Williams, Vanterpool among Suns’ coaching candidates

Former Pelicans coach and current 76ers assistant Monty Williams is said to be among those being courted by the Suns.

The Phoenix Suns will begin their new search for a coach by requesting interviews with Philadelphia 76ers assistant Monty Williams and Portland Trail Blazers assistant David Vanterpool, according to Shams Charania of Stadium.

Suns general manager James Jones announced the firing of coach Igor Kokoskov early Tuesday. Kokoskov went 19-63 in his lone season.

“Monty Williams is probably the frontrunner for the job,” Charania said. “But he has options. He is going to interview a second time with the Los Angeles Lakers. He could also stay in Philadelphia.”

Charania added that the Suns could eventually have as many as six candidates.

“Phoenix believes that its young core of Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and Kelly Oubre will be able to entice a young assistant coach,” he said. “They’re going to be looking a poll of assistants over the next couple of weeks.”

According to Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic, former Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings coach Dave Joerger could also be a possibility for the Suns, as could Miami Heat assistant Juwan Howard, a former teammate of Jones.

Vanterpool and Howard have also been linked to the Cleveland Cavaliers for their coaching vacancy.