The Atlanta Hawks have received permission to meet with Portland Trail Blazers assistant Nate Tibbetts, league sources tell ESPN. Tibbetts will be a serious candidate to replace Mike Budenholzer as Atlanta's coach.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 27, 2018
Tibbetts was among the list that was leaked on Wednesday evening when it was announced that the Hawks and former head coach Mike Budenholzer had ended their partnership. Tibbetts has been on Portland’s bench under Terry Stotts for the past five seasons but has been linked to other jobs in the past—he interviewed with Atlanta general manager Travis Schlenk to be Steve Kerr’s top assistant when Schlenk was the assistant general manager in Golden State—but this would be his first foray into head coaching if he were to get the job.
Schlenk held a media availability Thursday morning and reiterated that the process by which the Hawks will hire their next head coach will be a long one and that he doesn’t expect a hiring to take place before the lottery on May 15 but that he would like to get someone in by the draft on June 21. Tibbetts is likely to be the first in a long line of interviews over the next month or so before Schlenk and his staff make their final decision.
Tibbetts was one of two Portland assistants linked with the Hawks; David Vanterpool had previously been reported as an Atlanta target but that was rebuffed earlier in the day by Michael Cunningham of the AJC. The Trail Blazers made the playoffs in 2017-18 but were swept by the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round.