The Atlanta Hawks’ newest addition, Lloyd Pierce, was formally introduced as the new head coach for the franchise on Monday morning at the Hawks’ practice facility, the Emory Sports Medicine Complex.
During the press conference, many topics and questions were hit upon but right at the end, Pierce was asked whether he would be coaching the Hawks at summer league this year (as some young, first-time/new coaches like to do), to which he confirmed he “will coach the summer league (team) in Utah...,” which takes place in early July and prior to the Las Vegas Summer League.
Pierce also indicated that he likely wouldn’t be coaching the summer league team in Las Vegas, stating his desire to “spend time as much time” with his pregnant wife who is due on Aug. 1 and that he would “pass it on to someone else” with regards to coaching the team in Las Vegas, likely one of his assistant coaches.
Pierce has coached the Sixers’ summer league teams since 2014 (also previously doing so with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2013 as an assistant) and believes that it him being physically with the team and coaching them presents an opportunity for Pierce to get on the court and begin the process of instilling his players with his philosophies.
“...It’s an opportunity for the guys to hear your voice, it’s an opportunity to input some of your defensive coverages and schemes in, it’s an opportunity to put in a lot your offensive concepts, but more importantly it’s an opportunity to get on the court and start working with the guys,” said Pierce. “I look forward to it, it’ll be fun. We want to try and get all of our guys, the guys that aren’t playing as well, down there (to Utah) and just create a synergy within in the group. We’ll have most of our staff, we’ll try get all of our players there. I’ll definitely coach (at) Utah (summer league).”
You would imagine Pierce will be working with a considerable group of his eventual regular season roster at summer league in Utah. The Hawks have four draft selections in the top 33 of the NBA Draft, so they’ll likely all be involved with the summer league team in Utah, you’d have to assume (assuming the Hawks decide to keep those four draft choices and if they’re fit and healthy, of course. And it isn’t guaranteed by any means that the Hawks will use/keep all four of those selections, the option to trade-up may present itself on draft night...).
Add to that the Hawks’ rookies from last season in John Collins and Tyler Dorsey, who, more or less, confirmed at the Hawks’ exit interviews that they would be playing in summer league this summer. You can also possibly throw Isaiah Taylor into this equation too (who wasn’t 100% sure if he was going to be participating in summer league), as well as players like Jaylen Morris, Antonius Cleveland, Damion Lee and two-way Andrew White, Josh Magette — all, of course, dependant on the Hawks re-signing/guaranteeing contracts.
It’s also conceivable — though, not necessarily probable — that Taurean Prince could also feature in Utah Summer League if nothing else, with Pierce seemingly wanting to “get all of our guys ... down to Utah”. Whether this means Prince (and/or DeAndre’ Bembry, who appears more likely to actually take the floor) will simply attend Utah Summer League rather than featuring in it (in order to accustom themselves somewhat to their new head coach) remains to be seen.
While that isn’t 100 percent certain at this present moment, Lloyd Pierce will almost definitely be coaching the Atlanta Hawks in the Utah Summer League, giving Hawks fans the first opportunity to see their new head coach in action.