PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns are looking for stability after their previous coach lasted just one season. They hope Monty Williams is the man to lead their turnaround.
The Suns announced on Friday that they had come to terms with Williams, a former head coach and a current assistant in Philadelphia. He will take over as Phoenix’s fifth coach in five seasons when the 76ers’ playoff run ends. Philadelphia leads Toronto, two games to one, in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Williams replaces Igor Kokoskov, who was fired last week after one disappointing season.
“Monty brings a wealth of N.B.A. experience, both as a coach and former player, in addition to being a high-character individual who will infuse basketball wisdom and life lessons into our locker room,” the Suns’ general manager, James Jones, said in a release. “Monty is well respected for his coaching pedigree, leadership and commitment to the community, all of which make him the ideal person to lead our team moving forward.”
The 47-year-old Williams coached New Orleans from 2010 to 2015, a stint during which he led the franchise to two postseason appearances.
He is in his first season as an assistant with the 76ers. He also played nine N.B.A. seasons with the Knicks, San Antonio, Denver, Orlando and Philadelphia.
“Anybody who pays attention even a little bit understands he’s elite people,” 76ers Coach Brett Brown said. “He’s emerging, relatively young coach who’s incredibly relational and has been studying how to be an N.B.A. coach. He’s been around, and I hope he’s taken something from our program.”
Williams takes over a Suns team that has missed the playoffs for nine straight seasons. Phoenix finished 19-63 this season, the second worst record in franchise history, under Kokoskov.
The Los Angeles Lakers had been in the running to hire Williams as coach after they fired Luke Walton. But Williams ended up in Phoenix to lead a young Suns roster that includes Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft.
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