The Suns are beginning to start their search for a new coach and have been granted permissions to interview Kings assistant Jordi Fernandez, Bucks assistant Charles Lee and Grizzlies assistant Darko Rajakovic, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Suns assistant Kevin Young is also expected to be considered a candidate for the position. Phoenix is looking to replace Monty Williams, fired at the end of the season and a second-round playoff ouster.
Fernadez, 40, was the lead assistant to coach Mike Brown during a season in which the Kings won the Pacific Division and made the playoffs in the NBA’s biggest turnaround. He has also been an assistant with the Cavaliers (2009-13) and Nuggets (2016-22) and head coach of the G League’s Canton Charge (2014-16).
Lee, 38, has been an assistant under Mike Budenholzer since 2014, first with the Hawks and then with the Bucks, starting in 2018. Milwaukee won the championship in 2019. Lee is now considered a frontrunner for the vacancy with the Pistons and has been linked to the Bucks’ vacancy as well.
Rajakovic, 44, has been an assistant with Taylor Jenkins and the Grizzlies since 2020. He spent a season as an assistant with the Suns (2019-20) and five with the Thunder (2014-19). A native of Serbia, Rajakovic also coached the Tulsa 66ers of the G League (2012-14).
ESPN Sources: The Suns have started to gather permission on several assistants for head coaching interviews, including Sacramento’s Jordi Fernandez, Milwaukee’s Charles Lee and Memphis’ Darko Rajakovic.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 18, 2023