News has circulated in the last 24-hours that Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach, Monty Williams become the next head coach of the Phoenix Suns.
On Wednesday, Marc Stein of the New York Times reported the possibility of Phoenix hiring Monty Williams to fill the role is “gaining real momentum.”
Stein noted the job is his “if he wants it” but pointed out the fact Williams could have multiple opportunities means he “has the rare ability to be choosy about where he wants to coach next.”
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported in April the Suns were “planning to target” Williams, who is currently an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers, after they fired head coach Igor Kokoskov. However, he also noted the Los Angeles Lakers were planning to interview him a second time, as well.
Williams was a player before he was a coach, entering the league out of Notre Dame as a first-round draft pick of the New York Knicks in 1994. He played nine seasons for the Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic and 76ers.
He was then an assistant coach for the Portland Trail Blazers before he became the head coach of the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans prior to the 2010-11 season. He spent five seasons in New Orleans and accumulated a 173-221 record with two playoff appearances, although he lost in the first round both times.
Williams has been the associate head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder and an assistant with Philadelphia since.
As for Phoenix, it finished with the worst record in the Western Conference (19-63) this past season. Organizational stability is also a question mark following the decision to fire Kokoskov after just one season.
According to controversial Twitter account, Igotsources: The Phoenix Suns have an edge over the Los Angeles Lakers in the bidding war for Williams because the Suns are willing to give more front office input to Williams as way to to pry him away from Lakers.
The page also purports that if Monty Williams is nabbed as coach of the Suns, Juwan Howard could become the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.
By all accounts, Monty Williams is a leading candidate. He is from the DMV-area, as is Durant and he used to coach Anthony Davis when he was the head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans.
Ty Lue is believed to be up there because of ties to LeBron James.
Lue is a former NBA Champion as a head coach, and has had two interviews with the Lakers.
Due to his familiarity with LeBron James, some might think that he is the favorite.
Jason Kidd was higher on the list during the NBA season. Magic Johnson was also calling the shots back then, as well.
According to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times, former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue and Philadelphia 76ers assistant Monty Williams didn’t leave their second interviews with jobs offers, nor were they told when their decision would be made:
Neither Williams nor Lue were offered the job and neither was given a timetable on when the Lakers will make their decision, said the people who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
The Lakers also interviewed Miami Heat assistant Juwan Howard, but he’s viewed as a distant third in the race. While there are rumors that the team will interview more candidates in the coming weeks, expect the decision to come down to Lue and Williams.
The Los Angeles Lakers have a lot to figure out between now, the NBA Draft and the NBA’s free agency period this July.