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Suns to hire recent NBA champion as next head coach: report


The Phoenix Suns are off the NBA coaching carousel after finding their man.

The team reportedly will hire Frank Vogel as its next head coach.

Vogel’s last gig was as Los Angeles Lakers head coach, where he won the NBA title in 2020. After the Lakers missed the playoffs in 2021-22, he and the organization parted ways.

ESPN notes it will be a long-term deal.

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Head coach Frank Vogel of the Los Angeles Lakers watches during the second quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse March 21, 2022, in Cleveland. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The Suns fired Monty Williams after four seasons. Williams led the Suns to the 2021 NBA Finals, where they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks fired Mike Budenholzer, the man who coached them to that championship, after losing their first-round playoff series to the eighth-seeded Miami Heat. Williams was also the NBA Coach of the Year in 2021-22.

Williams was just signed to the richest coaching contract in NBA history by the Detroit Pistons. They agreed to a six-year deal worth $78.5 million, according to ESPN. The Athletic, first to report Williams’ deal, said team options and incentives could increase the deal to eight years and $100 million.

Before joining the Lakers, Vogel coached the Orlando Magic from 2016-2018 and the Indiana Pacers from 2011-2016. The Lakers replaced Vogel with Darwin Ham, and they reached the Western Conference finals.

Frank Vogel argues with ref

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel argues with a referee during a game with the Nuggets at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles April 3, 2022. (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The Suns were expected to make a deep run in the Western Conference playoffs after finishing fourth in the regular season and adding one of the top scorers in the game, Kevin Durant, before the trade deadline. But they were bounced by the top-seeded Denver Nuggets, who are now the heavy favorites to win the Finals, especially after a Game 1 victory Thursday.

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New Suns owner Mat Ishbia made the decision to fire Williams, his second big move since acquiring the organization along with the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA Dec. 20. 

He also signed off on the trade for Durant, which sent Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, four first-round picks and a pick swap to the Brooklyn Nets for a championship run.

Kevin Durant looks up

Kevin Durant of the Phoenix Suns against the Chicago Bulls at United Center March 3, 2023, in Chicago. (Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

DeAndre Ayton is also locked in until 2026, but some speculate the Suns may want to move him for a more well-rounded team. One report suggested the Suns would “aggressively” look to shop Ayton, who signed a four-year, $132.93 million deal last season. 

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And then there’s Chris Paul, the 38-year-old point guard who injured a groin and couldn’t finish the series with the Nuggets. He has a $30 million team option for next season. 

Fox News’ Scott Thompson and Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.



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