The Phoenix Suns are parting ways with head coach Monty Williams, according to Bill Reiter of CBS Sports. The Suns had championship expectations this season after trading for star forward Kevin Durant. However, after a second-round exit at the hands of the Denver Nuggets, the Suns have elected to move on from their head coach and seek a new voice moving forward.

Williams coached the Suns for only four seasons, but was still among the most successful coaches in franchise history. In 2019, he took over a team that had been out of the playoffs for nearly a decade. While he didn’t get them back into it immediately, he did lead them to an undefeated 8-0 record in the Orlando bubble, ultimately coming just short of the 2020 playoffs.

The Suns traded for Chris Paul in the offseason of 2020 and that helped vault the Suns into a stretch of immense regular-season success. The Suns went 115-39 across the next two regular seasons, but those wins didn’t translate to the postseason. The Suns blew a 2-0 lead in the 2021 Finals to the Milwaukee Bucks, and in 2022 they blew a 2-0 lead in the second round against the Dallas Mavericks. Phoenix was an underdog against Denver, but yet again, the Suns failed to capitalize on a championship opportunity and were ousted in the second round.

Williams won Coach of the Year in 2022, and he won the Coach’s Association’s Coach of the Year award in both 2021 and 2022. But those playoff missteps as well as a seemingly fraught relationship with former No. 1 overall pick DeAndre Ayton seem to have done Williams in.

Now the Suns have one of the most desirable head-coaching jobs in basketball. They have a roster outfitted with two superstars in Durant and Devin Booker, a new owner willing to spend money and a market that has tended to recruit talent quite well. Phoenix should have its pick of almost any coach on the market. Williams, similarly, should be in demand among the increasing number of teams still looking for a leader. The Suns have a great team and Williams is a great coach, but Mat Ishbia has chosen to part ways with the man who took Phoenix to the Finals just two summers ago.

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