The ousting of former head coach Igor Kokoskov after just one season didn’t necessarily point the downtrodden Phoenix Suns in the best of lights.
Given what he had to work with, Kokoskov wasn’t given an opportunity to help this team grow.
Though, it became apparent that embattled owner Robert Sarver and first-year general manager James Jones wanted something different.
After a pretty narrow search, the Suns hired former New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans head coach Monty Williams on Friday.
This is the equivalent of a home run hire and explains the firing of Kokoskov. Here’s why.
Long respected: Williams has the respect of NBA star players.
- There’s a reason Williams was considered a finalist for the Lakers’ job. LeBron James is obviously helping lead that search.
- If you have King James’ support, it’s a trickle-down effect among other star players in the NBA.
- This should go a long way in helping Williams get through to youngsters on the Suns’ roster.
The experience: Williams’ track record is well noted.
- Williams worked with Anthony Davis for the first three years of the All-Star’s career. Under Williams’ leadership, Davis morphed into one of the most dominant big men in the game.
- The hope in Phoenix is that he can help 2018 No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton improve off what was a tremendous rookie season.
- Ayton is one of the big building blocks in Phoenix. His progression will have a major impact on the team’s success.
- Given that Williams is also one of the reasons Joel Embiid improved this season in Philadelphia, there’s a lot to like about the Williams-Ayton pairing.
High pick in 2019: Again, about helping the youngsters.
- At the very least, Phoenix should nab a top-three pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. It could ultimately get the top pick and all-everything big man Zion Williamson.
- A top-three pick would likely guarantee Phoenix Williamson, R.J. Barrett, Ja Morant or Cam Reddish.
- If it is Morant, just imagine a backcourt including the former Murray State star teaming up with Devin Booker. Williams could expose opposing defenses in a big way.
Not too often is a head coaching hire seemingly a match made in heaven.
No one knew how the Warriors’ decision to hire Steve Kerr would work some five years back. The same can be said for Brad Stevens in Boston and Mike Malone in Denver.
This seems to fit under the same category. It could go boom or bust. But we firmly believe that Williams is best suited to make the long downtrodden Suns relevant on the NBA stage once again.