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Report: Suns interviewing Portland assistants Vanterpool, Tibbetts

Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts, center, sits between assistant coaches David Vanterpool, left, and Nate Tibbetts, right, as they play the Phoenix Suns during the second half of an NBA preseason game in Phoenix on Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb, File)

The Phoenix Suns are keeping busy on their search for a new head coach.

Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the team is following up a trip to Toronto to interview Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams on Friday by heading out to Portland.

The team will speak with Trail Blazers assistants Nate Tibbetts and David Vanterpool on Saturday, per Wojnarowski. On Wednesday, Wojnarowski reported the Suns had received permission from Portland to speak with the two assistants about the opening.

Tibbetts has a history coaching for the Cavs, as he served under head coach Byron Scott from 2011-13. He’s been with Portland under head coach Terry Stotts since 2013.

Vanterpool is likewise a well-regarded assistant with no head coaching experience.

After a pro career from 1995-2007 mostly overseas, he was an assistant for Russian club CSKA Moscow from 2007-12 before he joined Stotts’ staff in 2012.

Williams has five years of head coaching experience with New Orleans.

He went 173-221 (.439) from 2010-15, making the playoffs twice and losing in the first round both times. He has a relationship with the Suns’ top decision-makers having coached Jones for Portland in 2007-08. Williams worked under Suns senior vice president of basketball operations Jeff Bower while with New Orleans.

The Suns fired head coach Igor Kokoskov on Monday night. In Kokoskov’s lone season, Phoenix posted a record of 19-63.


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