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Suns May Spend $35 Million to Fire Williams

The championship aspirations have kicked into overdrive for the Phoenix Suns on Saturday. Head coach Monty Williams is the first domino to fall, after reportedly being fired days after being eliminated from the playoffs.

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New owner Matt Ishbia made it clear from his initial days of office that getting Phoenix into title contention was paramount. Now, it appears that beloved Williams is evidence of that.

With Williams’ current contract, however, Ishbia will have to possibly still spend up to $35 million of what remained on Williams’ deal.


Under previous ownership, along with general manager James Jones, Williams appeared to be a long-term lock in Phoenix. Williams had recently signed a five-year extension during last offseason.

Unlike a coveted star in the league, a coach signing an extension has no safety net. Given Williams’ questionable coaching during the playoffs, it appeared that the Suns could move on from him.

Williams began his coaching tenure with Phoenix in 2019. He coached the Suns to a 2021 NBA Finals appearance against the Milwaukee Bucks. The year prior, he put the world on notice during his Orlando bubble run as the team finished the regular season undefeated.

Williams finished his career in Phoenix with a 194-115 coaching record through four seasons. He had a .587 record in the playoffs as well.

Where the Suns pivot to now may not be immediately clear. There’s still time before it will become urgent to make a final decision on the next candidate.

Ironically, Los Angeles Clippers head coach Tyron Lue has been a name that has drawn interest from the Phoenix area this year in particular. Lue’s ability to practically out-coach Williams in the first series of the playoffs was a signifying downfall for Williams.

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