Following the puzzling late firing of Igor Kokoskov, dots immediately started to be connected to current 76ers assistant Monty Williams. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported after Kokoskov’s firing that Williams was indeed their top target at the head coaching position.
Well, less than two weeks later, Williams and the Suns have reached agreement upon a 5-year contract according to multiple reports. This is the first time Phoenix has committed to a coach for longer than three years under Robert Sarver’s ownership. That’s very notable.
Monty Williams is finalizing a deal to become Phoenix’s coach, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 3, 2019
The former New Orleans Hornets head coach has a previous working relationship with Senior VP of Basketball Operations Jeff Bower, plus James Jones played under Williams as an assistant for one year in Portland. Add in the fact that Williams and Bower share the same agent and it’s easy to tell why Phoenix ended up as the main destination.
Williams chose the Suns over the Lakers after meeting twice with each, neither of whom offered a contract. It seems simply Williams favored Phoenix’s situation over the uncertainty surrounding LeBron James in Los Angeles. The Lakers will now move on to pursuing Tyronn Lue, per Wojnarowski.
The reputation of Williams around the league is pristine. He’s worked with USA Basketball, plus had the opportunity to help develop talents like Kevin Durant (Thunder) and Anthony Davis (Pelicans). Add Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton now to that list.
No contract details have been released outside of the length, so stay tuned to BSOTS and we’ll keep you updated as more information releases.