The Phoenix Suns’ culture, which has been developed and grown over the previous three seasons, was strengthened once again on Saturday when head coach Monty Williams agreed to a long-term agreement with the organization, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
ESPN Sources: Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams has agreed on a long-term contract extension. Williams, the NBA’s coach of the year, had two years left on his original five-year deal — and now moves under contract for several more seasons.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 23, 2022
Monty Williams, who had two seasons left on his initial five-year deal that he signed when arriving in 2019, is now signed for several more seasons. The terms of the extension have not been disclosed, but the decision is just another indication that the organization is placing its faith in its leadership team for the long term.
Since joining the Suns, Williams has guided the team to a 149-78 (.656) record during the regular season through three seasons. His regular season winning percentage is second in franchise history, trailing only that of the four-year run by Paul Westphal (191-88, .685). He is 21-14 (.600) in the playoffs, and led the team to the 2021 NBA Finals during his second season of coaching.
Williams has come a long way, a former player in the NBA who played 9 years for five different teams, averaged 6.3 points in 16.7 minutes played throughout his career. The former 24th overall pick from Notre Dame began coaching with the Portland Trailblazers as an assistant on Nate McMillan’s staff in 2005. He was in Portland for five seasons before becoming head coach with the New Orleans Hornets in 2010.
In five seasons in New Orleans he posted a 173-221 (.439) regular season record and made two playoff appearances. Following being swept by the Golden State Warriors in the 2015 First Round, however, he was let go by New Orleans.
Monty began the new season as an associate head coach with the Oklahoma City Thunder, but the season ended in tragedy when his wife of almost 20 years, Ingrid, was killed in a head-on collision in Oklahoma City. This loss led Monty to step away from the game he loved in order to regroup himself and his family.
He remained an executive and counselor to the San Antonio Spurs and Gregg Popovich while he decided what his next move would be. That move would be to join the Philadelphia 76ers in 2018 as an assistant head coach. He would become the Suns’ head coach one season later.
Suns’ brass is not allowing any doubt to exist relative to their faith and trust in the leadership of their organization. Earlier this year the Phoenix Suns rewarded general manager James Jones for his successes, signing him to a contract extension as well. It is Jones who made the move to hire Monty Williams as head coach on May 3, 2019. For the foreseeable future, the two will continue to work together to steer the organization’s course.
The franchise just extended All-Star point guard Devin Booker’s contract for four years, $224M, and also matched Indiana’s offer for restricted free agent Deandre Ayton.
All of these acts testify to the fact that Phoenix is an organization that will look after you. Not only do players like Kevin Durant want to play under Monty Williams, but acts like extending him help to make the NBA an attractive destination for players all throughout the league.
Can't stress this enough, KD absolutely loves Monty Williams! I'm told from people close to the situation that aside from wanting to play with Devin Booker, Monty Williams is the next biggest reason he has Phoenix as his preferred destination. Everything Counts in this League pic.twitter.com/PQBDzLLzXV— FLEX From Jersey (@FlexFromJersey) July 23, 2022
Following a dismal finale to a brilliant 64-win season, the Phoenix Suns have not retreated or attempted to recreate the wheel. Instead, they have opted to solidify their assets and secure the continuity of their leadership team. They are demonstrating unequivocally that hard work is rewarded.