Now that the Jazz are officially eliminated from the NBA playoffs, buzz that head coach Quin Snyder is on the way out the door this summer amidst what will likely be a tumultuous offseason in Utah has reached a fever pitch. And the loudest noise — and most directly linked to the Lakers so far — came from veteran NBA insider Marc Stein’s latest Substack dispatch.
In that story, Stein reported that Los Angeles indeed has “serious” interest in Snyder as their next head coach, but that there are still doubts around the league that they could sway him to return back to the team he served as an assistant coach for under Mike Brown in 2011:
The Lakers’ interest in Snyder as a successor to Frank Vogel is serious, sources say. There is nonetheless ongoing skepticism in coaching circles that Snyder would want to move from Utah — where he has enjoyed a considerable amount of control and influence — to take over the LeBron James-led Lakers in their current state after the never-ending chaos that engulfed Vogel’s last two seasons. Vogel, remember, wasn’t allowed to choose any of his primary assistant coaches and had to take constant input from Lakers front office adviser Kurt Rambis.
Shoutout to Cameo King Kurt Rambis, everyone. That is a man who knows how to hold onto a job with an iron grip despite seemingly no one outside the organization holding his qualifications to be senior basketball advisor/shadow GM in very high regard, and in spite of his mere presence — and the notion that he might offer prospective coaches ideas — reportedly serving as a detriment to basically every possible coaching candidate. Truly incredible stuff.
But that aside, Snyder has been linked to the Lakers job since March, and despite calling such rumors “disrespectful” publicly and reportedly being offended privately by the way the Lakers handled Vogel’s firing, those reports have only continued apace.
And all this is not because Snyder isn’t wanted in Utah, either. Sam Amick of The Athletic wrote on Friday that Snyder has “one guaranteed season left on his contract in addition to a coach’s option for the 2023-24 campaign” and Jazz GM Justin Zanik told the media that they want to keep the coach:
"Quin Snyder is one of the best coaches in the NBA and there's no other partner I would rather have as a coach." - Jazz GM Justin Zanik— Sarah Todd (@NBASarah) April 29, 2022
Snyder himself and center Rudy Gobert, however, sounded far less committal the night before:
I've been in rooms after the last game or on exit interview day when guys have given 100% votes of confidence in their coach and that wasn't it.— Sarah Todd (@NBASarah) April 29, 2022
I'm not saying that Rudy doesn't believe in Quin and it could just be the emotions of the game that just ended. But...yeah.
So despite Amick also reporting that “ownership and management do not see Snyder as part of the problem” in Utah, quotes like the ones above, coupled with months of speculation about his status, make Amick’s writing on Snyder being unsure about what he wants to do next feel far more notable than any public votes of confidence from a front office that can’t really say anything else:
Sources say Snyder has been unsure of what his coaching future might hold all season, and his plan has been to see how things ended and then reassess his own view of it all from there. In terms of what might come next, it appears nearly every scenario is on the table.
He could be back with the Jazz, pursue a coaching job elsewhere or perhaps take a season off to re-energize and spend the kind of time with his family that is so hard to come by these days. In terms of a possible extension, sources say there were no discussions of a new deal during the season.
There are reasons to be dubious about that last part — Stein reported back when originally tying Snyder to the job that the Jazz had tried to extend Snyder’s deal, overtures that Tim MacMahon of ESPN confirmed on Friday that Snyder has declined — but regardless, the rest of that feels noteworthy. It doesn’t exactly make it a certainty that Snyder is bound for Los Angeles, but multiple reports that he’s considering taking time off from coaching or stepping away from Utah at the very least make him seem extremely gettable this summer.
Gettable enough to want to take Kurt Rambis’ coaching suggestions? We’ll see. But don’t be surprised if we hear more whispers about the Lakers asking for permission to interview him — or Snyder straight up just stepping away from the Jazz and considering other options — soon as they earnestly begin their search process.