As the NBA’s Summer League quickly approaches in the early days of July, the Utah Jazz are nearing the end of their search for the franchises next head coach.
The Jazz front office, which includes former Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, have interviewed multiple head coach candidates. Celtics assistant coaches Joe Mazzulla and Will Hardy were among those interviewed, and it appears Hardy has stood out the most. Current Celtics president of basketball of operations Brad Stevens was once seen as a candidate for the Jazz job.
The Salt Lake Tribune’s Andy Larsen reported “it looks like the team’s decision-makers are favoring the younger assistant coaches in their search” and pointed to Celtics’ Hardy as someone who is “considered by many league insiders to be a leading candidate,” per Bleacher Report’s Scott Polacek.
Whoever takes over as the Jazz coach will have an interesting dilemma on their hands. Utah have made the playoffs in each of the past six seasons, but they lost in six games in the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs to the Dallas Mavericks. Donovan Mitchell is the clear star of the team but rumored tension with Rudy Gobert presents a key question in the offseason: do the Jazz trade Gobert?
Whether Hardy will be the man to handle the future of the Jazz roster or not is unknown at this point, but with the NBA back on a normal schedule, Utah will likely name their next head coach sooner rather than later.