PHOENIX SUNS

Igor Kokoskov: Luka Doncic would ‘fit great’ on Suns

May 17, 2018, 11:05 AM | Updated: May 21, 2018, 1:40 pm
Phoenix Suns head coach Igor Kokoskov speaks to the media Monday, May 14, 2018, in Phoenix. Kokosko...

Phoenix Suns head coach Igor Kokoskov speaks to the media Monday, May 14, 2018, in Phoenix. Kokoskov will oversee a vastly improved team after they compiled the worst record in the NBA last season. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

The connection is not hard to spot.

Real Madrid wing and likely top-2 NBA Draft pick Luka Doncic played for Slovenian head coach Igor Kokoskov at EuroBasket last summer, and Kokoskov is now the Phoenix Suns’ new head coach.

Theories began to fly. This has to mean the Suns are selecting Doncic, right?

Well for one, the Suns had no idea Doncic would be available to them in the draft when they hired Kokoskov, and Kokoskov himself says the team is not locked in on one guy at No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft.

“With all respect to Luka, I love him as a player — he’s a unique player and a great guy. I think he would fit great on our team, but the options are open,” he said on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Suns Postseason Special Wednesday.

Kokoskov, obviously, has taken notice of Doncic’s play and achievements in Europe.

“You look at his career in the last two years, he made unbelievable improvements as a player,” he said.

“In the professional world, playing with professional players and as a young boy he was playing with adults and dominating and playing on that level, it’s really something that draws attention. All the lights were on him.”

Kokoskov also has the insight that Doncic wants to model his game around Philadelphia 76ers star point guard Ben Simmons.

“That’s his game,” he said. “Pass-first player, always the ability to score and make the big shots, but he’s a playmaker. He’s willing to make a pass, he’s willing to play for his teammates and make other people better on the court.”

The 46-year-old also opened up about his thought process when looking at the draft as a whole.

“Every decision takes a risk,” he said. “It gives us a better chance to look all these candidates, study very well and see what’s the best for us. I think this class is pretty good, not just the first pick, I think a lot of lottery picks can change a team and franchises they are going to play for.”

When it comes down to it, though, what really matters for the Suns was the moment of landing the pick and what that player could mean for the team.

“It was a really great night for Suns nation,” Kokoskov said. “Just made history. First time in the history of the franchise that we got (a) first pick and we have a chance to choose who (we) really like and who we think can change the franchise.”

Penguin Air

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Phoenix Suns

Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns and Dwight Powell #7 of the Dallas Mavericks jump for the ope...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns get rematch vs. Mavericks on opening night, per report

The Phoenix Suns' regular season will begin at home against the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 19, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.
1 day ago
The Phoenix Suns mascot "The Gorilla" on the court before NBA game against the Golden State Warrior...
Arizona Sports

Report: Phoenix Suns to play Denver Nuggets on Christmas Day

The Phoenix Suns will head to Denver to face the Nuggets on Christmas Day this upcoming season, Mike Singer of the Denver Post reported. 
2 days ago
Bill Russell, left, star of the Boston Celtics is congratulated by coach Arnold "Red" Auerbach afte...
Kevin Zimmerman

NBA retires No. 6 jerseys, to add jersey patch honoring late Bill Russell

Bill Russell's No. 6 jersey is the first to be retired across the NBA. Players will wear the patch on the shoulders this year.
5 days ago
Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the first half of Game One of the Western Confere...
Kevin Zimmerman

ESPN’s NBA staff still mighty high on 2022-23 Phoenix Suns

If you were wondering why the Suns have attacked the offseason with tinkering, it might be time to remember the past two full seasons.
6 days ago
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) is tackled by Philadelphia Eagles safety Marc...
Arizona Sports

Larry Fitzgerald, Pedro Gomez in 2022 Arizona Sports Hall of Fame class

Arizona Cardinals legend Larry Fitzgerald and late journalist Pedro Gomez are among the 2022 class entering the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.
6 days ago
Kevin Durant attends "NYC Point Gods" premiere at Midnight Theatre on July 26, 2022 in New York Cit...
Dan Bickley

Kevin Durant’s exit could get messy for Nets, maybe Suns, too

By my calculations, there is only one way Durant lands in Phoenix. There must be a second act of petulance even worse than the first.
7 days ago
Igor Kokoskov: Luka Doncic would ‘fit great’ on Suns