Each spring during the NBA playoffs, ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz puts together a list of coaches whom he’s heard chatter could become head coaches in the league someday.
Arnovitz released his 2022 list last week, and the first name mentioned was Kevin Young, a Utah native who currently has the title of associate head coach of the Phoenix Suns, the best team in the Western Conference this season.
“If it’s alignment you’re looking for, Suns associate head coach Kevin Young is a natural fit,” Arnovitz wrote. “Both the Suns’ basketball ops crew and head coach Monty Williams regard Young as an essential hub to share ideas across the organization.
“It’s a logical role for a young coach who excels at both listening and communicating.”
Young, 40, was a head coach in Ireland for a year at age 23 before becoming an assistant at UVU (then UVSC) for a season.
He was then an assistant at a small school in Georgia for a year before becoming an assistant with the NBA D-League’s (now G League) Utah Flash, which is now the Salt Lake City Stars.
He held that role for a season before being promoted to head coach for the 2010-2011 campaign.
Young then succeeded current Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse as head coach of the D-League’s Iowa Energy, a post he held until 2013 when he became an assistant with the Delaware 87ers, the Philadelphia 76ers’ affiliate.
Young was promoted to head coach after the 2013-14 season, and stayed in that position until 2017.
At that point he became an assistant with the 76ers until 2020, when the Suns hired him as an assistant (he and Suns head coach Monty Williams had been assistants together in Philadelphia during the 2018-19 season).
Young was promoted to the role of associate head coach in Phoenix before this season.
“He has earned the respect of players with his work ethic and candor,” Arnovitz wrote. “He was a finalist for the Washington job last spring, where his sharpness impressed.”
In addition to Young, Arnovitz included on his list Young’s fellow Suns assistant Brian Randle and the staffs of the Milwaukee Bucks, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics.
On Sunday, Warriors assistant Mike Brown was hired as head coach of the Sacramento Kings, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported.
Additionally, Arnovitz mentioned the following names on his list:
- South Carolina women’s head coach Dawn Staley
- Former Utah Jazz center Jarron Collins, who is an assistant with the New Orleans Pelicans after many years as an assistant with the Golden State Warriors
- Former Villanova men’s head coach Jay Wright
- Barcelona head coach Sarunas Jasikevicius