Only three NBA coaches have been with their team longer than Utah’s Quin Snyder: the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich, the Heat’s Erik Spoelstra, and the Warriors’ Steve Kerr.
Hired by the Jazz back in 2014, Snyder has led the team to more than 360 wins. Next month, he will take the Jazz into the playoffs for the sixth year in a row.
How long will it continue?
That’s the question some NBA league insiders are asking, according to former New York Times NBA writer Marc Stein, now writing a newsletter for Substack. According to Stein, “Snyder has been increasingly mentioned as a potential target for San Antonio to succeed Gregg Popovich. I’ve likewise heard Snyder’s name posed as a probable Los Angeles Lakers candidate should the Lakers and Frank Vogel part ways after what has been a nightmare season in Hollywood.”
On Wednesday, Snyder spoke with The Salt Lake Tribune to discuss the report publicly for the first time. Snyder expressed gratitude for his players and ownership group, but declined to get specific about his future.
“To be honest, having to address this type of question in any form, in my view, is disrespectful to the teams that are mentioned themselves,” Snyder said. “I think specifically, these types of discussions are also disrespectful to coaches. And I love the guys that I coach. I love these players. And frankly, my focus is on our guys and our team. And as I said, addressing hypotheticals in these types of questions in any form I feel like is disrespectful. And that’s how I would characterize that.”
The biggest reason to question the future pairing of Snyder and the Jazz is a key line in Stein’s piece: “NBA coaching sources nonetheless insist that Utah has been unsuccessful in its attempts to extend Snyder’s contract.” In particular, Snyder received a contract extension in 2019-20, but terms of that deal were not released then, so it’s unclear how many years he has left on his deal. Stein reported that Snyder is not believed to be a free agent this upcoming summer.
On Wednesday, Snyder declined to discuss his contractual status.
“I’ve never talked about my contract from day one, and I’m not going to,” he said. “That’s not something that I’m going to comment on now, nor at any point in the future. That’s not something that the Jazz have done. I personally don’t want to or believe in getting into public contract discussions.”
He did, however, want to talk about how the Jazz have treated him over the years.
“I think the fact that I’ve been here eight years speaks in and of itself. And I’ve been lucky to have been a part of an organization that has been supportive of coaches, generally and of me in particular,” Snyder said. “And I’m grateful for [new Jazz owner Ryan Smith]. He’s doing some terrific things with the franchise and has a vision for how it can continue to grow. My tenure here has obviously — eight years again — you know, it speaks to the situation and I think I’m proud of what we have had an opportunity to build. That’s coaches, players, management and ownership — everybody.”
Snyder’s been the largest figure in building this current Jazz core, with key positive relationships with Mitchell and Gobert. Snyder believed in Gobert to become a starting NBA center when few did, even after a season in which he rarely played under previous head coach Ty Corbin. Meanwhile, Snyder handed the keys to the Jazz’s offense almost immediately in Mitchell’s rookie season, trusting the No. 13 pick to lead a playoff team.
Snyder, meanwhile, is also grateful for his time in Utah.
“I’ve just felt, you know, embraced and supported by this community. And I’m really appreciative of that support throughout the course of eight years,” he said. “I don’t know if you can tell coach’s years in dog years, but it works something like that.”
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