There’s reportedly a sentiment around the NBA that the Atlanta Hawks’ hiring of Quin Snyder could be Trae Young’s last shot in Atlanta.
Since being drafted with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Young has played for three head coaches in the NBA (excluding Joe Prunty): Lloyd Pierce, Nate McMillan and now Snyder.
“An NBA scout told me he doesn’t see Quin Snyder implementing a ton offensively right now since the current Hawks roster doesn’t have enough shooting for his system nor practice time to learn the system’s complexities,” HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto wrote. “The scout also said he believes this is Trae Young’s last shot in Atlanta since this will be his third head coach, which is a sentiment that others around the league have suggested as well. You’ve now got the best coach that was on the market. This isn’t a situation like when Lloyd Pierce was there and they were rebuilding. Nate McMillan was a short-term fix, but was never going to be the long-term guy. He kind of resisted even taking the job at first.”
Young, a two-time All-Star, led the Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2020-21 season, but the team has not found that same success since.
McMillan took over for Pierce in the middle of that season, and he was given the full-time job following the 2020-21 campaign. However, the Hawks ended up with the No. 8 seed in the East last season, losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Miami Heat.
Young and McMillan reportedly had tension this season, so it’s possible Atlanta is giving its star player one last chance to prove he can lead the team with a new head coach in place.
Snyder last coached for the Utah Jazz, and he was arguably the best candidate available on the market before the Hawks brought him in.
During his eight seasons in Utah, Snyder compiled a career record of 372-264. However, Snyder’s playoff success is limited, as Utah was just 21-30 in the playoffs with him at the helm.
Since taking over in Atlanta, Snyder is 1-1 with his new team.
Atlanta currently holds the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, but it is just half a game behind the Miami Heat for the No. 7 spot. The Hawks could really make up some ground in the near future, as their next two games will come against the Heat.
There’s no doubt that Young is one of the most talented players in the NBA, but the Hawks have to show some signs of growth if they want to commit to him leading their core for the long term.
This season, Young is averaging 27.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 10.1 assists per game while shooting 42.9 percent from the field and 33.1 percent from beyond the arc.
He’s taken a step back with his efficiency compared to that of last season, but he is still averaging a double-double through 56 games played.
With Snyder likely in Atlanta for the long haul, Young is under some pressure to perform and get the team back into contention with his third head coach.