As Monty Williams prepares for coaching the 76ers through their second-round series against Toronto, he will have a lot going on during the day interviewing with both the Suns and Lakers between now and Game 1 on Saturday night.
Two reports today detail the level to which both franchises seem desperate to hire Williams to fill their head-coaching vacancies.
First it was Bill Oram from The Athletic reporting that anyone who’s ever worked for the Lakers is on their way to Philadelphia on Thursday to try to seal the deal on Williams. That includes general manager Rob Pelinka and owner Jeanie Buss as well as Buss’ younger brothers Jesse and Joey, Kurt Rambis and his wife Linda, and team COO Tim Harris.
The Lakers are sending a big contingent to Philadelphia today for Monty Williams' second interview, sources tell @sam_amick and me. Rob Pelinka and Jeanie Buss leading a group that also includes Joey Buss, Jesse Buss, Kurt and Linda Rambis, and COO Tim Harris.— Bill Oram (@billoram) April 25, 2019
Many believed when the Lakers first fired Luke Walton that the franchise would move quickly to secure Ty Lue, a former Lakers guard and Cavs coach who checks boxes for his relationship with LeBron James as well as the franchise.
Now, Williams appears to be the top target in Los Angeles as well as Phoenix.
Phoenix Suns officials will travel to Toronto to meet with the franchise’s top coaching candidate, Philadelphia assistant Monty Williams, on Friday, league sources tell ESPN. The Sixers play the Raptors in an Eastern Conference semifinal Game 1 on Saturday.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 25, 2019
We don’t yet know who will be involved in the Suns’ meeting with Williams in Toronto, but we can assume it will include SVP of Basketball Operations Jeff Bower, GM James Jones and managing partner Robert Sarver. There’s also a chance we get another Larry Fitzgerald sighting, right?
Suddenly, Willams is first in line at the coaching carousel and rival organizations are fighting to hire him first. It may seem at first site as if the Lakers meeting with him first is a bad sign for the Suns, but Williams agreeing to the interview Friday with Phoenix must mean he will not make his mind up until he speaks with both groups.
That means things should be wrapping up shortly as they pertain to Williams. We will know soon whether the Suns’ move away from Igor Kokoskov will become a more obvious upgrade to Williams or the team’s search will continue into the summer.