Hawks Head Coach Rumors: Lloyd Pierce Atlanta's Top Choice

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2018

Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Lloyd Pierce directs players against the Denver Nuggets in the third quarter of the Sixers' 114-102 victory in an NBA basketball game in Denver on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Lloyd Pierce is reportedly the primary focus of the Atlanta Hawks' head-coaching search, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski added that Pierce traveled to Atlanta on Friday for his third meeting with the organization.

The Hawks parted ways with Mike Budenholzer last month after he spent five seasons as the team's head coach.

Pierce has been part of the Sixers' coaching staff since 2013 after previously serving as an assistant with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies.

He played college basketball at Santa Clara from 1994-1998 and later went on to be an assistant coach at the school from 2003-2007 following an international playing career in Mexico, Australia, Germany and Turkey.

The 42-year-old told Keith Pompey of the Inquirer on Wednesday that he believes he is a good fit for the job in Atlanta:

"The main reason is just looking at their young players. They got four guys in the draft. They've got a couple of young players that are on their roster. So what's most important when you are dealing with young players and young talent, it's the development and relational side of that.

"It's kind of my track record. It's anybody's track record of how do you communicate, how do you work with players, how do you develop, what does that mean?"

After 10 straight playoff appearances, the Hawks finished 24-58 this season, which was tied for the NBA's third-worst record.

They let many of their veteran players leave last offseason and instead relied on the likes of 24-year-old guard Dennis Schroder, 24-year-old forward Taurean Prince and rookie forward John Collins.

In addition to that young core, the Hawks have their own first-round pick in the 2018 NBA draft, along with the Minnesota Timberwolves' and Houston Rockets' first-round picks.

They could potentially land a franchise-changing player such as Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic or Marvin Bagley with their own selection.

Pierce helped bring the Sixers from being the NBA's worst team for several seasons to a playoff team in 2017-18 by developing their young players, and he would have to do something similar in Atlanta.

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