full recovery and return to action for the Hawks’ next matchup, a showdown with the Nets on February 26 or in either of the next two games against the Washington Wizards and Portland Trail Blazers all of which will come at the friendly confines of State Farm Arena.