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The Atlanta Hawks and Quin Snyder are progressing in talks on a deal to make him the franchise’s next coach and a resolution could be reached within days, sources told ESPN on Friday.
Since firing coach Nate McMillan on Tuesday, the Hawks have made Snyder the full focus of the coaching search, sources said. Snyder has been engaged with general manager Landry Fields, assistant GM Kyle Korver and owner Tony Ressler on a wide range of philosophical and team-building items in recent days and those conversations are expected to continue through the start of the weekend, sources said.
Although Snyder is out of the country with his family, the sides have been discussing in detail how they’d work together to develop a partnership, sources said.
The Hawks are prepared to make a significant contractual commitment to Snyder, who is considered the top coach available in the marketplace this year, sources said.
If Snyder takes over this season, the organization would certainly welcome a turnaround on a sub-.500 season, but even more so is determined to give Snyder a chance to start evaluating the team’s personnel and collaborating on the baseline of a reshaped culture and program, sources said.
The hiring of Snyder could go a long way toward stabilizing an organization that made changes involving president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk (who moved to a senior advisory role) and McMillan within months in the regular season. Snyder is considered one of the NBA’s top coaches, teachers and program builders.
The Hawks promoted assistant Joe Prunty to interim coach of a team that’s 29-30 and in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
Snyder had a history as a Hawks assistant coach under Mike Budenholzer prior to becoming the Utah Jazz‘s head coach. Snyder led the Jazz to six consecutive trips to the Western Conference playoffs, including three berths in the semifinals.
Snyder, 56, resigned after the 2021-22 season and had been a focus of coaching searches by the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets since the offseason, sources said.
The Hawks have significant offseason decisions to make on how they want to shape the roster, and the chance to move quickly on hiring could give them a better prism with which to evaluate the franchise’s future. Fields wants a coach who will improve player development, accountability and progress toward ranking in the top 10 both offensively and defensively — all hallmarks of Snyder’s teams in the NBA.
The Hawks are 16th in offensive efficiency and 21st in defensive efficiency this season. Fields has emphasized internally the defining of what a Hawks player will be and he wants Snyder to start shaping those characteristics.
For now, Prunty is taking over as interim head coach for the second time in his career. After replacing Jason Kidd in 2018, Prunty was 21-16 in the regular season for the Milwaukee Bucks as interim coach. The Bucks lost a seven-game series to the Celtics in the opening round of the playoffs that year.
McMillan replaced Lloyd Pierce as interim coach in 2021 and engineered a run to the Eastern Conference finals. He was awarded a four-year contract and had a 99-80 record as head coach.