Alvin Gentry, associate head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, won’t be the head coach of the Utah Jazz as multiple reports confirm the Utah Jazz have hired Atlanta Hawks assistant coach Quin Snyder for the position.
“The opportunity to join the Utah Jazz and to be part of such a highly respected franchise with an incredibly bright future is a great honor,” said Quin Snyder on being chosen for the Jazz gig. “I approach this opportunity with gratitude and humility and am committed to doing everything I can to help the Jazz become a championship-caliber team.”
As a first-time head coach, Snyder has a lot of work ahead as he prepares for the 2014-15 NBA season.
First on that long list is the approaching 2014 NBA Draft as the Utah Jazz currently hold the 5th overall pick. In an odd position, one that may leave the Jazz without one of the ‘Big 3′ in Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, and Jabari Parker, and without the ‘best point guard in the draft’ in Dante Exum. This gives the franchise options as they’re in prime position to either collect a marquee, second-tier talent (Smart, Vonleh, Gordon, Randle) or trade the pick if the right package is offered.
Following the draft selection, Snyder and company must make a choice on impending restricted free agent Gordon Hayward. Coming off a season where the fourth-year guard averaged a career-high 16.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.2 assists, there will be plenty of suitors despite the Jazz’s ability to match any and all offers Hayward is given. Is he worth the max contract to them? Could he be the key piece in a sign-and-trade that brings the Jazz assets to build upon for the future? Those are questions Snyder has to answer in an expeditious amount of time and that could affect where this franchise is projected to be in the next two or three years.
With or without Hayward, the Jazz are in a nice position in regards to youthful talent. Trey Burke showed signs of being a solid point guard for years to come, Derrick Favors is steadily improving, and Enes Kanter continues to display flashes that brought some to think he could be a franchise center. The Western Conference is loaded and the odds of Utah competing for a playoff spot immediately seems far-fetched, but with the proper development and management, Snyder could have an enthused core on his hands.
For Alvin Gentry, this leaves two positions where being a head coach is still feasible: the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers. According to reports from Adrian Wojnarowski, Gentry–along with other Clippers assistant in Tyronn Lue–will meet with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert for a second interview. And according to Sam Amick of USA Today Sports, the Los Angeles Lakers seem to be timing their head coaching hire with the off-chance they’re able to land Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, or another star in free agency–shocking, I know–meaning if Gentry is to land this position, it won’t be announced any time soon.
Based on how everything is playing out, it won’t be a surprise to see Gentry back on the sideline with Doc Rivers come the beginning of the season as his options for head coaching begin to dry up.