On Monday morning, outgoing Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder, team owner Ryan Smith and CEO Danny Ainge met with members of the media following Sunday’s announcement that Snyder has stepped down from his post.
Naturally there were questions about what’s next for both Snyder and the Jazz organization, the latter of which got answered more clearly than the former.
Amid speculation over the past several months that Snyder could either take a new job this offseason or rest for a year before reentering the market next summer, he was asked in multiple ways what his plans are moving forward.
Other than saying in a lighthearted moment that he plans to spend this year’s Halloween with his kids, he said, “I don’t know what I’m going to do next year.”
Ainge, however, had a more sure prediction, saying, “I know that he’s gonna be coaching somewhere else in the near future, next year probably, and be the most-wanted coach out there.”
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reported after the press conference, per a source, the Jazz can block him from coaching next season if they want since he still has a year remaining on his contract.
All of that raises the question of what led Snyder to make the decision, which he said he came to on Saturday night despite Ainge saying “we desperately wanted him to stay.”
Said Snyder: “It was just time. I tried to give voice to that (in Sunday’s announcement). It isn’t any more complicated than that. ... I just got to a place where it was time.”
As far as the Jazz are concerned, Ainge said he has some ideas regarding potential replacements (a list of seven initial candidates has been reported by various outlets), but the staff hasn’t formally talked about it yet and he’d like to get Snyder’s input.
Said Smith: “We’re going to take our time. Gotta get it right.”
Ainge added that he expects the process to be more thorough than when he hired Doc Rivers in 2004 and Brad Stevens in 2013 while in charge of the Boston Celtics because he hasn’t been studying the matter as actively as he was in those instances.
In other words, the NBA draft being on June 23 and a crucial free agency period starting a week after that won’t be reasons to hurry up the search.
“Not a concern right now,” Ainge said of those dates. “We want to get this choice right. Got big shoes to fill.”