Per a report from the AJC’s Michael Cunningham, the Atlanta Hawks have reached a final four of coaching candidates: Sixers assistant Lloyd Pierce, Blazers assistant Nate Tibbetts, Hornets assistant Stephen Silas, and Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga. This comes on the back of a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears that Atlanta had cut the search down to three, excluding Larranaga in their report.
In both reports, the indication is that Pierce is the front-runner and could land an offer as early as this week, which would be ahead of general manager Travis Schlenk’s schedule. Schlenk told reporters at a media availability the day after it was announced that Mike Budenholzer would not be retained that the team would use an elongated process and that he wasn’t sure if a coach would be in place by the lottery on May 15, but it’s looking like the Hawks may move faster than anticipated.
Pierce, currently an assistant coach under Brett Brown in Philadelphia, will likely be free to make his move to Atlanta this week, as the 76ers are down 0-3 to the Boston Celtics in their second round playoff series.
Both reports would indicate that three other candidates whom Atlanta interviewed are no longer being considered: David Fizdale (who took the New York Knicks job), Jarron Collins, and Darvin Ham.
Collins is a particularly interesting cut, as he and Schlenk have history together from Schlenk’s days as the assistant general manager under Bob Myers in Golden State, where Collins is still employed as an assistant coach. Ham, who served as an assistant coach for the Hawks under Budenholzer, was always seen as a long shot to get the head job but now seems to have been officially eliminated. However, Ham is still employed as an assistant coach with the team and could be brought back by whomever the team decides to hire.