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It was strange Tuesday night seeing Quin Snyder striding the floor in the Atlanta Hawks game against the Washington Wizards. The sight, a midseason addition to a troubled team he parachuted into seemingly out of the blue, had those around the NBA chattering about why exactly he and Atlanta had been in such a rush.

"The money," one thought. "Why not," another offered. Another possible bite at the playoff apple. The -- eye roll here -- "love of the game." An itch the coach had to scratch after so much time away after parting ways with Utah last summer. And so on.

Still, a new head coach dropping into the middle of a .500 team with three-quarters of the season in the books isn't exactly the NBA norm.

And with that in mind, the most interesting theory also seemed among the most plausible: That the emerging power dynamics in Atlanta, and the big decisions that will follow surrounding Trae Young and his teammates, meant Snyder was best served getting into that job as soon as possible.

Time, and cut-throat NBA politics, wait for no man.

By that reasoning, the Hawks' 119-116 loss Tuesday night was somewhat irrelevant. Snyder was there, rapidly transitioning from vacationing as an unemployed basketball coach to the leader of an NBA team he'd had nothing to do just with a few days earlier, because the most important realities right now with the Atlanta Hawks are happening off the court. 

That fact can be broken into two parts -- one playing out in a divided locker room, the other in a Game-of-Thrones-like front office. 

Or so the thinking goes.

Starting with the locker room, it's no secret there's a serious disconnect between Young, the team's star player, and many -- though some say nearly all -- of his teammates. He is not beloved, sources say, and there's a strong view that Young fails to lead, to understand or care to understand what is required of him, and that as a result the team will never achieve what it should until that reality is fixed.

One way, or another.

Not that trading him would be easy: "They'd want a ton for him," one NBA executive said. "And I don't think there's anyone willing to pay what they'd demand."

Or, a bit more harsh, as one GM put it: "You can't win with him."

This is where Snyder comes in with a handful of helpful strengths. 

He has a reputation for building strong relationships with his players. He's seen as someone who can bring out the best in young talent. His time with the Jazz, particularly the issues between Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, gave him plenty of experience navigating players' strained relationships. Snyder is credited with developing strong cultures, also particularly important in Atlanta, where the team's vibe has been described by various sources as "broken," "ugly" and "total s---."

In that light, the sooner Snyder got to town, the better. This is extra time in which he can get to know Young and Young's teammates. Time to work to build a better culture. Time to try to integrate the team's superstar back into the locker room. Time, perhaps, to help Young be seen internally and externally as something other than an immature, though talented, point guard.

Or time to decide none of that is possible.

That, several sources mused, is the other side of the equation. Snyder getting 21 games this season to evaluate Young will give him the insight into whether he even wants to build around Young for the remainder of the coach's newly-minted, five-year contract.

Snyder, the thinking goes, can either connect with Young and help the mega-talent fit better with his teammates, or push to get him the hell out of the way come the summer. Better, either way, to have the time to find out which option is best.

But moving on from Young, even if Snyder decided he wanted to do so, would require the new head coach to have a loud enough voice to be heard in an organization with a cacophony of divergent interests striving to bend ownership's ear.

Which brings us to the second reason many across the league believe Snyder rushed into this job the way that he has: Because the politics of the Atlanta Hawks front office begs for an early arrival.

Chaos is a ladder, and all that.

Since president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk was pushed aside and into an advisory role in December, the word on the Hawks front office has been that of a cut-throat place where the mysterious alchemy of managing up with billionaires is paramount to success, even survival.

Quick catch up on the dynamics there: After Schlenk got sidelined, Landry Fields was promoted to general manager. Kyle Korver took his place as the assistant general manager. Tony Ressler, the billionaire in question who owns the team, is seen as obsessively focused on winning and is severely ambitious in how quickly he wants that to happen. And as The Athletic reported in January, Ressler's 27-year-old son, Nick Ressler, has massive influence and visibility in the day-to-day running of things. 

One nugget that illustrates the strange politics of the place: There are whispers that Fields didn't want Snyder hired in the first place. And that Korver was the one, by managing the Resslers effectively, who pushed for Snyder's hire. 

While the Hawks organization would surely push back and insist everything is rainbows and puppy dogs there, it's hard to dispute that after what happened to Schlenk and Nate McMillan, the ex-coach who was ousted Feb. 21, everyone in Atlanta is trying to figure out which way the Resslers want the wind to blow.

That kind of dynamic offers Snyder a chance, as one person put it, "to have the voice with the Hawks -- if he can manage up with the owners well enough -- he felt he didn't have in Utah. Everyone knows how important that is to him."

There's a lot going on in Atlanta. The Trae Young Experience is not going well, and that has to be fixed or cut short. There's a power vacuum to be filled, the physics of which will be set by an ownership group that those around them are still trying to understand. A challenge, yes, but also an opportunity. 

Quin Snyder, now that he's on the scene, is an excellent coach and manager of men who is more than capable of working to fix those things -- for his new team, the thinking goes, and to his own ends.