Suns coach Monty Williams clears protocols, reportedly to rejoin team

Jan 4, 2022, 8:48 AM | Updated: 9:50 am

Head coach Monty Williams will rejoin his Phoenix Suns on Tuesday in New Orleans as they prepare to play the Pelicans, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Williams has missed four games after entering the league’s health and safety protocols on Dec. 27.

Associate head coach Kevin Young led an undermanned basketball team to a 2-2 record in place of Williams.

Phoenix, at 28-8, still holds the second-best record in the NBA behind the 29-7 Golden State Warriors.

Williams’ time on the protocol list came after forward Jae Crowder and guard Elfrid Payton entered the COVID-19 protocols. Since, centers Deandre Ayton and JaVale McGee, plus wing Abdel Nader, have been sidelined.

Payton is the only player who has returned from the health and safety protocols, according to the latest injury report Tuesday morning.

With four players away from the team, the Suns have signed five free agents to 10-day hardship deals: Forward Emanuel Terry, forward Paris Bass, wing Justin Jackson, guard M.J. Walker and center Bismack Biyombo. Phoenix on Tuesday waived Terry to sign Jackson.

Guard Devin Booker has taken on a more aggressive role with his team down several rotation players and is averaging 28.5 points in the past four games.

Second-year big man Jalen Smith has additionally taken advantage of more playing time, averaging 16 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game in the four outings as a rotation player.

The Suns face the Pelicans at 6 p.m. Tuesday on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

Phoenix Suns

Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George, right, lies on the court after an injury during the secon...
Associated Press

Clippers’ Paul George out 2-3 weeks with sprained right knee

Paul George has a sprained right knee and the Los Angeles Clippers All-Star will be re-evaluated in two to three weeks.
18 hours ago
Devin Booker #1 and Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns look on during the third quarter against the ...
Kellan Olson

What happened to the Phoenix Suns in the clutch this season?

The Phoenix Suns went from a historically good team in the clutch last season to a bad one this year. What happened?
18 hours ago
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, right, drives around Phoenix Suns forward Torr...
Kevin Zimmerman

What’s at stake in each of the Suns’ remaining games?

Kevin Durant's potential return from an ankle injury after a reevaluation sits a week out for the Phoenix Suns.
2 days ago
Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns drives to the basket past Luguentz Dort #5 of the Oklahoma City...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns collapse in 4th quarter of road loss to Thunder

The Suns were in control for most of Sunday's game against the Thunder but bad turnovers eventually caught up to them.
4 days ago
(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)...
Wills Rice

Landry Shamet plays well in Suns return, loss to Thunder

The Suns collapsed late in the 124-120 loss to the Thunder on Sunday in guard Landry Shamet's return after missing 25 games to a heel injury.
4 days ago
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns high fives Landry Shamet #14 after scoring against the Washin...
Arizona Sports

Suns rule Deandre Ayton out, Landry Shamet probable vs. Thunder

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton will not suit up Sunday against the Oklahoma City Thunder with a right hip contusion.
5 days ago
Suns coach Monty Williams clears protocols, reportedly to rejoin team