clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Suns coaching foundation set as Miles Simon and John Lucas join the bench

From a coaching standpoint, nearly all of the chess pieces are now on the board for the Phoenix Suns.

South Bay Lakers vs Salt Lake City Stars Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

With the NBA Draft a couple of days out and NBA free agency on the horizon, coupled with the trade market, the Phoenix Suns have laid the coaching foundation for the 2023-24 season.

The team was in need of a coaching rebuild. They dismissed Monty Williams, who took with him assistant Jarrett Jack to the Detroit Pistons, and they hired 2020 NBA Champion and defensive stud Frank Vogel. They re-signed associate head coach Kevin Young to the highest contract at that position in the league. They brought in former NBA head coach, who was an assistant with Vogel in 2021-22 with the Lakers, and former associate general manager of the Utah Jazz, David Fizdale.

Vogel is now bringing in some more of his guys.

NBA insider Chris Hayes reported that the Phoenix Suns are now adding South Bay Lakers’ head coach, Miles Simon, and former Lakers assistant John Lucas, III to his coaching staff.

Simon, you may recall, played the two guard alongside Mike Bibby at the University of Arizona. He was named the Most Outstanding Player in the 1997 NCAA Tournament in which the University of Arizona won the national title. He had two 30-point performances in the Wildcats’ run, including the championship game against the Kentucky Wildcats.

I know we have plenty of U of A alums in the building, and I know you cherish that 1997 run. You know Miles Simon well.

Following a season with the Orlando Magic after being drafted 42nd overall, he played abroad until 2004. He was an assistant coach at U of A (2005-08), a prep coach for Team USA, an assistant in Vogel’s staff (the only one who survived the post-Luke Walton cuts), and has been the head coach of the G-League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers, for the last two seasons.

Simon’s especially is player development. While in Los Angeles, he assisted in developing Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and Kyle Kuzma.

Lucas played college ball at both Baylor and Oklahoma State before going undrafted in the 2005 NBA Draft. He spent numerous years as a player bouncing between NBA Developmental League teams. In 2017 he became an assistant coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves, and spent the 2021-22 season coaching on the Lakers alongside both Frank, Vogel and David Fizdale.

With the coaching staff in place and the strategies the team will choose to employ likely defined, general manager James Jones can now put a roster together for his staff. Big names are already on the horizon, and who knows what will happen in free agency as veteran players are willing to come play in Phoenix. The foundation is set. Time to start building the house I will house of championship.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bright Side of the Sun Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Phoenix Suns news from Bright Side of the Sun