With last week's victory over Quin Snyder and the Utah Jazz, Gregg Popovich became the all-time winningest head coach in NBA regular season history. Soon after, one NBA insider shared how the former Austin Toros coach could be one to watch as the San Antonio Spurs' next head coach.
In May 2007, Snyder accepted the head coaching position of the Spurs' developmental team, the Austin Toros of the NBA D-League. His three-year stint included two D-League Semifinals appearances, a Finals appearance, and a Coach of the Year award.
After tenures around the league, Snyder has enjoyed success as the head coach of the Utah Jazz since 2014, although his team hasn't quite been able to reach the Western Conference Finals. If he unexpectedly becomes available next season, NBA insider Marc Stein thinks Snyder is a top name to keep an eye on (subscription required).
Saying he would cautiously guess Popovich returns for one more year, Stein says that answer could change if Snyder becomes available this offseason.
"More and more, I hear Snyder's name as a potential Pop successor that the Spurs would naturally relish," says Stein.
In 2019, Snyder had two years left on his contract when he signed a long-term extension keeping him as Utah's head coach "for years to come." I'm not sure the exact timetable has ever been revealed.
He's on pace to eclipse the 50-win mark for the third time in the last four seasons, but continued collapses in the playoffs could change the tune of the organization eventually. The Jazz haven't been past the second round of the NBA Playoffs since falling to the Spurs in 2007 under Jerry Sloan.
Quin Snyder would be a fantastic choice for the next Spurs coach
Although I'm also not convinced Coach Popovich is quite ready to hang up his clipboard, Snyder would be at the top of my list of potential replacements now that Becky Hammon will be in the WNBA. He was already close to Popovich early in his coaching career and has been having stellar seasons with Utah since 2016.
While Coach Pop's tree of successors is vast, I can't think of anyone who'd naturally fit in as well with this young group than someone who's had that much success with young developing guys in the past.
Don't expect Coach Popovich's retirement announcement to come this summer, but if Snyder ends up free, that very well could change.