The Hawks Will Reportedly Bring Ex-Pacers Coach Nate McMillan On As An Assistant

The NBA coaching carousel was very active this year, with the Clippers, Rockets, Sixers, Pacers, Thunder, Bulls, Pelicans, Knicks and Nets all decided to make coaching changes. In Indiana, that meant Nate McMillan was out after four years in which he never had a losing season. However, the Pacers stalling out in the first round of the playoffs once again was enough for Indiana to choose to look elsewhere, with Nate Bjorkgren getting the job from the Raptors.

McMillan’s longtime success in the league ensured that he wouldn’t be out of work for too long provided he was interested on returning to the bench immediately as an assistant, and on Wednesday we learned that new destination will be in Atlanta where he’ll join Lloyd Pierce’s staff, per Marc Stein of the New York Times.

It seems like a strong hire for the Hawks, who give their young coach another veteran presence on the bench and someone with a pedigree of helping teams forge a strong defensive identity. That is something desperately needed in Atlanta, where they have a strong offensive core and a few young, solid defensive pieces, but need to bring that together in something of a cohesive system to elevate their defensive level as a team to become a playoff contender in the East.