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Report: Suns coaching search wide open; interim coach Earl Watson may be man to beat


during the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on February 10, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Warriors defeated the Suns 112-104. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

Christian Petersen

The rumors have started: Thursday came the report that the Phoenix Suns have their eye on Villanova coach Jay Wright to take over the head job.

That’s probably true, in the “let’s reach out to him and see if there is any mutual interest/fit and go from there” kind of way (Wright has said he’s not interested, but don’t think he won’t leverage NBA interest into a larger contract). But the reality is the Suns’ coaching search is wide open, and the current front-runner — and player favorite — may be interim coach Earl Watson.

From Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.

Many insiders believe Wright will stay with his roots and that he would be a pricey pursuit for a NBA team, perhaps helping his leverage at Villanova.

The Suns are preparing a coaching search, which could include current and former NBA coaches. Many also feel that Suns interim head coach Earl Watson is very much in the running to return at the helm.

Watson and GM Ryan McDonough have a good relationship, which is a good thing if you believe that McDonough is safe in his role.

The Suns should roll the dice on a top assistant with promise (there are more than a few out there). This is not a team/market/owner that will attract a Tom Thibodeau or Scott Brooks, but someone had to roll their dice on those guys the first time, and the Suns can be that kind of team. Maybe Earl Watson is that guy. But they need to think player development and a guy who can work with the GM in a holistic way.

We’ll see what they do once the season ends.