Quin Snyder a candidate for Atlanta Hawks job, GM says

The former Utah Jazz coach could replace the fired Nate McMillan.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder speaks to media after the end of the 2021-2022 season, Monday, May 9, 2022 in Salt Lake City.

Atlants • Atlanta Hawks general manager Landry Fields said Wednesday former Utah coach Quin Snyder is among those being considered to replace Nate McMillan.

The Hawks fired McMillan on Tuesday, and Fields stressed their eighth-place standing in the Eastern Conference is not acceptable for a team that advanced to the conference finals in 2021.

Snyder, 56, was 372-264 as Utah’s coach from 2014-22. He guided the Jazz to six consecutive playoff appearances before stepping down after last season.

Fields said Snyder’s availability “is a factor in the sense that I feel comfortable mentioning his name, but there are other candidates I don’t want to mention because they are a part of other teams.”

Snyder was a Hawks assistant in 2013-14.

Other possible candidates, including Golden State assistant Kenny Atkinson and Milwaukee assistant Charles Lee. Both are former Atlanta assistants.

Fields said he has started talking with potential candidates and could make a hire this season. Assistant coach Joe Prunty began serving as interim coach with Wednesday’s practice but may not be involved in the interview process for the full-time position.

“To do this now, sort of last minute, there’s enough on Joe’s plate,” Fields said, adding his message to Prunty to focus on the task at hand and “we’ll cover everything else later.”

McMillan, 58, went 99-80 as Atlanta’s coach, including a 27-11 record as interim in the second half of the 2020-21 season. His success that season in leading Atlanta to the Eastern Conference finals earned him the full-time position.

McMillan couldn’t follow up on that success. The Hawks lost to Miami in the first round of the playoffs last season after surviving the play-in tournament.

Atlanta is struggling to remain in the top 10 for a return spot in the play-in field. The Hawks lost four of six games before the All-Star break and are only one game ahead of 10th-place Toronto in the East.

Fields said he considered a coaching change for one month and was influenced by back-to-back losses to Charlotte and the New York Knicks before the break.

“I do believe there was slippage and I felt that was a need we needed to address,” Fields said.

Fields said he did not consult point guard Trae Young or other players before making the move. Fields said speculation McMillan’s efforts were affected by conflicts with Young were unfair to the player and were not a factor in his decision to make a coaching change.

Overall in 19 seasons, McMillan has a 760-668 record with the Seattle SuperSonics, Portland Trail Blazers, Indiana Pacers and Hawks.