Well, I was not expecting to get news about the Suns being interested in obtaining Clippers coach Ty Lue on a random Saturday evening, but here we are. The Suns fired two-time coach of the year winner Monty Williams a couple hours ago, and within an hour of that, Marc Stein, formerly of ESPN and the New York Times, and one of the more trusted newsbreakers around the NBA, had a tweet up about the Suns interest in Ty Lue.
Shortly thereafter, LA Times beat reporter Andrew Greif more or less corroborated the report:
There are some immediate complications here. Ty Lue is under contract for two more years and a lot of money, for one thing. Trades involving coaches have happened – the Clippers traded for Doc Rivers, of course! – but are rare. Making matters more difficult, the Suns have traded every 1st round pick they possibly could have to the Nets for Kevin Durant. Their 2024 and 2026 picks can’t be moved due to the Stepien rule, though I believe they could turn those into swaps for the Clippers. The Suns also have nearly all of their future 2nds, so a number of those could be moved for Ty. There are workarounds. Ty Lue could also theoretically just negotiate a buyout so he could become “available”, but I’m not sure whether the Clippers would do that.
There is also the matter hinted at in Andrew’s tweet – this being more about Ty Lue’s current contract with the Clippers. Ty Lue is signed through the summer of 2025, which is also when Paul George and Kawhi Leonard’s deals are up (they have player options for 2024-2025). Thus, Ty Lue might want more security with a contract extension considering this whole 213 era – and therefore his gig – have a current shelf life of just two years. While the Suns assuredly have interest, this could also be a bargaining tactic by Lue, who might want more years and more money.
The Clippers’ front office and Ty Lue have maintained that everything has been copacetic despite rumors of a disconnect between them this season. Even if there were strong disagreements (likely), it’s quite possible that things never got truly acrimonious. Still, considering how tough this season was, it’s quite possible Ty Lue does have some desire to move on – and the Suns are a highly desirable landing spot.
Right now, all we know is that the Suns have interest in Ty Lue. We don’t know if that interest is mutual, or if there have been any real discussions around a move. We will do our best to keep you updated as this situation develops.