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The Utah Jazz are reportedly finalizing a deal to hire Boston Celtics assistant Will Hardy as their next head coach, per Shine Charania by The Athletic.
Charania noted that Hardy emerged as the front-runner for the position after Jazz CEO Danny Ainge conducted an extensive search that included “former head coaches, top assistants, G-League coaches and former players.”
Hardy replaces Quin Snyder, who resigned after eight seasons.
Utah came off a 49-33 season that ended in a first-round playoff loss to the Dallas Mavericks. It was a disappointing result for a Jazz team who started 27-10 before floundering down the stretch with a 22-23 record.
The year before, Utah rolled into first place in the Western Conference standings with a 52-20 record, but fell to the 4th-seeded Los Angeles Clippers in the conference semifinals.
The pieces are in place for Utah to recover and put on a deep playoff run. Donovan Mitchell will be just 26 at the start of the season and has already fielded three All-Star teams. The talented ex-Louisville shooting guard averaged 25.9 points last season.
Center Rudy Gobert remains one of the best defensive players in the game. He is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year and a six-time member of the All-Defensive First Team.
With Mike Conley, Jordan Clarkson and Bojan Bogdanovic, the Jazz also has good depth in the backcourt and on the wings. They helped Utah become the No. 1 most efficient offensive player in the NBA last year according to the Basketball Reference.
The roster needs more work, but the parts can be improved.
It will be Hardy’s job to do it, and he has the resume and background that could herald great success in Salt Lake City.
Hardy played college ball at Williams College and graduated in 2010. He joined the San Antonio Spurs after college and served as a basketball operations intern (2010) and assistant video coordinator (2011). He became Spurs’ video coordinator and worked in that capacity until 2015.
He also served as the head coach of Spurs NBA Summer League teams from 2015-2018 and was Gregg Popovich’s assistant until 2021 before moving to Boston and working on Ime Udoka’s staff.