Alright, so that sucks. Mike Budenholzer withdrew from the Suns coaching consideration, and is looking at the New York Knicks. Now, if you’re the Suns, you dust yourself off, and you try again so you don’t have to settle. Find the right coach for your prospects, for your developing team, and for your future as a franchise.
So, now the question arises: who do the Suns sign? I wrote an article on this subject earlier this month, so now it’s time for an update.
- Dave Fizdale
Play it again: Take that for data! With young talent, some good old-fashioned grit and grind, and a decent defensive draft, the Suns could potentially show some promise with Fizdale at the helm. He has playoff experience, which is something Triano can’t say. As I previously mentioned, he was an assistant coach on LeBron’s Heat teams, and is generally very good with press. Lots of advantages with this one.
- Steve Clifford/Frank Vogel
I’m grouping them together because they’re two guys that got the axe at the end of the year on teams that didn’t make playoffs. Vogel has had great runs in Indiana (around the same time Fizdale was coaching the Heat), and Clifford has experience coaching Kemba Walker, which is a name on the Suns list of potential trades in the offseason. Two potentially good, more defensive-oriented coaches. Good candidates.
- Kevin McHale
This one is unexpected. His offense is amazing; his defense is suspect: a good way to describe the entire history of the Phoenix Suns franchise. He had a lot of success coaching the Rockets led by James Harden, and his name in the coaching position brings dignity to a franchise and garners respect from any NBA guy who knows his history.
- Igor Kokoškov
Igor has been an assistant coach on five different teams, including Phoenix from 2008-2013. His current stint is in Utah, where Quin Snyder has given him high praise. He also coaches the Slovenian national team, to some success, but that would matter more of Goran Dragic still had residence in Phoenix. His name has been floating around the last few days, and it wouldn’t be a bad thing to take a chance on a guy with 18 years of NBA experience. That’s a lot of experience.
5. David Blatt
This one is a stretch. I’m not sure of Blatt’s coaching ability, as it’s clear LeBron James coaches the teams he plays for. This one is a reach, but the Suns need a coach with a winning record and playoff experience, something Blatt has both of. If he bites, I’d take it. I feel like the Suns are on the lookout for anyone but Triano.