ATLANTA (BVM) – The Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday fired Nate McMillan after a nearly two-year run as head coach which included an Eastern Conference finals appearance in 2021. McMillan took over as the Hawks’ head coach in March of 2021 following the firing of Lloyd Pierce and led Atlanta to a 27-11 record the rest of that season and a pair of playoff series wins.
But in McMillan’s first full season as the franchise’s head coach a year ago (after being awarded a four-year contract), the Hawks went just 43-39 before falling to the No. 1 seed Heat in the first round. The inconsistent play bled into the 2022-23 season as Atlanta (29-30) sits in eighth place in the Eastern Conference at the time of McMillan’s firing.
The Hawks named assistant Joe Prunty the interim coach and will immediately begin a wide-ranging search in pursuit of three top characteristics, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski: player development, accountability and getting the Hawks’ offense and defense into the league’s top 10.
Whoever replaces McMillan will inherit Atlanta’s 16th-ranked offense in terms of efficiency and 21st-ranked defense in addition to a pair of All-NBA caliber guards in Trae Young and Dejounte Murray.
With a handful of targets already in the franchise’s scope, here are the top five candidates to replace McMillan as the Hawks’ next head coach.