Igor Kokoskov was the Phoenix Suns coach for one season, but before that he was Luka Doncic‘s national team coach for Slovenia. They have a strong relationship.
So it’s not a surprise the Mavericks are bringing in Kokoskov to be a top assistant on Jason Kidd’s staff. Jake Fisher broke the news, and Marc Stein confirmed the Mavericks were paying to get Kokoskov out of his contract with Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce.
The Dallas Mavericks are targeting Fenerbahce head coach Igor Kokoskov to join Jason Kidd’s coaching staff, per league sources. Kokoskov won EuroBasket 2017 with Luka Doncic as the Slovenian national team head coach.
— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) July 15, 2021
Tangible optimism now that Dallas will be able to secure the release of Igor Kokoskov from his Fenerbahce contract to hire him as an assistant coach and reunite him with Luka Doncic, sources say.
Going on @SpotifyGrnroom at 3 ET.
More NBA from me here: https://t.co/A6ycVm5PUQ
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) July 15, 2021
Dallas has shaken up its front office and coaching staff this offseason, and not-so-coincidentally it now has a very pro-Doncic flavor. Kokoskov is another step down that road.
Kokoskov was the first European-born person to be a head coach in the NBA. The Suns went 19-63 with a young and unimpressive roster that season, and after ownership fired GM Ryan McDonough — the guy who hired Kokoskov — the writing was on the wall. The new Suns GM at the time, James Jones, wanted to bring in his own guy as coach, Monty Williams. That has worked out pretty well for Phoenix.
When the Suns hired Kokoskov, it was thought it was in preparation to draft Doncic No. 1 that year, but instead they went with Deandre Ayton (reportedly with owner Robert Sarver pushing for Ayton).