After a 79 game sample size to comb through, general manager Ryan McDonough has decided to go in a new direction. According to Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro, interim head coach Jay Triano will not be back on the sidelines next season.
Jay Triano was informed that he is not in the running to be the head coach of the Phoenix Suns.— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) April 29, 2018
This really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise after Phoenix initially seemed willing to pay high dollar for a proven commodity like Mike Budenholzer earlier in the process, but we now finally have some clarity.
Although he won’t be around anymore, Triano was the right coach to motivate some of these core pieces. Without him, who knows if Josh Jackson ever turns the corner in 2018. The same could be said for Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss through inconsistent patches, but Triano always held them and the rest of their roster accountable.
As the Suns begin their second round of interviews this week, this must mean they have locked in on at least 1-2 candidates who have shown mutual interest. Here is a quick rundown of the names Phoenix has talked to who also remains in the race, at least right now:
James Borrego - San Antonio Spurs assistant
Chris Finch - New Orleans Pelicans assistant
Nick Nurse - Toronto Raptors assistant
Vinny Del Negro - Former head coach of Los Angeles Clippers (2013)
Kevin McHale - TNT analyst + former head coach of Houston Rockets (2015)
Igor Kokoskov - Utah Jazz assistant
Steve Clifford - Former head coach of Charlotte Hornets
Frank Vogel - Former head coach of Orlando Magic
David Blatt - Former head coach of Cleveland Cavaliers (2016)
Who will make the final round of interviews, Suns fans? If I had to make a prediction, I think they wind up with either Kokoskov or Clifford as their next head coach soon.