The Utah Jazz have been as thorough in their coaching search as possible, interviewing dozens of candidates, but this weekend there were rumblings that they were zeroing in on their new head coach. Sure enough, word broke on Tuesday afternoon that Will Hardy, a longtime Spurs assistant and most recently the top assistant to Ime Udoka in Boston, was getting the job in Utah.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 28, 2022
The Utah Jazz have offered Boston Celtics assistant Will Hardy the franchise’s head coaching job and he’s finalizing a deal to accept the job, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 28, 2022
Hardy had once been considered a potential successor for Gregg Popovich in San Antonio — somewhat ironically, the man Hardy is replacing in Quin Snyder has been floated in that role now — but joined the Celtics last offseason to help former Spurs colleague Ime Udoka, and their success in reaching the NBA Finals speaks for itself. Hardy’s ties to Boston seem notable considering the influence of Danny Ainge on the Jazz front office, but the Popovich coaching tree is always a favorite of organizations around the NBA.
With a coach now in place, the Jazz can move their full focus to the roster, where some big decisions need to be made — most notably regarding the future of the Donovan Mitchell-Rudy Gobert pairing. Rumors regarding Gobert potentially being traded have been quiet for the past few weeks, but that could change as free agency progresses and teams start missing out on targets and begin scrambling to Plan B’s. Hardy’s job is not an easy one, as he’ll have to navigate either a rocky star relationship or a transition period on the roster, but Utah seems to believe he’s well equipped to handle either.