Adrian VojnarowskiSenior NBA insider3 minutes to read
the The Phoenix Suns are submitting four candidates to their final round of interviews this week, including two NBA championship coaches: Nick Nurse and Doc Rivers, ESPN sources reported Tuesday night.
Sources said Nurse and Rivers will meet with senior leaders along with two rising stars in the coaching profession: Suns assistant coach Kevin Young and Sacramento Kings associate head coach Jordy Fernandez.
Sources said the nurse has emerged as a top candidate in coaching searches conducted by both the Suns and Milwaukee Bucks. Sources said Nurse is one of three finalists in Milwaukee, including Golden State assistant coach Kenny Atkinson and Toronto assistant Adrian Griffin. Sources said he also gave an interview to the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Suns are chasing a successor to former coach Monty Williams, who was fired after the Suns lost in the Western Conference semifinals to the eventual conference champion Denver Nuggets. The Suns offer a job featuring two of the league’s best players, Devin Booker and Kevin Durant.
Nurse’s five seasons as Toronto’s head coach included an NBA title in 2019, an NBA Coach of the Year award in 2020 and a 227-163 (. 582) record.
Rivers has achieved a record of 154-82 (. 653) in his three seasons, including 54 victories in 2022-23 – the most for a franchise since 2000-01. The Sixers were one of three teams in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, according to ESPN Stats & Information Research. Rivers has achieved 16 consecutive winning seasons as head coach.
Young spent eight years coaching in the G League — including head coaching jobs with the Utah Flash, Iowa Energy and Delaware 87ers — and has gained traction as a candidate coach in openers this year, including with the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors and Suns. Young has previously been interviewed for head coaching jobs with the Sixers, Utah Jazz, and Washington Wizards in recent seasons.
Fernandez was an important part of Michael Malone’s coaching staff with the Nuggets for six seasons before becoming the associate head coach with the Sacramento Kings under NBA Coach of the Year Mike Brown in 2022. He is a native of Badalona, Spain.
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