Two weeks ago, Jake Fischer from Yahoo Sports noted that the Milwaukee Bucks were interested in Ty Lue. The 2016 NBA champion head coach still has one year left on his contract with the Clippers. Today, ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith said he thinks the Clippers “wouldn’t mind” moving on from Lue as head coach amid Suns head coaching rumors.
Smith may not be the most plugged-in figure in all of the NBA, but he’s not the first to speculate on this topic. There were rumors during the 2022-23 season about Lue potentially not returning next season. Those were quickly dispelled once the Clippers made the playoffs.
However, they would lose to the Phoenix Suns in five games. Both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard were injured in that series. While the Suns may have interest in Lue as head coach, he won’t be available until the 2024-25 season.
"[The Suns] would love to get their hands on Ty Lue… From what I'm hearing out here in LA, the Clippers probably wouldn't mind him being gone, but Ty Lue wouldn't mind being gone. They're just not ready to make that move right now."
— Stephen A. Smithpic.twitter.com/GQsQXQShVE
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 24, 2023
Stephen A. Smith says the Clippers “wouldn’t mind” parting ways with Ty Lue
The Phoenix Suns would have to get permission from the LA Clippers to speak with head coach Ty Lue. A trade would have to happen to make Lue the head coach for next season. He has one final year left on his contract with the Clippers. Despite needing to clear those possible hurdles in hiring Lue, they are still interested in him.
On the contrary, NBA insider Shams Charania reported that Phoenix has narrowed its head coaching search to four final candidates. Ty Lue was not one of the four. Their finalists were Doc Rivers, Nick Nurse, Kevin Young, and Jordi Fernandez.
Trading for an NBA head coach is a very rare circumstance in the league. It last happened when the Brooklyn Nets traded head coach Jason Kidd to the Bucks for two second-round draft picks. Additionally, Doc Rivers was traded from the Celtics to the Clippers in exchange for a first-round draft pick.