Phoenix Suns hire 76ers assistant Monty Williams as coach

The Phoenix Suns got their guy.

Philadelphia 76ers assistant Monty Williams will be their next head coach, the team announced Friday morning.

Williams will replace Igor Kokoskov, who was fired after one season in which the Suns finished with the second-worst record in franchise history at 19-63.

“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.”

Philadelphia 76ers assistant Monty Williams may be the hottest head coaching candidate this summer. (Photo: David Zalubowski/ AP Photos)

Williams compiled a 173-221 record in five seasons as head coach in New Orleans that included two playoff appearances in 2011 and 2015. New Suns vice president of basketball operations, Jeff Bower, hired Williams when he was the New Orleans' general manager.

The Suns had two interviews with Williams with the latter being Wednesday in Philadelphia with team owner Robert Sarver present. They were in direct competition with the Los Angeles Lakers, who also conducted two interviews with Williams.

League sources said neither the Lakers nor the Suns had offered Williams a job after their interviews and that the Suns were going to interview other candidates following their second interview.

However, New York Times' Marc Stein reported Thursday the job was there for Williams if he "wants it." 

Phoenix first visited Toronto to talk with Williams as the 76ers were about to begin their playoff series against the Raptors. 

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