Littered with connections from his days with the Utah Jazz and at Duke, as well as groundbreaking hires, it now adds a former top-10 pick.
“Seven-year NBA vet and former No. 6 pick Ekpe Udoh is joining the Atlanta Hawks coaching staff under Quin Snyder, tweeted Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium on June 13. “Udoh also won a EuroLeague championship in 2017.”
Udoh, 36, spent time with four organizations – the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Jazz under Snyder – in his career. The 6-foot-10 big man averaged 3.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game for his career in the NBA, just retiring from basketball earlier this year.
Udoh, who Joins Antonio Lang as the only former NBA players on the staff, reacted to the news.
But Snyder and the NBA in general are not the only links Udoh has to this team. He and Hawks swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic both played together for Fenerbahce in 2017, helping to capture the EuroLeague title.
Bogdanovic, who is planning on taking part in the 2023 FIBA World Cup with his native Serbia, has said he wishes to suit up for Fenerbahce again before he retires.
For now, he was happy to welcome a piece of that team to his NBA club, the Hawks.
The Hawks went 13-15 under Snyder to close the season but won four of their final six regular-season contests.
There was a noticeable difference in the team’s performance under Snyder as noted by Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown. They surely hope it continues with a revamped staff. One of the big changes we could see is a greater emphasis on shooting the deep ball.
Snyder’s Jazz teams ranked at or near the top of the league rankings in three-point attempts over his final handful of seasons at the helm. Udoh won’t help that as a center but he can help relay Snyder’s message to the players, perhaps in a more relatable way.
Atlanta Hawks workouts heavy with late-round, undrafted prospects
The Hawks’ pre-draft workouts have featured prospects of all types. But, with just 60 picks, there are bound to be some diamonds in the rough overlooked. To avoid that, or take advantage of it, you need as much information as possible.
Tuesday’s highest projected prospect is Washington State big man Mouhamed Gueye who is listed at 6-foot-11 and averaged 14.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 1.9 assists this past season.
Gueye was an All-Pac 12 selection in 2023.
The most-decorated prospect is former St. Bonaventure and Iowa big man Osun Ossunniyi who was a four-time A-10 All-Defense pick and three-time All-Conference selection. He was the two-time A-10 Defensive Player of the Year and won the conference tournament MVP award in 2021.
Osunniyi averaged 8.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.1 blocks this past season.
Speaking of highly decorated, Gonzaga guard Malachi Smith had a similarly dominant run in the Southern Conference where he spent three years before moving on to Gonzaga. He averaged 8.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and shot 50% on threes this past season.
Also in the group are a pair of 2023 All-ACC picks in Pitt guard Jamarius Bruton (15.2/4.8/4.2) and Jarkel Joiner (17.0/4.8/3.6) out of North Carolina State.
Rounding out the set is former UCLA guard David Singleton.
Smith and Gueye are the only prospects to make CBS Sports’ top-100 prospects big board while the Hawks currently have picks Nos. 15 and 46 in the 2023 NBA Draft which will take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on June 22..