Suns HC Rumors: Monty Williams 'Gaining Real Momentum' to Be New Coach

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2019

FILE - In this Jan. 19, 2016 file photo, then-Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams is seen in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Denver. Without his wife, it's a bittersweet Olympics for Williams. When Ingrid Williams died on Feb. 11 at age 44, it meant he would experience Rio alone.
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Phoenix Suns may be closing in on their next head coach. 

On Wednesday, Marc Stein of the New York Times reported the possibility of Phoenix hiring Monty Williams to fill the role is "gaining real momentum."

Stein noted the job is his "if he wants it" but pointed out the fact Williams could have multiple opportunities means he "has the rare ability to be choosy about where he wants to coach next."

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported in April the Suns were "planning to target" Williams, who is currently an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers, after they fired head coach Igor Kokoskov. However, he also noted the Los Angeles Lakers were planning to interview him a second time, as well.

Williams was a player before he was a coach, entering the league out of Notre Dame as a first-round draft pick of the New York Knicks in 1994. He played nine seasons for the Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic and 76ers.

He was then an assistant coach for the Portland Trail Blazers before he became the head coach of the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans prior to the 2010-11 season. He spent five seasons in New Orleans and accumulated a 173-221 record with two playoff appearances, although he lost in the first round both times.

Williams has been the associate head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder and an assistant with Philadelphia since.

As for Phoenix, it finished with the worst record in the Western Conference (19-63) this past season. Organizational stability is also a question mark following the decision to fire Kokoskov after just one season.

Still, promising pieces are in place with Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and a 2019 draft pick that has a 14 percent chance of landing at No. 1 overall and turning into Duke's Zion Williamson.

Williams will have to weigh that as he decides on a job apparently there for the taking.