Nick Nurse And Doc Rivers Among Finalists For Phoenix Suns Job

The Suns have their final four coaching candidates.

BYBen Mock
Philadelphia 76ers v Toronto Raptors

The Phoenix Suns went all-in for an NBA title since, trading away a lot of future capital to acquire "win now" pieces like Kevin Durant. And yet, the team still fell well short. The Suns crashed out of the playoffs in the second round as they proved unable to keep pace with the Finals-bound Denver Nuggets.

The loss has prompted speculation of a roster overhaul. The Suns will reportedly look to trade away Chris Paul and may also move DeAndre Ayton, whether by choice or necessity. The playoff exit also allowed new owner Mat Ishiba to put his stamp on the organization. Hours after the Suns were eliminated, Ishiba made the decision to fire head coach Monty Williams. That sparked a search for someone who could finally lead the Suns to the promised land.

Suns Head Coach Finalists Revealed

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 11: Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets passes the ball against Jock Landale #11 and Cameron Payne #15 of the Phoenix Suns during the third quarter in game six of the Western Conference Semifinal Playoffs at Footprint Center on May 11, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Sources have revealed to ESPN the four finalists for the Suns' head coaching vacancy. The four names are a blend of veteran experience and young promise. On the veterans' side are two recently-fired coaches with championship experience. Nick Nurse was fired by the Toronto Raptors after a year-on-year decline since he led them to the NBA title in 2019. Meanwhile, Doc Rivers is some way removed from his last NBA title but has that experience. He became available after being released by the Sixers following their own playoff exit.

Then there are the two would-be first-time head coaches. Kevin Young would be an internal hire, having served as an assistant and associate head coach with the Suns since 2020. He also spent three years as an assistant with the Sixers before heading to Phoenix. He's coached internationally as well as holding a number of G-League head coaching positions. Furthermore, he already has an existing relationship with the current roster. Then there's Jordi Fernández, who currently serves as the associate head coach of the Kings. Fernández spent six years with the Nuggets before moving to the Kings this season. With Fernández's help, the Kings reached the playoffs for the first time since 2006.


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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.