Lindsey Hunter Would Shine as Phoenix Suns Head Coach

Daine Pavloski@@dpavloskiAnalyst IIJanuary 18, 2013

Lindsey Hunter was part of the Bulls during one of their playoff runs and has a lot of postseason experience.
Lindsey Hunter was part of the Bulls during one of their playoff runs and has a lot of postseason experience.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns have finally parted way with struggling head coach Alvin Gentry. Gentry is out after going 158-144 in his time with the Suns. 

The real question going forward, however, is who will replace Gentry? According to NBA" target="_blank">Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski, there are a few top competitors for the head job

After firing of Alvin Gentry today, top candidates to become Suns interim coach: assistants Elston Turner and Lindsey Hunter, sources say.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) January 18, 2013

If the Suns are smart, they'll go with Lindsey Hunter. Hunter played in the NBA for 17 seasons, spending time with the Lakers, Bucks, Bulls and Pistons. Hunter averaged around nine points per game in his NBA playing career and was hired by the Suns as an assistant coach last August in an effort to cater to the younger players on the team. 

Hunter has been working with players individually and as a team as a way to improve the team from the inside, without relying on big trades or free-agent signings to become a competitor. For that reason, Hunter would be a great choice for head coach of the Phoenix Suns. 

The NBA veteran knows these players. He's been in Phoenix since the offseason, developing and getting players ready. He already has a working relationship with the team and has had a hand in helping each young player on the Suns make the transition to the NBA. 

Hunter knows these kids and knows what it's like to be an NBA player in this era. Elston Turner, the other assistant coach who could be promoted, hasn't been an NBA player since 1989. Hunter was a player as recently as the 2009-2010 season for the Chicago Bulls

Lindsey also has a ton of playoff experience, making it to the postseason 12 times in his career. 

The former Pistons point guard would be a perfect choice for the Suns interim head coach. Unless the Suns have bigger plans for him, which, according to Wojnarowski, is a distinct possibility: 

Part of Suns thinking w/ holding back Hunter as interim coach has been hope of giving him clean slate to take over in offseason, sources say

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) January 18, 2013

The best choice for Phoenix is Lindsey Hunter. Now it just comes down to whether they want to get things going immediately or start fresh in the offseason. 

The Suns are currently in last place in the Western Conference's Pacific Division and have a rough record of 13-28.