NBA.com's David Aldridge is reporting that Austin Toros coach Quin Snyder will join the staff of the Philadelphia 76ers in a player development capacity. This is great news both for Snyder and for the 76ers, but a bit puzzling for the San Antonio Spurs as well as their D-League counterpart Toros.
First off, in addition to his excellent work as a coach (he won the D-League Coach of the Year award for the 2008-2009 season), Snyder is undoubtedly qualified to handle player development. More than a dozen Toros have been called-up to the NBA over the past few seasons - including Alonzo Gee, Dwayne Jones and Curtis Jerrells last year. He has helped Jones develop some offensive moves and improve his free-throw shooting; helped Marcus Williams become a point guard; and helped Spurs assignee Malik Hairston transition from power forward (his college position) to a swingman just to name a few notable examples. So...yeah, this could work.
On Philadelphia's end, they have a fair number of players who...let's say "need development."
Center Marreese Speights and forward Thaddeus Young are considered somewhat disappointing players going into their third and fourth seasons, respectively.
In all, the 76ers have six players on their roster 24 years old or younger, along with the number two overall pick in this month's NBA draft. Only three of those players (if you count the future draft pick) are eligible for assignment to the D-League next season, however, so hiring Snyder allows the team to continue a D-League-style development process closer to home.
Whether this means the 76ers will focus more on the D-League this season is unclear - they're currently affiliated with the Springfield Armor, who may or may not be purchased by the New Jersey Nets. The Sixers are also fielding a full Summer League team this year, instead of combining like they did last year, so overall the 76ers are showing progress on several fronts.
The big question(s) I have are: 1) who gets Snyder's old job as Toros coach and 2) was there ever a possibility of him getting a job with the Spurs?
Taking them in reverse order: as a successful coach with knowledge of the Spurs' system (as Austin is directly affiliated with San Antonio) and some of their players, Snyder would've been a prime candidate for a future job as a Spurs assistant. It's possible that he still may be, but his taking the 76ers post would seem to indicate that such a move to San Antonio wasn't going to come in the near future.
Snyder's leaving also creates one of the best job opportunities in the D-League.
The Spurs and Toros have a very close relationship, and their front offices do a good job of stocking Austin's roster with a combination of NBA assignees, top call-up candidates and solid D-League talent every year, which should attract quality candidates. I don't know a whole lot about Snyder's assistants, Taylor Jenkins and Alex Lloyd, or whether either of them would be considered to take over.
Regardless, this job will be much sought-after, and the hiring process will be closely watched.