The Phoenix Suns haven’t exactly been the hottest destination for free agents in recent seasons. That can happen when you have a team who hasn’t made the playoffs in any of the last six seasons. Now, to get out of this tremendous hole, the team is trying to get things right by hiring a quality coach for the foundation.
According to Marc Stein of ESPN, the Suns will be throwing out a lot of lines to see if they can get a bite. Via Marc Stein:
Sources told ESPN.com that the Suns plan to consider multiple candidates, with Watson among them, once they complete a sixth successive non-playoff season that began with postseason aspirations but ultimately cost the popular Jeff Hornacek his job on Feb. 1, after a dreadful 2-19 stretch that included a number of injuries.
NBA coaching sources told ESPN.com that Golden State Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton, former Suns coach Mike D’Antoni (who currently serves as associate head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers) and former Suns star Dan Majerle (head coach at fledgling Division I program Grand Canyon in the Western Athletic Conference) are among the names likely to feature a broad list of targets.
Earl Watson and Luke Walton both sound like sensible candidates for Phoenix’s vacancy. Watson has done a good job in communicating with the players on the team. They all seem to listen and connect with Watson, and that was something that didn’t happen while Hornacek was still there. An issue with that, however, is Watson will be getting looks from many teams who are in need of a new head coach.
Luke Walton, who will probably get looks from some other teams too, would be a great hire if the Suns would just like to start over. If they want to start fresh, bringing in a new and promising coach would be a great move. Walton still has some more to show if he wants to prove that he belongs in the league as a head coach, but his run with the Warriors as interim head coach is a nice little preview of his abilities.
Then you have the two older and big names. D’Antoni wouldn’t be much of a great choice. He still has some bad history with the ownership, and that might still boil over if he were to take the job now. On the other hand, Dan Majerle is a bit of a question mark in coaching ability right now, but his name alone would bring some more Suns faithful to games. Whoever the final choice may be, the Suns seem to be taking their time to make sure they hire the correct candidate.