With a playoff berth on the line, the last thing the Hawks are thinking about heading into the second half of the season is who will be their head coach next season, but in his most recent article, The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner did mention two potential candidates that he’s heard in conversations with people close to the team — Chauncey Billups and TNT’s Kenny Smith.
I wrote an initial coaching candidates story after Pierce was fired, and since then I’ve heard two additional names to keep an eye on: Kenny Smith of “Inside the NBA” and Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups. That’s not me reporting they’re top candidates or anything like that, but they’ve come up in different conversations.
Neither Billups or Smith have any prior head coaching experience, but they are names that have been floated around for years. It’s only a matter of time before one of them accepts an NBA job.
However, in the same article, Travis Schlenk said that Nate McMillan is the leading candidate, which isn’t surprising, considering he is the interim head coach and off to a 4-1 start. I imagine he will be under the same pressure that Lloyd Pierce was under, though. If the Hawks make the playoffs with McMillan, expect him to be the coach next season (if he wants the job). If they don’t, Atlanta will likely be looking for someone else to lead their young core, and they could also be in the market for a new general manager as well.
Photo: Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire
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