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NBA Rumors: Suns Eye Kings, Bucks, Grizzlies Assistants for HC Job

Tyler Conway

The Phoenix Suns have reportedly received permission to speak with Sacramento Kings assistant coach Jordi Fernández, Milwaukee Bucks assistant Charles Lee and Memphis Grizzlies assistant Darko Rajaković for their head coaching vacancy.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported those three are among the "several" assistants expected to receive interviews as Phoenix casts a wide net for its replacement for Monty Williams.

Bleacher Report's Chris Haynes previously reported the Suns' list of candidates includes former Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse, former Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer and Kevin Young, who served as an assistant under Williams.

Phoenix fired Williams earlier this month following the team's second-round loss to the Denver Nuggets. He spent four seasons with the franchise, leading the Suns to the 2021 NBA Finals but saw his teams get eliminated in embarrassing fashion each of the last two years.

The Nuggets led Phoenix by 30 at halftime on the Suns' own home floor before pulling off a a 125-100 victory. The situation was eerily similar a year prior when the Dallas Mavericks had a 30-point lead at halftime in a series-deciding Game 7.

Fernández is a longtime NBA assistant who served under Michael Malone in Denver from 2016 to 2022 before joining Mike Brown's staff in Sacramento. The Kings made their first postseason experience since 2006 under Brown, with Fernández playing a critical role in the turnaround.

Lee was assistant under Budenholzer for nearly a decade, joining him in 2014 with the Atlanta Hawks and following him to Milwaukee. He was part of the staff that helped the Bucks defeat the Suns in the 2021 NBA Finals and has been a candidate for several coaching vacancies in recent years.

Rajaković previously served as an assistant coach on the Suns under Williams during the 2019-20 season before leaving for the Grizzlies. His basketball acumen has been raved about, and it's considered only a matter of time before he becomes an NBA head coach.


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