The Phoenix Suns have fired head coach Monty Williams after four seasons. The move comes after the Suns were eliminated from the NBA playoffs by the Denver Nuggets. After reaching the NBA Finals in 2021, the Suns have been eliminated in the second round of the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. 2023 was meant to be the Suns' year. They went all-in to acquire Kevin Durant in a blockbuster trade with the Nets. However, he and Devin Booker were unable to carry the team past the Nuggets.
The move was expected by many NBA experts and is potentially the first of many in the Suns' offseason. Furthermore, previous reporting indicated that the team could be set to "aggressively" shop veteran Chris Paul and young star DeAndre Ayton. However, big moves during the season could limit what the Suns are able to do.
Suns Ownership Putting Stamp On Tenure
Monty Williams' job was never truly safe. A holdover from the tenure of the previous owner, there was every chance that new owner Mat Ishiba could choose to replace Williams. Additionally, this appears to be the case, with sources suggesting that Ishiba, who never warmed to Williams, quickly made the decision after the Suns' Game 6 loss. Furthermore, Ishiba also reportedly had GM James Jones, an ally and advocate of Williams, deliver the news.
The Suns become of the more intriguing teams in the head coach market. They join the Milwaukee Bucks as a team with title contention status who made the decision to move on from their head coach. However, a difficult challenge lies ahead for whoever they hire. The Suns traded away for future first-round picks to acquire Kevin Durant. Furthermore, bloated contracts and new regulations imposed by the CBA will further stymie the team's efforts to retool or rebuild. With Williams only being notified on Saturday, no names have been linked with the job. However, the Suns will have an elite pool to choose from.