Fresh off the Phoenix Suns being eliminated in the Western Conference semifinals, team owner Mat Ishbia made the decision to fire head coach Monty Williams. Now, former NBA player and coach Isiah Thomas has emerged as a potential candidate to replace Williams in Phoenix.
While Thomas being linked to the vacancy comes as a big surprise, ESPN’s Frank Isola recently stated that he “would not be shocked if Isiah Thomas” is the next coach of the Suns during a recent radio appearance on SiriusXM.
Moving on from Williams just a year after he won Coach of the Year and two seasons after he led the Suns to an NBA Finals appearance. Yet, the Suns are clearly ready to push all their chips in as they try to make a bigger effort to win now.
Is Thomas the solution? Both the Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks likely could provide plenty of reasons why Thomas isn’t an ideal fit for the Suns. Thomas led the Pacers to a 131-115 record across three seasons from 2000 to 2003, and later led the Knicks to a woeful 56-108 record from 2006 to 2008. His three-year tenure at FIU at the college level didn’t go any better, where Thomas led the Panthers to a 26-65 record from 2009 to 2012.
Related: Top NBA head coach candidates for 2023, including Nick Nurse and Becky Hammon
Thomas does have plenty of experience, both as a coach and as an executive. It’s just that his experiences didn’t exactly leave his organizations in a better place than when he was hired. Thomas currently works with NBA TV as a basketball analyst, yet, according to Isola, he could soon have a much more prominent title, working with Devin Booker and Kevin Durant.
Or, maybe the Suns follow through in their interview process, in which a few other qualified candidates like Toronto’s Nick Nurse, Milwaukee’s Mike Budenholzer, and several others could emerge from the pack.