Head Coaching Candidate #2: Kevin Young, Phoenix Suns
If Portland’s goal is a complete culture reset, there’s another strong candidate. Alongside Monty Williams, Kevin Young has been a key part of the radical shift in Phoenix to go from perennial doormat to perennial title contender.
Young started as an assistant coach under Brett Brown in Philadelphia but has risen all the way up to be the associate head coach for the Suns. He’s also already featured in some head coaching conversations, demonstrating his value to the greater NBA.
The strength of Young’s coaching acumen is his ability to create a winning culture in an NBA locker room. He can inspire role players to new heights, handle the superstar personalities like Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Kevin Durant, and has also stepped into the role of interim head coach for the Suns, which shows their supreme confidence in his ability to lead a team.
If they didn’t already have an entrenched head coach, it’s not unreasonable to think that Young might hold that position for Phoenix.
That kind of impact on a team is sorely missed in Portland right now. With Young leading the team from the locker room and the sideline, he could get along with Damian Lillard, could have quelled the chaotic aftermath of Gary Payton II’s injury, and could provide stability and order to a team that so desperately needs it.
Although it might take some time, Young could lead the Blazers back into perennial playoff contention and spark a turnaround eerily similar to what’s happened during his time with the Suns.