PHOENIX SUNS

Phoenix Suns’ list of head-coaching candidates down to 3

May 30, 2023, 7:00 AM

Doc Rivers, Suns head coaching candidates...

Head coach Doc Rivers of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts against the Brooklyn Nets during the first half of Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs at Barclays Center on April 20, 2023 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns have narrowed their head-coaching search to Doc Rivers, Frank Vogel and Kevin Young as they prepare to fill the vacancy left by the firing of Monty Williams, according to Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro.

A hire could be made as early as the end of this week, Gambadoro adds.

The Suns appear unlikely to hire Sacramento Kings associate head coach Jordi Fernandez and sit with three names after Nick Nurse, who was in the running for the Phoenix job, reportedly agreed to fill the opening with the Philadelphia 76ers.

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 Williams.

Young received support from some Suns players while working as Williams’ lead assistant.

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.

Nurse, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, had his agent Andy Miller in negotiations with Phoenix. Gambadoro reports that the Suns had not offered Nurse the job.

Nurse had a prior relationship with Sixers general manager Daryl Morey as G League coach of the Houston Rockets’ affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, from 2011-13. He sought to coach MVP Joel Embiid, reports Wojnarowski.

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