In the moments following news of Mike Budenholzer’s exit, a list of potential head coaching candidates quickly circulated for the Atlanta Hawks. While those initial names made the rounds in the opening hours, the list has since expanded, with Celtics assistant coach Jay Larranaga reportedly interviewing and another name being added to the list on Saturday.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski brings word that Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Lloyd Pierce met with the Hawks on Friday.
The Atlanta Hawks interviewed Philadelphia 76ers assistant Lloyd Pierce for their head coaching vacancy on Friday, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 5, 2018
In addition, Michael Cunningham of the AJC confirmed the initial report, with the tidbit that the Hawks have concluded their first round of interviews.
Pierce, like Larranaga, is in the midst of a playoff series and that could potentially complicate things. From a resume standpoint, he has been on Brett Brown’s staff in Philadelphia since 2013 and, prior to that, he served on the staffs of the Memphis Grizzlies, Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Recently, ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz wrote the following about Pierce as a head coaching prospect:
Philadelphia assistant Lloyd Pierce is a name to watch in the coming years. He was named by the most diverse set of sources, from technocratic execs to veteran players. They admire his gravitas and cerebral strategic approach, but also value his ability to establish trust with players from LeBron James to Dario Saric.
Though Pierce isn’t necessarily a huge name, he has an extensive background dating back to a four-year playing career at Santa Clara (and an international stint after that) and he is a well-respected figure on Philadelphia’s bench. It remains to be seen as to where the Hawks will move from here but Pierce joins Larranaga, David Fizdale (now the head coach of the New York Knicks), Stephen Silas, Jarron Collins, Darvin Ham and Nate Tibbetts under reported consideration.