An NBA Finals appearance will certainly help pad a resume.
- The Sacramento Kings filled their head coaching vacancy by hiring former Golden State Warriors assistant Mike Brown.
- The Charlotte Hornets had a deal in place to hire Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson before Atkinson decided to stay in The Bay instead.
- The Los Angeles Lakers dipped into the assistant coach of recent NBA Finals lore by hiring former Milwaukee Bucks assistant Devin Ham as their new head coach.
And now, another assistant fresh off of a Finals appearance is landing a head coaching gig: Boston Celtics assistant Will Hardy is close to becoming the new head coach of the Utah Jazz, replacing the departed Quin Snyder.
Snyder spent the last eight seasons as the head coach in Utah, but another early exit from the NBA Playoffs has led to some uncertainty in Utah that resulted (for now) in Snyder stepping away from the team.
“After eight years, I just feel it is time to move onward,” Snyder said in a statement. “I needed to take time to detach after the season and make sure this was the right decision.”
Hardy joined the San Antonio Spurs out of college and worked as a basketball operations intern (2010) and assistant video coordinator (2011). He became the Spurs’ video coordinator and worked in that capacity until 2015. Before joining Ime Udoka’s staff in Boston prior to the 2021-22 season Hardy spent four seasons as the Summer League coach in San Antonio while serving as an assistant under Greg Popovich.
With Hardy filling the head coaching vacancy in Utah, the Jazz can now begin to retool the roster that led them to a 49-33 record last season. The Jazz started 27-10 under Snyder last season before they sputtered into the NBA Playoffs with a 22-23 record down the stretch and a first-round exit at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks. The season prior, the Jazz won 52 games and the fourth-seed in the Western Conference Playoffs before falling to the Los Angeles Clippers in the conference semifinals.
There’s been rampant speculation that Jazz center Rudy Gobert will be traded this summer, but nothing has come close to materializing in that area. Maybe with a new direction in place, the Jazz will gain some clarity on what they want to do with Gobert and the rest of the roster leading up to the 2022-23 season in a few months.