The Philadelphia 76ers are in the midst of an important playoff run. That doesn't mean other teams are not trying to sure things up on their staffs for next season before the offseason begins. There have already been coaching changes around the league and Sixers assistant Monty Williams has garnered a good bit of interest for a few positions.

Before the Kings hired Luke Walton, Monty Williams was a 'strong candidate' for the position. Williams, along with Ty Lue, is also in the running for the vacant Los Angeles head coaching spot. Both candidates are in line for a second interview with Lakers ownership.

Meanwhile, the Suns fired coach Igor Kokoskov on Tuesday and according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Phoenix joins the list of teams to pursue Monty Williams.

After only one season on the job, Igor Kokoskov was fired as coach of the Phoenix Suns on Monday night.

The timing on the dismissal of Kokoskov, the first European-born NBA head coach, was partly rooted in a desire to compete against the Los Angeles Lakersin pursuit of Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams, league sources told ESPN.

James Jones, the new general manager for the Suns, played under Williams while he was an assistant with Portland. New Phoenix vice president of basketball operations hired Williams to be the head coach of the Pelicans back in 2010.

Williams, 47, spent the first five seasons of his NBA coaching career as an assistant for the Trailblazers from 2005-2010. He then joined the Pelicans as their head coach ahead of the 2010-11 season, compiling a 173-221 record over five seasons which included two playoff appearances. After serving as an associate head coach for the Thunder in 2015-16, Williams was hired as the vice president of basketball operations for the Spurs. In June 2018, Williams joined Brett Brown's staff on the Sixers as lead assistant.

Williams played 456 NBA games in his career, averaging 6.3 points per game.

Brandon Apter is a Sixers contributor to 97.3 ESPN. Follow him on Twitter @bapter23.

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