Celtics assistant Will Hardy is reportedly finalizing a deal to become the next coach of the Jazz, as first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Hardy, 34, is reportedly set to sign a five-year deal with Utah, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. He will become the youngest active head coach in the NBA.
Hardy had reportedly emerged as a frontrunner to land the job over the weekend, according to Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune. However, the Jazz had interviewed a number of worthy candidates and nothing was set in stone as of last Thursday’s 2022 NBA draft.
Coming out of the Gregg Popovich coaching tree, Hardy served as the top assistant in Boston under first-year head coach Ime Udoka this past season. The Celtics pulled off a remarkable turnaround in the second half of the year and made the NBA Finals for the first time since the 2009–10 campaign.
Hardy began his career in the NBA in the video room for the Spurs after finishing out his own playing career at Williams College. He was eventually elevated to an assistant coach and spent four seasons on the bench in San Antonio before making way for Boston.
Hardy also served on the Team USA coaching staff during the Tokyo Olympics last year.
The Jazz and franchise CEO Danny Ainge cast a wide net in the early parts of their search for a new coach following the resignation of Quin Snyder earlier this month. Wojnarowski reported that former Lakers head coach Frank Vogel was among those expected to receive an interview in Utah after his dismissal from the L.A. franchise earlier this offseason.
Jazz assistants Alex Jensen and Lamar Skeeter, Knicks assistant Johnnie Bryant, Celtics assistant Joe Mazzulla, Bucks assistant Charles Lee, Heat assistant Chris Quinn, Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin, Suns assistant Kevin Young and former Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts were also on the initial list of candidates for the job, per Wojnarowski.
Utah finished this past season at 49–33 and was knocked out of the first round of the playoffs. The franchise has made the postseason six years in a row but has never made it past the second round in that span.
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