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Report: Suns widen net on coaching search even further as they spoke with Jason Kidd and Vinny Del Negro

With the inclusion of Kidd and Del Negro, Phoenix now has been linked to 10 candidates after Mike Budenholzer withdrew last week.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Add two more names to the list as Arizona Republic’s Scott Bordow dropped a bombshell Monday afternoon.

After already being linked to the following eight candidates — David Blatt, David Fizdale, James Borrego, Kevin McHale, Steve Clifford, Igor Kokoskov, Frank Vogel, and interim head coach Jay Triano — the Phoenix Suns have spoken with Jason Kidd and Vinny Del Negro about their opening.

What a twist this has taken, because this means the Suns have widened their net even further. With 10 coaching candidates in tow, Phoenix is leaving no stone unturned this time around after the Earl Watson debacle in 2016.

Kidd recently moved to Phoenix after being fired by Milwaukee after posting a record of 139-152 in 3.5 seasons. If you remember before his stint with the Bucks, Kidd forced his way out of Brooklyn to a more desirable job. Could this be what Kidd is trying to do again, and will he be able to convince general manager Ryan McDonough to give him his third chance as an NBA head coach?

Meanwhile, Del Negro hasn’t coached in the NBA since 2013 after compiling a career 210-184 record. He first started off in Chicago from 2008-10 before being fired. After being unable to lead Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and Deandre Jordan anywhere in the playoffs he was replaced by Doc Rivers as his contract expired that same summer.

Compared to others already mentioned, Kidd and Del Negro would be a major step-down in terms of trying to sell this hire. Both are re-treads who would be given their third opportunities after not really proving much at their first two stops.

However, here’s one thing to keep in mind with Del Negro that I didn’t realize: He’s already very familiar with Robert Sarver and the Suns organization. Before leaving for Chicago, he was promoted to Assistant GM for one season after being the team’s radio color commentator.

Update: A league source confirmed to BSOTS that Phoenix did indeed speak with Kidd and Del Negro on their head coaching vacancy. They are leaving no stone unturned after quickly removing the interim tag off Watson two summers ago.

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