Lloyd Pierce has been part of “the process” in Philadelphia, one of the assistant coaches under Brett Brown that has developed players and helped build that team into one that is about to become a power in the East for the foreseeable future.
Now he’s going to get the chance to build something of his own.
The Atlanta Hawks are in the midst of a rebuild and have turned to Pierce to take over as their head coach, the team announcing late Friday they have reached an “agreement in principle” with him.
“As we set out to find a new head coach for our team, it was critically important to find a dynamic teacher who could connect with and develop our young core while instilling the culture and high standards we feel are necessary in a successful program,” said Hawks General Manager and Head of Basketball Operations Travis Schlenk in a statement. “Lloyd Pierce checks every box, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him leading the Atlanta Hawks into the future.”
“This is a day I’ve been working towards for a long time and it’s an honor to be the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks,” Pierce said. “I have great respect for Travis and strong belief in his plan to bring a championship to the city of Atlanta. After spending time with ownership, it’s clear they have a deep investment in and commitment to making this a model organization. This opportunity is a perfect fit for me, and I’m eager to get started.”
This is a four-year contract, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The Hawks and former coach Mike Budenholzer agreed to part ways after the season.
Before going to the Sixers, Pierce worked for both the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, as well as the Memphis Grizzlies. He has put in his dues.
Atlanta has a long road ahead in its rebuild. There are some promising young players such as John Collins and Taurean Prince, plus three first-round picks in June’s draft (the fourth slot heading into next week’s lottery, plus No. 19 and No. 30). The Hawks have their draft picks after this year as well, plus a first-rounder (top-10 protected) coming from the Cavaliers. That’s a lot of young talent to mold.
Pierce is going to get the chance.