Phoenix Suns Hire Utah Jazz Assistant Coach Igor Kokoskov — May Target Luka Doncic In NBA Draft

The Phoenix Suns are expected to hire a new head coach who has expansive knowledge on one of the top players in the upcoming NBA Draft.

Igor Kokoskov walks to the bench.
Tim Warner / Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns are expected to hire a new head coach who has expansive knowledge on one of the top players in the upcoming NBA Draft.

The Phoenix Suns are expected to hire Utah Jazz assistant coach Igor Kokoskov to be their new head coach. Kokoskov will be replacing Jay Triano, who was the interim coach for the Phoenix Suns for much of the NBA season. Triano stepped in after the Suns fired Earl Watson just three games into the season. Triano coached the Suns to a 21-58 record.

According to ESPN, the Phoenix Suns will officially name Igor Kokoskov after the Utah Jazz finalizes their season. The Jazz are currently tied one game apiece in a best-of-seven series with the Houston Rockets.

The hiring of Igor Kokoskov was part of a series of decisions made by the Phoenix Suns over the past couple of days. There were two decisions which opened the door for Kokoskov to be hired on Wednesday.

The first choice made was by the Phoenix Suns, who decided to fire assistant coach Ty Corbin, while removing both he and interim coach Jay Triano’s names from consideration for the coaching vacancy (courtesy of NBC Sports).

By taking Corbin and Triano out of the picture, the Phoenix Suns were able to hire Igor Kokoskov. The Suns’ new head coach becomes the first-ever NBA head coach born outside of North America.

The other decision which likely led to the hiring of Igor Kokoskov was made by top NBA draft prospect Luka Doncic.

Luka Doncic is already regarded as one of the top draft prospects, therefore his status as a top-5 pick may already be solidified. Because of this, Doncic made what many will deem a wise career move.

According to the Sporting News, Doncic will not workout for any team prior to the NBA Draft. If the Phoenix Suns do not lose any ground in the upcoming NBA Draft lottery, they will have the No. 1 overall pick. The worst draft pick the Suns could have is No. 4.

That puts the Phoenix Suns in a prime position to take one of the top prospects. However, the Suns hiring of Igor Kokoskov gives them a coach with inside knowledge of Luka Doncic’s game.

Kokoskov was Doncic’s coach on the Slovenian national team. He will be able to assist the Suns with their draft decisions. Especially with where the Suns will likely be choosing. It was not long ago when the new Suns’ coach was singing Luka Doncic’s praises (courtesy of ESPN).

“Leadership and presence on the court — you can’t coach it. He kind of missed some parts of his life — his basketball childhood.”

Understanding of Luka Doncic’s maturity as a basketball player is something that Igor Kokoskov knows plenty about. That will help the Phoenix Suns going forward as they continue to rebuild their franchise. The coach will soon be officially in place for the Suns. Fairly soon the Suns hope that the next star is there as well.