This isn’t about Quinn Snyder being in the hot seat.
Eight years of his tenure as head coach of Utah JazzWith one season guaranteed on his contract plus a coach option for the 2023-24 season, the 55-year-old remains highly regarded by everyone from second-year owner Ryan Smith to first-year basketball CEO Danny Aing to general manager Justin. Zanic. Jazz Loss streak for Dallas In Game 6 of the first round on Thursday that doesn’t change, and sources say ownership and management don’t see Snyder as part of the problem.
Why, then, are we talking about his possible departure from Utah for several months now? Because it’s Snyder who must now decide how he feels about this jazz experience and the prospect of continuing down this difficult path.
Sources say Snyder wasn’t sure what his coaching future might hold throughout the season, and his plan was to see how things turned out and then re-evaluate his view of it all from there. As for what might come next, it looks like nearly every scenario is on the table.
He could come back with jazz, pursue a coaching job somewhere else or maybe take a vacation to revitalize and spend the kind of time with his family that is hard to get these days. Regarding a possible extension, sources say there have been no discussions of a new deal during the season.
As always with such decisions, there are a number of subtle factors at play.
There is an obvious basketball component, with the Jazz team unable to meet their title-challenging expectations, resulting in cumulative losses for all participants. Despite all the continued success Utah has enjoyed, with six straight playoff appearances and More wins in the regular season than everyone except Milwaukee and Toronto In that period, he failed to reach the conference finals and fell in the first round in three of the past four seasons.
This kind of pain comes at the expense of all involved, especially the coach who is widely known for his tireless and exhausting style in his profession. Add the dynamics of the locker room that has been front and center for a long time now, the discussion about Donovan Mitchell And Rudy Gobert And whether they’ll really mesh, Snyder has found himself managing one of the league’s most delicate positions for quite some time.
Looking ahead, it’s safe to assume that Snyder would like to see what the jazz scene might look like – on and off the field – at the start of next season, too. What is the plan here? Is Joubert still supporting their defense, or will he be traded this summer? Is Mitchell still on board as the centerpiece of the franchise, or will he be knocked out by the trade despite having three more guaranteed seasons on his deal?
Who’s really in charge when it comes to the roster, and where does Snyder’s voice fit in when it comes to the kind of team jazz wants to keep building? After all, one could certainly argue that Snyder has more effort into this program than anyone else.
It’s been less than five months since Smith hired Ainge to work with general manager Justin Zanek and 10 months since longtime Jazz CEO Dennis Lindsay resigned. Sources say Ainge and Snyder have worked well together so far, but it’s clear that there’s still an element of getting to know you that continues to develop.
In his 18 years as the Celtics front office president, Ainge has always taken the kind of hands-on approach to team building that requires a healthy partnership with a coach. Meanwhile, it is widely known that Zaniek has a very good relationship with Snyder. Ditto for Snyder and Smith.
Snyder’s view of the same situation likely plays a role, too. It would be one thing if Snyder saw himself as the modern jazz version of Jerry Sloan, the legendary late coach who spent 23 seasons in that seat. But those who know Snyder best, and who have seen him hold five jobs in five cities and two countries (US and Russia) from 2007 to 2014 after a seven-year residency as a coach in Missouri, say that was never the vision. He had this job.
Hearing Snyder reflect on this season Thursday night, he was wondering what might happen next to one of the league’s most respected coaches.
“I am very proud of this team and the way we competed tonight,” Snyder said during his press conference. “The result speaks for itself, but I had the pleasure of training this group.”
Was the choice to transcend time a sign that he was saying goodbye, or just an admission that “this group” might break up in the next few months? Snyder may not know himself for sure yet.
(Photo: Rob Gray / USA Today)