Just a few days after Lloyd Pierce publicly acknowledged and addressed his candidacy with the Atlanta Hawks, another indication has come to light that he is the front-runner for the head coaching vacancy. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN brings word that Pierce met with the Hawks for a third time on Friday and, as a result, he is the “primary focus” for Atlanta at this stage.
Story filed to ESPN: Philadelphia 76ers assistant Lloyd Pierce has emerged as the primary focus of the Atlanta Hawks head coaching search. Pierce traveled to Atlanta today and met with team officials for a third time in the process.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 11, 2018
Beyond that, Wojnarowski reports that “a formal offer is expected as soon as (Friday)” and Travis Schlenk headlined the party meeting with Pierce.
Later, David Aldridge of NBA.com echoed the sentiment, indicating that there is a growing consensus on Pierce as the next head coach.
All signs pointing to Sixers assistant Lloyd Pierce as the next Hawks coach, per league sources. GM Travis Schlenk worked w/Pierce at Golden State. Pierce has met multiple times with Hawks management/ownership, including majority owner Tony Ressler in Boston Tuesday.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) May 11, 2018
Pierce was already referenced as something of a front-runner for the position but he is now the only candidate that has reportedly met with the Hawks on three occasions. Amusingly, the Philadelphia 76ers assistant turned 42 on Friday and he seemingly spent some of his birthday celebration meeting with Atlanta’s front office.
Still, Pierce seems to snugly fit within the parameters of the Hawks’ coaching search as a young, player development-driven coaching prospect with room to grow in Atlanta. It should also be noted that a third meeting of this stature could mean that the discussions have turned to contract talks, though no direct reporting is available to that end. Philadelphia is now eliminated from the NBA Playoffs as well, leaving little in the way of obstructions between Pierce and a potential offer from Atlanta.
Stay tuned as more information becomes available.