The Phoenix Suns have been in the process of retooling their coaching structure since dismissing Monty Williams on May 13. Less than a month later, they have hired the defensively minded Frank Vogel to take the reigns of the franchise.
It came down to three finalists for the gig, following Nick Nurse’s choice to join the Philadelphia 76ers. Frank Vogel beat out Doc Rivers — who reportedly pulled out late in the process — and Suns’ associate head coach Kevin Young.
Many were in the Kevin Young camp as it provided some semblance of continuity for the team. Considered an offensive wizard, Young had the support of Devin Booker and has been the Suns’ organization since 2020.
When you look at the big picture, however, continuity might not necessarily be needed in Phoenix. Many changes lie on the horizon relative to roster construction, and if the Suns flip 70% of the roster, what’s the point of hiring purely for continuity purposes?
So Phoenix went with a coach in Vogel who has a proven track record.
Vogel’s hire brings a defensive culture to Phoenix. He has a reputation for building strong defenses, and has coached the #1 defense in the league three times.
When you talk offensive strategy, however, Frank ain’t your guy. Phoenix made the move on Saturday to ensure the offensive side of the ball will be in good hands as they kept Kevin Young on staff.
Suns associate HC Kevin Young will stay on new coach Frank Vogel’s staff for a deal that’ll make him the league’s highest paid assistant, sources tell ESPN. Young was a finalist for job that Vogel landed with Phoenix.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 3, 2023
Monty Williams signed a deal earlier this week that will make him the highest paid head coach in the league. In turn, Phoenix will retain Kevin Young and make him the highest paid assistant in the NBA, per ESPN.
Like Hannah Montana, this is the best of both worlds. You get a defensive wizard and an offensive guru on the same staff. This weekend has been a win for Mat Ishbia and James Jones as they reset the foundation in Phoenix.