Report: Clippers, Suns didn’t delve into Ty Lue trade talks

Jun 16, 2023, 11:33 AM

Ty Lue Suns Clippers Game 5...

Head Coach Tyronn Lue of the LA Clippers gestures in game five of the Western Conference First Round Playoffs against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center on April 25, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Frank Vogel is in as Phoenix Suns head coach, but a darkhorse candidate for the position vacated when the team fired Monty Williams never gained traction as a viable hire. That would be Los Angeles Clippers coach Tyronn Lue, who Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes reports is unlikely to reach an extension with his current team.

The Suns reportedly had an interest in pursuing Lue as head coach before landing on Vogel, but as it was assumed then, it was a longshot. Lue has one year left on his contract before a team option for the 2024-25 season, according to Haynes.

Haynes reported Friday that the Clippers and Suns never made contact about the possibility of making a trade to send Lue to a Pacific Division rival. If Phoenix had made contact, it’s expected that Los Angeles would have “requested premium draft capital,” which the Suns don’t have available.

That’s because the trade for Kevin Durant cost the Suns four first-round picks (2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029) and an additional pick swap in 2028.

In recent history, the rarity of coaches being traded in the NBA have required a first-round pick or multiple second-round selections heading the other way.

While Lue is regarded as one of the best coaches in the NBA, Clippers stars Paul George’s and Kawhi Leonard’s health have never aligned to help them go deep in the playoffs during his three-year tenure.

Los Angeles lost in the 2021 Western Conference Finals to the Suns and missed the postseason the next year before losing to Phoenix again this past year in the first round. George didn’t play that series and Leonard was injured during it.

Lue has a 261-186 record (.584) for his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Clippers. He won a title in 2016 with Cleveland and lost two NBA Finals the next two seasons.

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