Suns remain fixated on Monty Williams but no offer extended
The Phoenix Suns have their sights narrowed in on who they appear to like most for their next head coach. But it appears they are preparing for other options.
According to The New York Times’ Marc Stein, the Phoenix Suns hiring Sixers assistant Monty Williams is “a scenario gaining real momentum.” Stein also reported that the “Suns’ job will be Monty Williams’ job if he wants it” but added that since Williams has been a hot commodity in head coaching searches he could be “choosy about where he wants to coach next.”
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Williams and Suns owner met in Philadelphia Wednesday night but no offer from Phoenix has been extended. 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro confirmed that, adding the Suns have “other candidates lined up to interview.”
After interviewing with the Los Angeles Lakers, who reportedly also met with Tyronn Lue about their head coaching vacancy, Williams was targeted by the Suns following the dismissal of head coach Igor Kokoskov.
The Suns flew out to Toronto, where the 76ers were preparing for their second-round playoff series, and met with Williams on Friday. The team then flew to Portland and met with Trail Blazers assistants Nate Tibbetts and David Vanterpool.
On Tuesday, it was reported the Suns will meet with Williams for a second time this week with owner Robert Sarver present for the meeting. That meeting occurred Wednesday.
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.
Following his stint with New Orleans, Williams joined the Oklahoma City Thunder from 2015-16 but left the team after his wife’s death from a car accident. Williams eventually joined the San Antonio Spurs front office as vice president of basketball operations before landing as an assistant coach with the 76ers this year.
Phoenix general manager James Jones played for Williams when Williams was an assistant on Portland’s coaching staff during the 2007-08 season, and senior VP of basketball operations Jeff Bower was Williams’ boss in New Orleans. Bower hired Williams in 2010 as the GM but left the team shortly afterward.