Thursday’s NBA focus will primarily be about the league’s annual draft, but in the morning, Substack’s Marc Stein reported a development in the Utah Jazz’s search for a new head coach.
According to Stein, “the rising expectation in coaching circles” is that the Jazz prefer to hire “a young first-time coach” rather than a retread (Terry Stotts and Frank Vogel are the two candidates with previous NBA head coaching experience who have been reported to be candidates).
While “young” may be a subjective term, Stein noted that Boston Celtics assistant coach Will Hardy and Phoenix Suns assistant coach Kevin Young are “said to have made a strong impression on the Jazz to date.”
Hardy, 34, spent a number of years in the San Antonio Spurs organization before leaving for the Boston Celtics last summer to become the lead assistant coach under Ime Udoka and is widely seen as a virtual lock to become an NBA head coach at some point.
Young, 40, has had a larger variety of coaching experiences than Hardy, including six years as a head coach in the NBA G League before becoming an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2017 and then leaving there for the Suns in 2020.
Young was born in Salt Lake City and then married there, although he attended high school and college in Georgia.