The Phoenix Suns hired Monty Williams as their new head coach on Friday.
Williams, currently an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers, replaces the fired Igor Kokoskov and becomes the Suns’ seventh head coach in eight years for owner Robert Sarver.
Williams will join the Suns after the 76ers’ current postseason run concludes. They lead the Toronto Raptors 2-1 in the second round.
He had also been a candidate for the Los Angeles Lakers’ head coach opening.
“I am thrilled to welcome Monty Williams to the Suns family as our next head coach,” 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.”
–Point guard Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers was fined $20,000 and assessed a flagrant 1 foul after elbowing Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry in the groin during the first half of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Thursday night.
The incident occurred with 8:36 remaining in the first half. Lowry fell down along the baseline after boxing out Simmons, who threw an elbow that struck the Raptors guard down low, and he stayed on the floor appearing to be in pain.
Simmons headed back down the floor, and was not issued a foul on the play. He collected 10 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in 36 minutes as the 76ers cruised past the Raptors 116-95 to take a 2-1 series lead. Simmons is averaging 14.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game this postseason.
–The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to offer their vacant head coaching position to Tyronn Lue, ESPN reported.
Not long after the Phoenix Suns announced they had hired Monty Williams as their new head coach, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported via Twitter that “the Lakers are proceeding toward an offer to Ty Lue in the coming days.” Williams was a candidate for the Lakers’ job.
Lue coached Lakers forward LeBron James at Cleveland, with the Cavaliers winning the title in the 2015-16 season when Lue took over for David Blatt midway through the schedule. The Cavaliers were defeated in the NBA Finals each of the next two seasons by the Golden State Warriors with Lue as head coach.
–The Chicago Bulls extended the contract of head coach Jim Boylen.
The Bulls did not release terms but ESPN reported that Boylen was given a multi-year extension. He guided the Bulls to a 17-41 record after replacing the fired Fred Hoiberg as coach in December. Chicago was 22-60 overall.
“Jim has a strong vision on where he wants to take this team, and he has done a great job establishing the culture that we want this organization to stand for as we continue to progress,” vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said in a statement. “He has tremendous passion for developing young talent, is a strong communicator and a good fit for this team. The organization is confident in the direction that he is taking our players, and we are committed to him.”
–Field Level Media