The Phoenix Suns are reportedly planning to meet with Kings assistant Jordi Fernandez as they begin their search for a new head coach.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday that Fernandez is one of several assistant coaches the Suns are seeking permission to interview. Others include Milwaukee Bucks assistant Charles Lee and Memphis Grizzlies assistant Darko Rajakovic.
The Suns fired coach Monty Williams after four seasons Saturday. Williams was dismissed after Phoenix was eliminated from the playoffs with a 125-100 loss to the Denver Nuggets in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals.
Williams, the 2021-22 NBA Coach of the Year, is one of several high-profile coaches who have been fired in recent weeks. That list includes Nick Nurse, who won an NBA championship with the Toronto Raptors in 2019; Mike Budenholzer, who won an NBA championship with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021; and Doc Rivers, who led the Philadelphia 76ers to three consecutive Eastern Conference semifinals.
Fernandez, 40, reportedly interviewed with the Raptors on April 28. He is often mentioned as one of the top young coaching candidates in the league.
Fernandez just completed his first season as associate head coach in Sacramento, where he served as Mike Brown’s lead assistant. Brown was named NBA Coach of the Year after leading the Kings to the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference, ending the longest playoff drought in NBA history after 16 consecutive losing seasons.
Fernandez, a native of Barcelona, Spain, began his NBA coaching career as a player development coach on Brown’s staff with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2009. He worked as an assistant with the G League Canton Charge in 2013-14, served as head coach in Canton from 2014-16 and joined the Denver Nuggets in 2016-17.
Fernandez spent six seasons in Denver as an assistant under former Kings coach Michael Malone. During that time, Fernandez also served as an assistant under Brown with the Nigerian national team at the 2020 Summer Olympics.
When Brown agreed to interview with the Kings after six seasons as Steve Kerr’s lead assistant with the Golden State Warriors, one of his first calls was to Fernandez. Brown hired Fernandez days after accepting the job in May 2022.