Villanova head coach Jay Wright is reportedly the Phoenix Suns top choice to become their new head coach according to Mitch Lawrence of the Sporting News.
Fresh off NCAA title, Villanova’s Jay Wright has emerged as the top choice of the Phoenix Suns to become their head coach, per NBA sources.
— Mitch Lawrence (@Mitch_Lawrence) April 7, 2016
It’s not surprising Wright is a top NBA coaching candidate following Villanova’s NCAA Championship winning season. He’s shown an excellent ability as a tactician and play-caller which should entice NBA teams.
Would Wright leave Villanova? From what he’s previously said it’s unlikely. Wright interviewed with the Philadelphia Sixers in 2009 before the team hired Eddie Jordan, but he’s more recently thrown cold water on a potential move. Despite his denials, a jump to the NBA would be a natural progression for the 54-year-old.
In recent years former Butler head coach Brad Stevens, former Florida head coach Billy Donovan and former Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg have all made the jump to the NBA with mixed results. All entered enticing situations and were given huge $20+ million contracts to make the jump. If Wright, who’s making just under $2.5 million, jumped to the NBA now, he would set himself up for an equally-big pay day.
But is the Suns’ job enticing? Yes and no. The 20-58 Suns will have a likely top-three pick and feature a solid young core in Devin Booker, Archie Goodwin, and Alex Len. However the team’s cap situation isn’t great – especially considering Tyson Chandler and Brandon Knight, two huge disappointments in 2015-16, are both on the books until 2018-19 and 2019-20 respectively. Wright would likely lead a rebuilding effort, which doesn’t sound like a better opportunity than the one he has at Villanova.
The Suns can bring a dump truck of money to Wright’s door and it’s still unlikely he’d make the jump. But never say never. For all we know, Jay might just have an NBA itch he needs to scratch.