After meeting with top coaching candidate Monty Williams on Friday night in Toronto, Phoenix Suns officials are flying to Portland to interview the Trail Blazers‘ two top assistant coaches on Saturday, league sources told ESPN.
Suns GM James Jones and VP of basketball operations Jeff Bower will meet with Blazers assistants Nate Tibbetts and David Vanterpool on Saturday, sources said.
Williams, a Philadelphia 76ers assistant, met for an extended period with Jones and Bower on Friday night, sources said. The Sixers play Toronto in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Saturday.
Phoenix fired coach Igor Kokoskov on Monday, after a 19-63 rookie season as head coach.
Tibbetts and Vanterpool also are set to interview for the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ opening soon, league sources said. Portland will play the winner of the Spurs–Nuggets Game 7 on Saturday in a Western Conference semifinals series.
Tibbetts has been an assistant for six seasons with the Blazers, after two years on Byron Scott’s staff with the Cavaliers. He had a successful two-year run in Tulsa of the G League before ascending to the NBA. Tibbetts was a finalist for the Atlanta Hawks opening that went to Lloyd Pierce a year ago.
Vanterpool has been with the Blazers since 2012, joining them from the Oklahoma City Thunder front office. Vanterpool had a successful run under Ettore Messina with Russia CSKA as an assistant coach and player. He had a lengthy professional playing career including stops with the Washington Wizards, Continental Basketball Association and EuroLeague. Vanterpool played collegiately at St. Bonaventure.