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Report: Hawks considering Ime Udoka in coach search; GM mentions Snyder

Kurt Helin and Corey Robinsons offer their insight into the Atlanta Hawks firing Nate McMillan and discuss possible candidates to replace him, and what went wrong for McMillan.

While Hawks General Manager Landry Fields has only mentioned one name in the team’s coaching search — former Jazz coach Quin Snyder — there’s another name that can be added to the list, according to a report from Marc Stein:

Former Celtics coach Ime Udoka.

His official status with the Celtics is unclear, although they would let him go. Udoka was suspended by the Celtics for the entire 2022-23 NBA season after an investigation by an outside law firm found he had a “volume of violations” of team policy, including an inappropriate relationship with a female in the organization. The Celtics have named Joe Mazzulla their head coach.

Udoka will have suitors because, on the court, he brought the Celtics together to close last season on a 26-6 run, momentum they carried over into the playoffs and reached the NBA Finals.

When asked about the coaching search at a press conference Wednesday, Fields mentioned only Snyder by name, doing so in part because he is the only free agent coach and his 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” (via the Associated Press).

Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson and Bucks assistant Charles Lee are considered the other frontrunners along with Snyder. Where Udoka fits into that mix is unclear, but his name is at least being mentioned.

The Hawks fired Nate McMillan this week after the team entered the season with high internal expectations and failed to live up to those hopes. The Hawks are a game below .500 and sit as the No. 8 seed in the East.