The Utah Jazz are one of the NBA teams in the market for a new head coach. They are clearly going through a rebuilding phase, but they have some nice pieces in place.
While they are looking for a coach, a current player is apparently interested in the job. Earl Watson, a current backup guard for the Portland Trailblazers, wants to be considered for the position. Via CSN NW:
Earl Watson of the Portland Trail Blazers has a strong desire to become the next head coach of the Utah Jazz and would relish the opportunity to interview for the position, league sources associated with the guard informed CSNNW.com.
Watson, 34, played three seasons as a member of the Jazz and immediately became an organization and fan favorite. He is viewed by numerous NBA executives as one of the few current players capable of making a smooth transition into the NBA coaching profession shortly following retirement.
The soon-to-be coach admitted during Friday’s exit interviews that the Utah job attracts him, and he already has the endorsement of Utah’s electric wing stud.
Jason Kidd seems to have paved the way for players to jump right from the court to the bench.
Watson’s strongest playing card may be the endorsement from Gordon Hayward, who the team will likely be looking to lock up long term this offseason.
“I’m definitely pulling for Earl to get the job,” Jazz forward Gordon Hayward told CSNNW.com via phone Friday morning. “He’s a great guy and has a great basketball mind. If he did become our coach and I got to play under him, it would be great because I know how hard he’ll work and prepare us. He’s a true professional and I think no matter where he ends up, he’ll be a great head coach in the NBA.”
Watson wasn’t much of a contributor for the Blazers this season, appearing in only 24 games.