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Suns receive permission from Philadelphia to interview ‘top target’ Monty Williams

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Will Phoenix swoop in ahead of the Lakers and hire a replacement in the next few days?

San Antonio Spurs v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Suns sudden coaching search is moving forward with the speed of a freight train.

After news broke in the dead of night Monday that Phoenix was moving on from Igor Kokoskov, the Suns are now prepped to go get a replacement, seemingly sooner rather than later.

ESPN reported Tuesday that the 76ers have granted permission to the Suns to interview their “top target,” assistant Monty Williams. That interview will likely happen some time during the second round of the playoffs, coincidentally the same time the Suns met with Kokoskov last year.

After the initial round of reports Monday night that the Suns were interested in Williams and Portland assistant David Vanterpool (among others), this latest news tells us two things:

  1. Williams has at least some level of interest in the Suns’ job, at least enough to meet with Robert Sarver, James Jones and Co.
  2. The Suns likely had the beginnings of this plan in place when they decided to fire Kokoskov, in part explaining why the move came weeks after the season and so suddenly late at night.

It also could speak to not only the level of influence SVP Jeff Bower already holds but the impact of his connections and respectability around the NBA. Many have already made the connection that Bower and Williams worked together during the end of Chris Paul’s run in New Orleans, but it was Bower who gave Williams his very first head-coaching opportunity in the league.

If that still holds weight for Williams, it could play a huge part in his decision. Bower also was not the one to ultimately fire Williams — that was Dell Demps. The two may have maintained a relationship all these years and could bring New Orleans to the Valley.

As the search continues, keep in mind Portland is also expected to make the second round, meaning Vanterpool will have to receive special permission to interview during the team’s postseason run. He is likely the Suns’ second priority for now.

Stay tuned to Bright Side for further coaching news.