Nick Van Exel Is Returning to Atlanta Hawks as an Assistant Coach

Former Mavericks scout Nick Van Exel

Former Dallas Mavericks scout Nick Van Exel is returning to the Atlanta Hawks as an assistant coach on Nate McMillan’s staff.

Van Exel spent the last two seasons with the Mavs.

The Hawks announced the hiring on Wednesday, bringing back a former All-Star who served as a player development instructor for Atlanta from 2010 to 2012.

“Since his playing career ended, Nick has been very successful in helping develop young guards for the teams he’s worked with, including several that have turned into All-Stars,” McMillan, who led the Hawks to the Eastern Conference finals last season after taking over as interim coach, said in a statement.

The Hawks have a young floor general in 22-year old Trae Young, who is entering his fourth season in the NBA.

Alongside their point guard are a plethora of young swingmen in De’Andre Hunter, Kevin Huerter, and Cam Reddish.

Included in that core are the young, big man John Collins and a couple of second-round picks they hope will develop into solid NBA guards in Skylar Mays and Sharife Cooper.

Van Exel will get a chance to work with an excellent young core looking to make noise after reaching the East Finals last season.

McMillan was retained after that run and is the permanent head coach going into the 2021-22 season.

“We feel he’ll be a great addition helping our young core guards continue to progress,” McMillan said.

Nick Van Exel has previous coaching experience with the Memphis Grizzlies and the Milwaukee Bucks.

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He also coached one season in the G League and spent another year as an assistant at Texas Southern University.

As a player, he spent 13 seasons in the NBA and played for six teams.

His lone All-Star season came in 1998 when he was a member of the Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers.

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