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Phoenix Suns coaching search rumored to include names with Suns and Arizona ties

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

It's no secret that the Phoenix Suns will look far and wide for their new coach this summer, but what remains a secret is exactly who the Suns will be targeting.

One of the candidates will be current interim coach Earl Watson, but you'd think if they really wanted Earl they would just hand him the job right?

Earlier this week, a reporter hinted that Villanova coach Jay Wright was at the top of the Suns list of hopeful new coaches.

Everyone wants the next Brad Stevens, but really most coaches who graduate from college to the NBA don't find more success at the next level. It's usually the opposite. Still, trying to hire the guy who just carried a small school with limited resources to the title is a great PR move.

While the Suns might love the idea of bringing in the NCAA Champion coach, this rumor has already been tamped down on several fronts.

Speaking of public relations moves, long time Suns insider Marc Stein of ESPN floated a few names this week that were so predictable my wife could have come up with them if I'd given her five minutes to think about it.

NBA coaching sources told ESPN.com that Golden State Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton, former Suns coach Mike D'Antoni (who currently serves as associate head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers) and former Suns star Dan Majerle (head coach at fledgling Division I program Grand Canyon in the Western Athletic Conference) are among the names likely to feature a broad list of targets.

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ESPN.com reported in late January that Suns owner Robert Sarver has strong interest in former two-time MVP Steve Nash for the coaching vacancy, but sources continue to say Nash is not interested in going into full-time coaching at this time.

Duh.

Who would the diehard fans want as the coach of their beloved Suns?

  • the former U of A star who led the league-leading Warriors to a league-leading record while another former U of A star was recovering from a back injury
  • the former Suns coach who last led the Suns to the Western Conference Finals
  • the former Suns assistant and Suns star player on their last NBA Finals team who still loves the franchise, still does local interviews on the regular, and now coaches a local D2 team
  • the former two-time league MVP who last led the Suns to three Western Conference Finals and just got his name in the Suns Ring of Honor the moment the ink dried on his retirement papers

And that's just the start. The season hasn't even ended yet!

The REAL coaching search hasn't begun, so for now we are stuck with rumors of guys with ties to the franchise in an attempt to drive up clicks (ESPN) and drive up fan interest (Suns) after such an awful, awful season.