Suns interested in Lue, Budenholzer, Nurse, Young for head-coaching vacancy

May 14, 2023, 12:34 PM | Updated: 1:31 pm

Mike Budenholzer...

Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jess Rapfogel)

(AP Photo/Jess Rapfogel)

Now that the Phoenix Suns have fired Monty Williams and are searching for a new head coach, who are the top candidates?

Well, the initial list of initial candidates, according to TNT and Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes, includes Suns top assistant Kevin Young, former Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer and former Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse.

According to Marc Stein, current Los Angeles Clippers coach Tyronn Lue is also in the mix if the Suns were wanting to find a way to lure him away from a division rival.

The firing comes just two days after the team’s 2023 playoff exit against the Denver Nuggets in six games.

Phoenix now will be competing with the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors and Detroit Pistons in the coaching free-agent market this offseason.

According to The Athletic, candidates the Milwaukee Bucks might be targeting – before Williams was fired – included a large variety of candidates. Those with no head coaching experience include Charles Lee, Milwaukee Bucks associate head coach; Adrian Griffin, Toronto Raptors lead assistant coach; and Chris Quinn, Miami Heat lead assistant coach.

Candidates for the Bucks with head coaching experience should include, according to The Athletic; Mike Brown, the 2022-23 NBA Coach of the Year; Kenny Atkinson, Warriors assistant coach; Scott Brooks, Blazers assistant coach; James Borrego, former Charlotte Hornets head coach; and Steve Nash, former Nets head coach.

The Sporting News in late April cited a few of the same candidates available for the Raptors that the Bucks are considering, but added Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin, former Lakers Head Coach Frank Vogel and former Phoenix Head Coach Earl Watson.

Shams Charania of The Athletic also reported current ESPN/ABC analyst and former Golden State Warriors Head Coach Mark Jackson will be interviewed by the Bucks.

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