When the Atlanta Hawks announced they had fired Nate McMillan after two-plus seasons as head coach, the timing signified they already had someone in mind. It turned out that was indeed the case, as it didn’t take long for reports to tie them to Quin Snyder, formerly the head coach of the Jazz and an assistant for a year in Atlanta under Mike Budenholzer.
Over the weekend, talks became serious and Snyder was widely expected to be named head coach sooner than later. On Sunday, we got word from Adrian Wojnarowski that the Hawks are hiring Snyder on a 5-year deal, including this year, where he will coach out the season as a rare in-season coaching hire from the outside. Snyder could take over the Hawks, who have won back-to-back games under interim Joe Prunty, as soon as Tuesday when they host the Wizards.
ESPN Sources: Quin Snyder has reached agreement on a five-year deal — including the rest of this season — to become coach of the Atlanta Hawks. Snyder is expected to be on sidelines as soon as Tuesday vs. Washington. pic.twitter.com/ZYLx7y4v9V
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 26, 2023
The Hawks announced the hire mere hours after a buzzer-beating win over the Nets.
Welcome to the 🅰️, Coach!
Let's get to work. pic.twitter.com/N6SwQJAG1v
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) February 27, 2023
Snyder’s track record in Utah speaks for itself, as he helped turn the Jazz into a perennial West contender — albeit one that fell short of expectations at times in the postseason — and he is widely respected around the league for both his work as a tactician and in navigating player relationships. The Hawks are in need of his expertise in the latter tremendously, as there have been numerous reports of some internal discord this season, and Snyder’s work with Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert proved he could keep a locker room together even when tensions were high.
Whether that can pay immediate dividends or not with the roster as constructed remains to be seen, but the Hawks are hoping for a similar bump to the last time they fired a coach in-season and made a run to the East Finals under McMillan. That task seems much more difficult given the strength at the top of the East this season, but improving on last year’s performance where they were not particularly competitive with Miami in a five-game exit in the first round would at least be a start.