UPDATE 4:50 p.m.: It’s essentially official. Hornacek has agreed to terms with the Suns to become their new head coach, reports Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. Hornacek is expected to sign a three-year deal as early as Monday.
UPDATE 10:25 a.m.: Wojnarowski updated his piece with the information that Hornacek has in fact been offered the job, and that he and the team are working to finalize details of the agreement over the weekend. The rest of the coaching staff that will work under Hornacek is in the process of being assembled.
9:30 a.m.: The Suns may be closing in on a candidate to fill their vacant head coaching position, and a former player appears to be the leader as the team begins to wrap up its process.
One of the Phoenix Suns’ popular former players – Jeff Hornacek – has emerged as the frontrunner for the franchise’s head coaching job, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
An assistant coach with the Utah Jazz, Hornacek met with new Suns general manager Ryan McDonough and president Lon Babby in the past week in Phoenix.
No offer has yet been extended to Hornacek, but the Suns’ search process could be completed within the next week, league sources said.
When the Suns introduced new GM Ryan McDonough, he said that putting a new head coach firmly in place was at the top of his list of priorities. Phoenix has interviewed experienced assistants Steve Clifford and J.B. Bickerstaff during their process, as well as Lindsey Hunter, who had the interim tag while coaching the team for the second part of the 2013 season.
Hornacek has been an assistant coach with the Jazz, and like most of the other candidates the Suns have strongly considered to this point, has no prior NBA head coaching experience. That’s the way the organization wants to go, however, given the rebuilding situation that Phoenix is facing.
The Suns want someone in the leadership role that can grow with the new GM, and help construct a culture of winning essentially from scratch. A former player like Hornacek who has ties to the organization seems like a strong place to start.