On Oct. 30, Marc Stein of the New York Times reported that the Atlanta Hawks were a “potential landing spot” for Nate McMillan as an assistant coach. At the time, the Houston Rockets were also reported as a potential option for McMillan, lending uncertainty to the proceedings from Atlanta’s perspective.
However, Stein reports that, as of Wednesday afternoon, McMillan is “nearing a deal” to join Lloyd Pierce’s staff in Atlanta.
The Hawks are nearing a deal to hire former Pacers coach Nate McMillan as an assistant coach on Lloyd Pierce's staff, league sources say— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) November 4, 2020
McMillan’s profile speaks for itself, as the 56-year-old enjoyed real success (including a .574 winning percentage) as the head coach of the Indiana Pacers before being fired earlier in the off-season. Prior to that, McMillan was the head coach of the Seattle SuperSonics and Portland Trail Blazers.
By all accounts, McMillan is seen in high regard across the NBA landscape as an authoritative voice with experience and gravitas. In addition, there is no downside to having a well-respected former head coach sitting next to Pierce, and McMillan also has an earned reputation for defensive acumen and the ability to motivate players.
It remains to be seen as to how the coaching staff will look for the Hawks in 2020-21 with McMillan seemingly set to join the ranks. Pierce enters his third season as the team’s head coach, and he was joined on the 2019-20 staff by Melvin Hunt, Chris Jent, Marlon Garnett, Greg Foster and Matt Hill, with Nate Babcock as the special assistant to the head coach.
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available, but all signs point to a veteran voice joining the Hawks staff.