Suns coaching options continue to dwindle as Nurse reportedly joins 76ers

May 29, 2023, 2:43 PM | Updated: 4:09 pm

Former Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, Bucks and Suns coaching candidate...

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse looks on during the second quarter against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on November 10, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Former Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse is joining the Philadelphia 76ers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, further narrowing the candidates available for the top job in Phoenix.

Nurse was an assistant with the Raptors from 2013-2018 before taking the head coach job and leading the Raptors to the 2019 NBA championship. He was the NBA Coach of the Year in 2020 and the head coach of the Canadian men’s national team.

Nurse was believed to be one of the remaining coaching candidates the Suns were pursuing. The Milwaukee Bucks hired Toronto Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin as their new head coach Saturday.

Wojnarowski reported both the 76ers and Suns were engaged with Nurse and his agent Sunday and Monday with the decision coming down to a desire to coach MVP Joel Embiid and comfort with Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey.

Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro said last week he believes Suns associate head coach Kevin Young has had an interview already and could have had another this weekend.

Young got his start in the NBA as an assistant coach for the 76ers from 2017-20 before he came to Phoenix to work under Monty Williams.

Of the remaining candidates, Young has received support from some Suns players.

Fernandez spent the last six years as an assistant with the Denver Nuggets (2016-22) before joining the Sacramento Kings in 2022. Sacramento went on to win 48 games and head coach Mike Brown won NBA Coach of the Year.

Rivers’ fourth head coaching gig in the league came for three seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers. They were eliminated in the second round of this postseason and Rivers was dismissed. He won a title with the Boston Celtics in 2008.

Vogel has been out of coaching since the Lakers axed him at the end of last season, two years after his first season with the Lakers resulted in a championship. He spent six seasons as head coach of the Indiana Pacers from 2010-16 before two years in Orlando coaching the Magic.


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