Why the Raptors are interested in Suns’ Kevin Young
Amit Mann is joined by Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports to detail how Suns assistant Kevin Young has become a valuable member of Phoenix's staff and why the Raptors are reportedly considering him for their head coaching position. Listen to the full episode on the 'Raptors Over Everything' podcast feed or watch on our YouTube.
GERALD BOURGUET: From suggesting things to the guy, and maybe they're taking, maybe they're not, to now every decision comes down to me, I'm the guy that's in charge of every decision. And so I think you see a lot of assistant coaches take what they've done with the teams that they were assistants on and incorporate them into what they do, but they will definitely change things, obviously. They'll be things that they feel like, OK, if I was in charge, I would have done this differently.
And I think we'll probably see that with Kevin Young, but you'll definitely see if he gets a head coaching job, you'll see a lot of double drag, you'll see a lot of Spain pick and roll, you'll see some creative offensive sets. But I also think that he'll be good at tailoring what his team does to his personnel because I think you look at the offensive rebounding suggestion, a lot of that was based on the fact that, look, we have Torrey Craig, we have Josh Okogie, we have athletic guys who can do this.
We have Deandre Ayton. We should be doing this. So, I think he's very good, like they've said, about scouting players and knowing opponents and his own personnel. So, I do think he'll be pretty good at being able to devise a strategy on both ends of the floor that pertains to his personnel.
AMIT MANN: Going off the names that the Raptors are rumored to be interested in for this head coaching gig, it seems like they are prioritizing a head coach that has some experience in successful halfcourt offenses. We mentioned and we're talking about Young, we're talking about Chris Quinn, we're talking about Mitch Johnson, and Becky Hammon from the Spurs, Kenny Atkinson we know his pedigree, Jordi Fernandez from the Kings.
So that seems to be a focus for them. And going off of this season, I'm one of the people that thought that if anything, like, the defense was a problem, but their halfcourt offense was hurting them so badly, and there was such a lack of player movement, and they had talented players. Now not a lot of 3-point shooting, but there should have been more off-ball movement, more creativity.
And it seems like I think the Raptors have recognized that, and that's why they made the decision that they made and also why they're interested in these candidates. Anything else on Kevin Young? Seems like a brilliant coach, at least from the X's and O's side of things, obviously. We're all kind of speculating, don't know too much about him, don't know how the interview is going to go, but it's just nice to learn a little bit about him, some good nuggets here from you. So thank you.
GERALD BOURGUET: Yeah, I think the only other two things that I've found, I was going through my notes and past interviews to look for what they had to say about Kevin Young, and Monty brought up his offensive philosophy that he's kind of offered to the Suns is, then what, in terms of like, OK, they shut down your primary action, what next, they shut down that, what next?
So, if you are looking for more inventive free flowing offenses, I think that's a good sign for a guy like Kevin Young that he's always thinking the next step, the next action, that type of thing. That's good, especially if you had a stagnant offense or one that didn't have enough creativity.
And he's also been a big proponent of the Suns' let it fly approach. It doesn't show up in the Suns' 3-point attempts, but he's constantly been credited with getting on guys about turning down shots, taking shots. So, again, that could be something that maybe there's a little give and take if the Raptors don't have the requisite 3-point shooting for that. But it depends on what they've got. And I think his philosophy will be, we need to get up more 3's.
AMIT MANN: Definitely. And the Raptors, I mean, they don't have great 3-point shooting right now, as Masai Ujiri has outlined during his end of season. That is a priority to add some shooting, but I like the idea, and they need more shooting, there's no doubt about that. But I think there's more that they could utilize with their 6'9", 6'8" players.
Like, granted, you are going to inevitably run into some spacing issues. That's just how it is, especially with playoff basketball, but the fact that there has been such a lack of player movement, and that so many of their sets are just like, they run their initial action and then not much happens after that. And so what you just said about Young, it's kind of speaking the language again--