The Phoenix Suns are in the process of searching for their next head coach. There are many candidates that are possibilities but what do we know so far?
Not much has been leaked on the Phoenix Suns search for their next head coach so far other than the names of three candidates that the team is rumored to be interviewing.
There are several candidates that fans would like for the franchise to reach out to but as fans know, we don’t always get what we want and it’s smart to tag along to the leaks in info.
I will continue to discuss many possibilities on who the team can and should take a look at but let’s take a moment to talk about who we know the Suns have talked to for the job.
Nate Tibbetts and David Vanterpool of Blazers
Per Arizona Sports, the Phoenix Suns are interviewing Portland assistants Nate Tibbetts and David Vanterpool.
Tibbetts, at 41-years-old, served as an assistant under head coach Byron Scott on the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2011-13 and has been with the Blazers under head coach Terry Stotts since 2013.
Vanterpool, at 46-years-old, was an assistant for Russian club CSKA Moscow from 2007-12. He’s been an assistant under Stotts since then.
Both are well-regarded assistants BUT neither has head coaching experience.
Tibbetts, as head coach of the then-Tulsa 66ers, had a 64-41 record in two seasons and led the team to the D-League playoffs. He was also chosen to coach the 2011 D-League All-Star Game. He was a finalist for the Atlanta Hawks job last season.
Vanterpool interviewed with the Charlotte Hornets and Orlando Magic for their head coach openings last summer. He has been a hot name in coaching circles in recent years and was tied for the third-most votes for best assistant coach in NBA.com’s 2017-18 GM poll.
Nate and David are both younger, humble and would be very appreciative of a chance at a head coaching position. They are well respected around the league and have been known for helping with the player development of some key guys in Portland, especially guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.
Monty Williams of the Sixers
Monty is the most experienced of the trio of leaked names, with five years of head coaching experience with New Orleans, from 2010-15.
He has a 173-221 record (.439 winning percentage) as a head coach. He’s made the playoffs twice BUT lost in the first round both times.
Williams, at 47-years-old, has a relationship with two of the Suns’ top front office guys as he coached James Jones for a season in Portland and worked under Suns senior vice president of basketball operations Jeff Bower while with the Hornets/Pelicans.
A special tidbit to his resume is the fact that he was an assistant coach with the United States national team under Mike Krzyzewski along with Jim Boeheim and Tom Thibodeau, for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
In the 2015-16 season, he was associate head coach under Billy Donovan on the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Sadly, during that season, Williams’ wife, Ingrid, died from injuries sustained from a car crash. Understandably, he took some time off to heal.
He returned to the coaching ranks this season and is currently the lead assistant coach for the Sixers under head coach Brett Brown.
Williams has coached or played under Gregg Popovich, Donovan, Nate McMillan, and Brett Brown so not only does he have experience but he also has had some great teachers along the way.
He’s coached some stars, could re-unite with Jrue Holiday should the Suns trade for him and his demeanor courtside plus personality around the players could work wonders.
There could be candidates that the team has reached out to that haven’t leaked but these are the three guys that we know the Suns are in talks with. Only time will tell if they ultimately lean this way or go a completely different path.