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Atlanta Hawks GM Landry Fields says Quin Snyder a candidate to replace Nate McMillan as head coach

The Atlanta Hawks have identified Quin Snyder as a possible replacement for Nate McMillan as head coach; general manager Landry Fields admitted as much on Wednesday, saying: "I feel comfortable mentioning his name"

FILE - Utah Jazz Head Coach Quinn Snyder gives instructions to his team.
Image: Former Utah Jazz head coach Quinn Snyder is a leading candidate to replace Nate McMillan at the Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Hawks general manager Landry Fields has revealed former Utah coach Quin Snyder is among those being considered to replace Nate McMillan.

The Hawks (29-30) fired McMillan on Tuesday and Fields stressed that Atlanta's eighth-placed standing in the Eastern Conference is not acceptable for a team that advanced to the conference finals in 2021.

Snyder, 56, was 372-264 as Utah's coach from 2014-22. He guided the Jazz to six consecutive playoff appearances before stepping down after last season.

Fields said Snyder's availability "is a factor in the sense that I feel comfortable mentioning his name, but there are other candidates I don't want to mention because they are a part of other teams".

Other possible candidates

Golden State assistant Kenny Atkinson and Milwaukee assistant Charles Lee, both former Atlanta assistants, have also made the list of possible candidates.

Fields said he has started talking with potential candidates and could make a hire this season. Assistant coach Joe Prunty began serving as interim coach at practice on Wednesday but may not be involved in the interview process for the full-time position.

"To do this now, sort of last minute, there's enough on Joe's plate," Fields said, adding that his message to Prunty is "just focus on the task at hand and we'll cover everything else later".

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McMillan, 58, went 99-80 as Atlanta's coach, including a 27-11 record as interim in the second half of the 2020-21 season. His success that season in leading Atlanta to the Eastern Conference finals earned him the full-time position.

Hawks players react to news

The Hawks are hoping for a similar late-season revival under Prunty, but players say consistency and accountability must improve.

"It ain't on Nate McMillan," guard Dejounte Murray said after practice. "We've all got to look in the mirror."

Center Clint Capela added: "It's on all of us. ... Consistency, we just have to be better."

Hawks forward John Collins said McMillan "was a great coach" but added "we need a different type of guidance" from the next coach.

When asked if accountability from players was lacking under McMillan, Collins said: "Yeah, I definitely feel we can do a better job with that."

Prunty, who has been an NBA assistant coach since 1996, has previous experience as an interim coach. He posted a 21-16 record with Milwaukee after Jason Kidd was fired during the 2017-18 season.

"It definitely helps, for sure, but every situation is different," Prunty said. "The reality is it's very difficult to make wholesale changes. There may be things that could be tweaked here and there."

Looking ahead

Atlanta, who play at home against Cleveland on Friday night, are struggling to remain in the top 10 in the conference for a return spot in the play-in field. The Hawks lost four of six games before the All-Star break and are only one game ahead of 10th-placed Toronto in the East.

Fields said he considered a coaching change for one month and was influenced by back-to-back losses to Charlotte and the New York Knicks before the break.

All things considered, the scene heading into the play-in tournament is not a good one.

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