Quin Snyder has agreed to a five-year contract to become the Atlanta Hawks’ coach and is expected to make his debut as soon Tuesday against the Washington Wizards, sources told ESPN on Sunday.
The Hawks pursued Snyder, 56, immediately upon firing Nate McMillan five days ago and landed on a long-term deal with a coach who advanced the Utah Jazz beyond the first-round of the Western Conference playoffs three times before resigning in the spring.
The move to take over the Hawks immediately is rooted both in the desire to make an Eastern Conference playoff run and to give Snyder a chance to start implementing his program and standards and evaluating the franchise’s players on the way into the offseason, sources said.
Snyder and All-Star guard Trae Young are both expressing an enthusiasm to begin working together, and that partnership will go a long way into determining the success of the franchise’s future. Snyder has a history of constructing strong relationships with his players while still allowing himself the ability to coach them hard. After a loss to the Hawks on Friday, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell profusely praised Snyder in a private conversation with Young and told him how instrumental the coach had been in his own development into an All-Star, sources said.
In recent days, Snyder has been engaged with general manager Landry Fields, assistant GM Kyle Korver and owner Tony Ressler on a number of philosophical, team building and staff budgetary issues, and Snyder will enter the organization with a significant voice in player personnel matters, sources said. Snyder had been pursued in recent months for several jobs, including the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets and brings with him a strong reputation as a program builder.
There are pronounced chemistry and leadership issues in the Hawks locker room, and Snyder’s arrival is considered a renewed opportunity to solve them before more dramatic trade scenarios need to be explored.
The Hawks are hoping that the hiring of Snyder goes a long way toward stabilizing an organization that made changes with its president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk and McMillan within months in the regular season.
The Hawks promoted assistant Joe Prunty to interim coach, and he promptly won his first two games to lift the team to 31-30 and eighth in the Eastern Conference. Prunty and the rest of the Hawks’ coaching staff are expected to be retained with Snyder for the remainder of the season, sources said.
Snyder had history as a Hawks assistant coach under Mike Budenholzer before becoming the Jazz’s head coach. Snyder led the Jazz to six consecutive trips to the Western Conference playoffs, including three berths in the conference semifinals.
Atlanta has significant offseason decisions to make on how they want to shape the roster, and the chance to move quickly on Snyder’s hiring could give them a better prism with which how they’ll evaluate the franchise’s future. Fields has wanted a coach who’ll improve the franchise’s player development, accountability and getting the team moving toward the top 10 in both offensive and defensive rankings — all hallmarks of Snyder’s teams with the Jazz.
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 Boston Celtics in that opening-round of the playoffs.
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.