The Atlanta Hawks have a Trae Young problem. Quin Snyder is there to fix it. One way, or the other.

It was strange on Tuesday night to see Quin Snyder on the floor in the Atlanta Hawks game against the Washington Wizards. The sight, a midseason addition to a troubled team he seemingly parachuted into, had people around the NBA talking about exactly why he and Atlanta were under such pressure.

“The money,” thought one. “Why not,” offered another. Another bite that could be at the playoff apple. The – eye roll here – “love of the game.” Titch was the coach after spending so much time after parting ways with Utah last summer. And so on.

Still, a new head coach falling into the middle of a .500 team with three-quarters of the season in the books isn’t exactly typical NBA practice.

With that in mind, the most interesting theory seemed to be among the most plausible: That it involved the emerging power dynamic in Atlanta, and the big decisions that will follow Trae Young and his teammates. Snyder would be best served to step into that position so soon. and it is possible.

Time, and the politics of the NBA’s throat, wait for any man.

By that reasoning, the Hawks are Tuesday night’s 119-116 loss was somewhat irrelevant. Snyder was there, quickly transitioning from being an unemployed basketball coach on vacation to the head of an NBA team he had nothing to do just days before, as the most important realities right now with the Atlanta Hawks are happening outside of the court. .

That fact can be broken into two parts – one playing out in a shared locker room, the other in a Game-of-Thrones-style front office.

Or so the thinking goes.

Starting with the locker room, it’s no secret that there’s a serious disconnect between Young, the team’s star player, and many — though some say almost — his teammates. It is not love, according to sources, and there is a strong perception that Young fails to lead, understand or care to understand what he needs, and as a result the team will not achieve what he should until the fixed reality.

One way or another.

It wouldn’t be easy to trade him: “They want him a ton,” said one NBA executive. “And I don’t think anyone is willing to pay what they demanded.”

Or, to put it a little more harshly, as one GM put it: “You can’t win with him.”

This is where Snyder comes in with a handful of helpful strengths.

He is known for building strong relationships with his players. He is seen as someone who can bring out the best in young talent. His time with the Jazz, especially the problems between Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, gave him plenty of experience dealing with strained player relationships. Snyder is credited with developing strong cultures, which is also especially important in Atlanta, where various sources have described the team’s vibe as “broken,” “ugly” and “total s—.”

In light of that, the sooner Snyder got to town the better. This is the extra time he can get to know Young and Young’s teammates. Time to work to build a better culture. It’s time to try to integrate the team’s superstar back into the locker room. Time, perhaps, to help Young be seen internally and externally as something other than an immature, albeit talented, point guard.

Or it’s time to decide that none of that is possible.

That is, some sources are considered, on the other side of the equation. Snyder will get 21 games this season to evaluate Young which will give him the insight into whether he or she wants to build around Young for the remainder of the coach’s newly minted five-year contract.

Snyder, the thinking goes, can bond with Young and help the mega-talent fit in better with his teammates, or pressure him to get the hell out of the way come summer. Either way, it’s best to take the time to find out which option is best.

But moving on from Young, even if Snyder decided he wanted to do that, the head coach would need to be a loud enough voice to be heard in an organization with a diversity of interests while trying to to bend the ear of ownership.

Which brings us to the second reason many around the league believe, Snyder rushed into this position the way it is: Because of the politics of the Atlanta Hawks front office begs for your arrival soon.

Chaos is a ladder, and that’s all.

Since president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk was stepped aside and moved into an advisory role in December, word has it that the Hawks front office is a seedy place where the mysterious alchemy of managing up to billionaires critical to success, even survival. .

A quick look at the dynamic then: After Schlenk stepped aside, Landry Fields was promoted to general manager. Kyle Korver took his place as assistant general manager. Tony Ressler, the billionaire in question who owns the team, seems hell-bent on winning and is extremely ambitious about how quickly he wants it to happen. And as The Athletic reported in January, Ressler’s 27-year-old son Nick Ressler has enormous influence and visibility in the day-to-day running of things.

One nugget that illustrates the strange politics of the place: There are whispers that Fields didn’t want to hire Snyder in the first place. And Korver was the one, by effectively managing the Resslers, who pushed for Snyder’s hire.

Although the Hawks organization would certainly push back and claim that everything is rainbows and puppy dogs, it is difficult to dispute that after what happened to Schlenk and Nate McMillan, the former coach who was ousted February 21, everyone in Atlanta is trying to do. out which way the Resslers want the wind to blow.

That kind of dynamic gives Snyder a chance, as one person said, “the voice with the Hawks — if he can manage up with the owners well enough — he felt that he was not in Utah. He knows everyone how is important to him.”

There’s a lot going on in Atlanta. The Trae Young Experience is not doing well, and that needs to be fixed or cut. There is a power vacuum to be filled, and an ownership group will determine the physics that those around them are still trying to understand. A challenge, yes, but also an opportunity.

Quin Snyder, now that he’s on the scene, is an excellent coach and manager of men who are more than capable of working to fix those things – for his new team, the thinking goes, and for his own ends.

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