Suns name Monty Williams as new head coach

The Phoenix Suns have named Monty Williams as their new head coach, the team announced Friday morning.

Williams, who is currently an assistant coach with the 76ers, will assume his new role after Philadelphia’s season ends.

The 47-year-old Williams, who played with five NBA teams in nine seasons before retiring in 2003, has extensive coaching experience. He posted a 173-221 record in five seasons as New Orleans’ head coach before being fired in 2015. He’s also spent seven season as an assistant in Oklahoma City, Portland and Philadelphia. He also served as the Spurs’ vice president of basketball operations from 2016-18.

“I am thrilled to welcome Monty Williams to the Suns family as our next head coach,” Suns general manager James Jones said in a statement. “Monty brings a wealth of NBA 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.

“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.”

Williams had his second interview with the Suns Wednesday. He’s also had a couple of interviews with the Lakers for their vacant position. The Suns had also interviewed Trail Blazers assistants David Vanterpool and Nate Tibbetts, according to the Arizona Republic.

Williams inherits an interesting situation in Phoenix. The Suns finished tied for the second-worst record in the NBA this season (19-63), but boast two franchise-caliber players in center DeAndre Ayton and guard Devin Booker. They’ll also have great odds in the lottery of grabbing the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Williams becomes the Suns 20th head coach, but their fifth since 2010, the last season the franchise made the NBA playoffs. Phoenix fired Igor Kokoškov on April 22 after one year on the job.