According to Shams Charania, the Utah Jazz have hired Will Hardy as their new head coach.
The deal is for five years.
Hardy’s deal to become the new head coach for the Jazz is five years….he gets a long term commitment from the Jazz— Tony Jones (@Tjonesonthenba) June 28, 2022
The Jazz had done a thorough coaching search bringing in a large amount of candidates to find the best possible fit. It looks like Hardy is that guy and it’s pretty exciting!
One of the first things you’ll notice is that Will Hardy is young. Of all the candidates the Jazz had looked at, he and Lamar Skeeter were the youngest at 34. It’s a hire that makes you think he’s a candidate that will be brought in to grow with the team. This would be Hardy’s first head coaching opportunity, although it’s not the first time he’s been involved with high level coaching staffs. Will he be tasked with helping a bad locker room situation or are the Jazz looking to make more moves this offseason to fit their new coach?
The Jazz are closing in on the Celtics' top assistant Will Hardy as their next head coach, sources tell @ShamsCharania.— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) June 28, 2022
Hardy spent five seasons under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio before joining Ime Udoka's staff in Boston in 2021-22. pic.twitter.com/E802LJ2Zh9
Although Hardy is young, he’s not inexperienced. Hardy spent five seasons under Gregg Popovich, including working with Team USA, and was a part of Ime Udoka’s staff in Boston in 2021-22. That’s two trees of high level coaching that, if he can replicate the positives of those two teams, should make Jazz fans happy. It should also be noted that Hardy was the lead assistant in Boston and a guy they wanted to keep. To move up that quickly from video coordinator, to the coaching staff with Popovich, and then lead assistant with Udoka, it’s hard not to be excited about his potential.
The other element of this that’s interesting is the connection to Danny Ainge, who is obviously still connected with the Celtics. That definitely played a hand in the Jazz getting a guy that is moving up quickly in the NBA. That Finals game with Ainge walking on the court certainly seems different now that this hire has been made.
The other question now is how does this affect team decisions with free agency? Will the Jazz make moves based on this hire? As I mentioned before, will the Jazz want Hardy coaching a younger core that he can grow with, or do the Jazz feel like he can come in and help a pretty bleak locker room situation from last year? This will certainly make things interesting and, at the very least, it looks like it’s the first step for Danny Ainge leaving a mark on the Jazz has been made.