Inside Hires Often Make the Most Sense
Promoting an assistant coach to head coach is usually the best option given that they already know the players and the ins and outs of the organization. It looked like Becky Hammon was the woman for the job, but she has since found other ventures.
Will Hardy has been with the team for over ten years and has served as an assistant coach for four of them. He has also been in charge of Summer League play for several seasons, so he does have a head coaching pedigree. He is also only 33 years old, so he could carry the torch for several decades, perhaps even starting another dynasty. Other teams seem to think he's ready to take the head coaching leap, so why not take that jump in familiar territory?
While hiring Will Hardy or the even younger Mitch Johnson might be a little far-fetched, Chip Engelland has established himself as one of the best assistant coaches and shooting gurus in the entire league. My personal favorite hire, Engelland would continue the excellence Popovich had built and would definitely keep his players happy in the process. He has the qualifications to make the jump to head coach, and as far as in-house hires go, he should be the frontrunner.
Teams often stick to promoting an assistant coach because it’s the safe play, but there are plenty of good options that have no connections to the Spurs. However, there are also plenty of bad ones.