On Tuesday, the Atlanta Hawks fired head coach Nate McMillan after struggling to a 29-30 record by the All-Star break.
After trading for All-Star guard Dejounte Murray last summer, some thought the Hawks would be a very good team this season, but they have fallen short of those expectations, and perhaps McMillan became a casualty.
The team will promote assistant Joe Prunty to the role of interim head coach, and according to NBA insider Shams Charania, they have a list of candidates for the next permanent head coach.
Sources: The Hawks’ head coaching candidates are expected to include Bucks assistant Charles Lee, Kings assistant Jordi Fernandez, Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, Spurs assistant Mitch Johnson, G League South Bay’s Miles Simon and former Jazz coach Quin Snyder.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 21, 2023
Of that list, Kenny Atkinson and Quin Snyder appear to be the most attractive prospects.
Atkinson was at the helm of the Brooklyn Nets for four years starting in the 2016-17 season, and while there, he helped assemble a young and competitive squad that ultimately attracted Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in the summer of 2019.
Since leaving Brooklyn in 2020, Atkinson has been an assistant with the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors.
Snyder had been the head coach of the Utah Jazz for eight seasons, and upon taking over, he remade a rebuilding team into a perennial playoff contender.
But despite the presence of All-Stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, the Jazz never advanced past the second round of the postseason under Snyder, and he resigned last spring.
The Hawks have Murray and Trae Young, but the rest of the roster is somewhat underwhelming, and they have struggled on the defensive end this season.
It will be up to their next permanent head coach to fix those defensive issues while unlocking the talents of the aggressive but inefficient Young.
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