Joe Paige | Sports Editor
On February 28th, Quin Snyder made his head coaching debut for the Hawks. Atlanta fired their previous head coach, Nate McMillan, just before the All-Star break. Within the past few months, there have been multiple reports of tension regarding the partnership of him and their franchise player Trae Young. Atlanta quickly made Quin Snyder the priority of their coaching search as he is the most accomplished head coach in the market right now. He signed a 5-year around $8 million per year deal in late February. The team currently sits at 8th place in the eastern conference this season. Atlanta’s focus for Snyder right now is to give him a chance to begin evaluating the team's personnel so they can get an early idea of how to approach the offseason.
Quin Snyder is largely responsible for building a winning culture in Utah for the past 6 years, Atlanta hopes he can provide the same type of development to this Hawks team that got as far as the eastern conference finals just 2 seasons ago. Snyder had accomplished a lot during his time with the Jazz as he’s led them to the Western Conference playoffs for six straight seasons and held the 7th-best win percentage in the NBA during his tenure in Utah. General Manager Landry Fields told ESPN yesterday what he’s looking for in their next head coach saying he wants “a coach who will improve player development, accountability and progress toward ranking in the top 10 both offensively and defensively”, a proven coach such as Snyder definitely fits that criteria.
This makes Atlanta a very intriguing contender in the east. It will be interesting to see how Snyder implements his coaching style to the Hawks, he is a system coach who emphasizes movement off the ball, while this current Hawks team is much more about isolation play. This team made a significant move before the season acquiring guard Dejounte Murray in a trade with the San Antonio Spurs, providing Trae Young with another competent playmaker in the backcourt. So far, their partnership has been primarily positive, but there’s no question their starting power forward John Collins has taken a backseat, he signed a maximum five-year contract with Atlanta back in August of 2021. It may be a point of emphasis for Snyder to get Collins more involved in the offense.
This will be Trae Young’s third head coach in his 5-year career since being drafted 5th overall by Atlanta in the 2018 NBA draft. His first head coach, Lloyd Pierce, was fired two years ago for also having difficulties regarding the dynamic between him and Young. This certainly raises questions about Trae Youngs cooperation with the organization, there have been signs of disobedience with a few reports mentioning him not prioritizing practice as well as him disregarding orders from coaches. His relationship with Snyder no doubt will be closely examined while he’s here.