After being fired by the Suns Saturday night, Monty Williams is attracting interest from the other three NBA teams with head coaching vacancies, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic. Sources tell Charania that the Bucks, Pistons and Raptors all plan to pursue Williams in their coaching searches.
Charania hears that Williams will “take time to himself” after his surprising ouster in Phoenix, but opportunities will be available if he decides he wants to coach next season. Even though Detroit scheduled interviews with its three finalists last week, it appears the team will delay a decision until it finds out if Williams is interested. The Raptors, who fired Nick Nurse on April 21, and the Bucks, who dismissed Mike Budenholzer on May 4, are both in the early stages of their coaching searches.
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Despite an early report that new Suns owner Mat Ishbia was responsible for firing Williams, sources tell Charania that it was an organizational decision that involved “all segments of team leadership.” Charania adds that Phoenix will look for “a respected program builder” who will demand accountability from players and bring a creative approach to an offense built around Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. The Suns may interview six or seven candidates before making a decision, Charania adds.
Charania also confirms a rumor that emerged Saturday night that Phoenix considers current Clippers coach Tyronn Lue to be its “ideal No. 1 target.” However, Lue is still under contract and there hasn’t been any indication that L.A. is considering a coaching change.
John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM points out that if Lue does want to come to the Suns, he would have to be the one who asks the Clippers for permission to interview (Twitter link) and Phoenix would likely be required to send some form of compensation if Lue is hired.
Charania’s sources identify Nurse as another desirable target for the Suns.
The Bucks are continuing to expand their list of coaching candidates, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who tweets that the team has received permission to interview Heat assistant Chris Quinn. The Pistons reportedly interviewed Quinn early in their search, and he’s considered to be a candidate for the Raptors’ job as well.