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Suns coaching rumors: Phoenix to interview top target Monty Williams on Friday; set up meetings with two Blazers assistants

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The Phoenix Suns made their first move of the offseason mode earlier this week when they fired head coach Igor Kokoskov after just one season.

With the Suns moving on from Kokoskov, the franchise is beginning to look at head-coaching candidates. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Suns have made Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams their “focus” in their coaching search after Philadelphia granted Phoenix permission to interview its assistant coach on Tuesday.

The Suns are clearly prioritizing Williams at the current moment. They’ll meet with the assistant head coach in Toronto on Friday before the Sixers take on the Raptors for Game 1, according to Wojnarowski.

Williams does have some head-coaching experience under his belt from his time with the New Orleans Pelicans. In five seasons with New Orleans, Williams accumulated a 173-221 record, winning at least 45 games in two of those seasons.

The former NBA guard is currently in his first season as an assistant coach on Brett Brown’s staff in Philadelphia. The former small forward certainly wouldn’t be the first coach that was poached from the 76ers as Lloyd Pierce was hired by the Atlanta Hawks following the 2017-18 season. In addition, assistant Billy Lange accepted a head-coaching position at Saint Joseph’s University earlier this season.

Williams is also drawing interest from the Los Angeles Lakers after Luke Walton and the team “parted ways” earlier this month. The Lakers are expected to conduct a second interview with Williams.

Meanwhile, Portland Trail Blazers assistant Nate Tibbetts has plenty of coaching experience after spending time with the Cleveland Cavaliers organization as an assistant coach for the team under Byron Scott from 2011 to 2013. The former Cleveland assistant coach then left the franchise to become an assistant coach with the Portland Trail Blazers under head coach Terry Stotts, where he has been since 2013.

Much like Tibbets, David Vanterpool has also been an assistant under Stotts since 2013. Vanterpool was a four-year star at St. Bonaventure before eventually having a lengthy professional career overseas.

Tibbetts and Vanterpool have also been granted permission to interview for the Cavaliers’ head-coaching vacancy.

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