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Report: Hawks moving quickly, in talks to hire Quin Snyder as coach

Nekias Duncan takes a look at the Atlanta Hawks' and who might be a good fit to take over the team.

There is only so much a coach can do to change a team’s fortunes almost 60 games into an NBA season, systems are put in place and there is very limited practice time to add new wrinkles.

That hasn’t stopped the Hawks’ new front office, which is moving quickly to hire Quin Snyder — the former Jazz coach who is a free agent — for their head coaching position, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Hawks and Snyder had a virtual meeting on Wednesday, sources said. Snyder was believed to be out of the country as of Wednesday, and the sides are working on a potential in-person meeting in the very near future, sources added...

There has been mutual interest between the Hawks and Snyder, sources said. At 29-30 and in eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings, the Hawks believe the time is right to move quickly on their coach of the future, if possible, and believe in Snyder’s ability to enhance their culture on and off the floor.

Snyder has been at the top of the Hawks’ list since they fired Nate McMillan, and he’s a strong fit as an Xs and Os offensive mind. Snyder built a strong team culture in Utah, one that took the Jazz to the best record in the league, even if that didn’t translate to the expected level of postseason success. Synder had a ball-dominant guard in Utah with Donovan Mitchell and got him to buy into a system with a lot of player and ball movement (the Jazz had a lot of good movement shooters on the roster, the Hawks need to add those kinds of players). It will take time, but Snyder will not run simple, easy-to-read pick-and-rolls with shooters standing around at the arc. Will an at-times ball-dominant Trae Young fit in that system? Snyder also built a top defense in Utah around the elite rim-protecting skills of Rudy Gobert, but can he do that with Clint Capela and John Collins?

None of that happens instantly — hire Snyder now and it’s still a multi-year process to shift the roster and get the players to understand and buy into the system. However, the Hawks apparently want to get started right away.

If a deal for Snyder is not completed quickly, the Hawks are also expected to speak with Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, Bucks assistant Charles Lee, and former Celtics coach Ime Udoka, among others.