NBA Rumors: Celtics' Will Hardy 'A Leading Candidate' for Jazz Head Coaching Job

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJune 25, 2022

MIAMI, FL - MAY 17: Assistant Coach Will Hardy of the Boston Celtics talks to Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics before Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals on May 17, 2022 at FTX Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

The Utah Jazz are reportedly looking at multiple assistant coaches around the league as they search for their next head coach.

Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune reported Saturday that "it looks like the team's decision-makers are favoring the younger assistant coaches in their search" and pointed to the Boston Celtics' Will Hardy as someone who is "considered by many league insiders to be a leading candidate."

Larsen also highlighted Phoenix Suns associate head coach Kevin Young as "another highly considered candidate."

The Utah position is open after Quin Snyder stepped down following eight seasons at the helm.

The Jazz seem like an enticing opportunity for any coach. After all, they made the playoffs in each of the last six seasons and finished with the best record in the NBA at 52-20 during the 2020-21 campaign.

However, they also failed to make it past the second round in any of those playoff appearances and are a step below many of the top-level championship contenders.

Their roster construction has been and will continue to be a major storyline given the discussions about the immediate futures of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier this month that Mitchell was "unsettled, unnerved and wondering what it means for the franchise's future" after Snyder stepped down.

Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer reported June 7 that the Jazz were "one of the more active teams during early offseason trade conversations" and had held discussions about Gobert.

It may not be an easy situation for Hardy to walk into should he become the head coach, but he is accustomed to being surrounded by success. He was a video intern and video coordinator before he became an assistant coach for Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs, spending 11 seasons with the team before he joined Ime Udoka's Boston staff last offseason. The Celtics reached the NBA Finals.

Young has also enjoyed success and was an assistant coach for the Philadelphia 76ers for four seasons before joining the Suns staff for the 2020-21 season. Phoenix reached the 2021 NBA Finals and then finished with the best record in the league this past season.