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With three coaching vacancies filled, where do the Suns stand?

The Rockets, Bucks, and Sixers have all found their coaches. Are the Suns behind the 8-ball?

Phoenix Suns v LA Clippers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Ime Udoka to the Rockets. Adrian Griffin to the Bucks. And now Nick Nurse to the Sixers, who he apparently chose over the Suns.

And now the Suns are still looking, with fewer options on the board.

Nurse is the latest domino to fall in the NBA coaching cycle, picking the Rockets after reportedly pulling out of consideration for the Bucks job. ESPN’s Woj, who initially reported the hiring, added that Nurse was seriously considering Phoenix to the end:

“The Sixers and Phoenix Suns were engaged with Nurse and his agent, Andy Miller of Klutch Sports, throughout Sunday and Monday, leaving Nurse with a difficult decision between two contending teams, sources said.”

That gives the impression that Nurse had an offer from both sides. Last Wednesday, I explained why he was my favorite coaching candidate available (tossing aside the pipe-dream scenario of poaching Ty Lue):

“Nurse is one of the best schematic minds in the game, and would be a great hire if the player personnel aspect can be worked around, or if it’s just not a problem with Booker and Durant, two of the purest hoopers the game has seen, who likely just want a great basketball situation more than anything else.”

So with Nurse picking Philadelphia over Phoenix, where does that leave the Suns?

I’ve been hearing positive things about Kevin Young’s candidacy for almost two weeks including some getting the impression that Young is “more of an Ishbia guy” than Monty Williams was, in terms of personality fits.

Bill Simmons sounded quite sure last week when he told his podcast listeners “It’s gonna be Kevin Young.” He reiterated that on Sunday’s podcast. In between those two instances of Simmons staking his claim, Young interviewed for the job, and I heard it went well, getting feedback that was “all positive.”

Connecting the dots I see, it looks like this might be a situation where Nurse was the target and Young was in Ishbia’s back pocket — as an option the locker room can trust — in case Nurse fell through. Now that Nurse is no longer seeking a partner, it’s possible that a Young announcement is right around the corner.

Coaching names like Jordi Fernandez, Frank Vogel, and Doc Rivers continue to loom as well, with the latter-most being an absolute nightmare scenario I don’t want to devote any thought toward.

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