Suns to interview coaching candidates J.B. Bickerstaff, Steve Clifford

USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns will begin to interview head coaching candidates outside of the organization, and those included are Lakers assistant Steve Clifford and Rockets assistant J.B. Bickerstaff.

The Phoenix Suns have been granted permission to interview Houston Rockets assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff and Los Angeles Lakers assistant Steve Clifford, Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports. The Suns will meet with Bickerstaff on Friday.

With general manager Ryan McDonough leading the search, Phoenix now begins looking outside the organization for their next head coach. Bickerstaff, the son of longtime NBA coach Bernie Bickerstaff, has also interviewed with the Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks, while Clifford has met with Milwaukee and the Charlotte Bobcats, Wojnarowski reports.

The Suns first interviewed interim coach Lindsey Hunter this past week at the draft combine, but he is not believed to be a serious candidate since the team parted ways with former general manager Lance Blanks, a Hunter supporter.

Utah Jazz assistant Jeff Hornacek, who played for Phoenix, is also on the list, as is CSKA Moscow assistant Quin Snyder.

The Suns join Atlanta, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Detroit, Philadelphia, Brooklyn and the Los Angeles Clippers as teams currently with head-coaching vacancies. Phoenix fired former head coach Alvin Gentry in the middle of the season and replaced him with Hunter, then the team's player development coordinator.

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