As we said yesterday, the Phoenix Suns are going to conduct a wide-ranging search for their next head coach. Names are starting to pop up on the rumor mill — Villanova’s Jay Wright was first — but it’s going to be an exhaustive list.
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.
Some thoughts on these names and the search.
Luke Walton’s name is going to come up in every coaching search between now and him taking a job. He likes being with the Warriors and can afford to be picky about the job he chooses. Which likely means Phoenix is out. The team that concerns Warriors officials is the Lakers, that’s the one that he may be drawn to.
Mike D’Antoni is an interesting name, a little flirtation with the success of the past in Phoenix. I’m a bigger supporter of D’Antoni than many, but bringing him in would come with a caveat — the roster must be modified to fit his style of play. Which means a roster overhaul in Phoenix. Bring him in and you’re committing to a style of play, which isn’t all bad but with D’Antoni you have to go all in.
Majerle is a popular former Suns player who was a Suns’ assistant coach from 2008–2013.
If I were going to bet on this race, I’d put my money on interim coach Earl Watson to get the gig full time. The players want him, and he has a good relationship with the GM.