NBA Rumors: Suns Want Currently Employed Coach For Their Opening; 3 Top Candidates

The Phoenix Suns have a job opening at head coach after the firing of Monty Williams over the weekend. There are a number of high-profile names on the open market who could be interested in coaching Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. But according to a number of reports, the Suns actually have a currently employed head coach as their No. 1 target. 

Tyronn Lue, who has a championship ring as coach from leading Cleveland to the title in 2016, does have a head coaching job at the moment, with a Suns' rival, the Los Angeles Clippers. And he still has two seasons remaining on his deal. 

But NBA Insider Shams Charania says the Clippers could discuss extending his contract, especially if the Suns continue to “explore the feasibility” of luring him away from LA, as also noted by Insider Marc Stein.

But failing that, there are other premium options for the Suns, starting with a coach that we already know KD is enamoured with. 

Nick Nurse 

The Toronto Raptors let go their former Coach of the Year and championship-winning bench boss at the end of a disappointing season last month. He's immediately been mentioned as a candidate for several teams, including the Milwaukee Bucks, who also have an opening. 

But we remember that Durant said this about Nurse last year:

“I’m just more so thinking about Nick Nurse and the type of coach he is. How he guards me. The schemes and adjustments they make throughout a game is pretty impressive," said KD.

Mike Budenholzer

Another former title-winner, Coach Bud is on the Suns' expanding list of candidates. He owns an impressive .604 winning percentage in his 10 seasons coaching in the NBA, and is coming off a 5-year run in Milwaukee that saw him go 271-120 (.693 pct), and grab a championship in 2021. 

Kevin Young

Young has been an assistant under Williams since 2020, and would be a good internal choice if they decide to go that route. He was also an assistant under Nick Nurse in the G League over a decade ago.

He filled in as head coach in Phoenix for a few games in late 2021 when Williams was off sick, and his work leading the Suns impressed Chris Paul, who said at the time, "He did a great job...KY will be a head coach very soon in this league."

It's expected that several other names will crop up as the Suns expand their search, but if they can pry Lue loose from the Clippers, it appears he's the chosen one. 

Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports