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Report: Utah Jazz assistant Jeff Hornacek emerges as lead candidate for Phoenix Suns job

Published: Saturday, May 25 2013 11:15 p.m. MDT

Jeff Hornacek, Utah Jazz assistant coach, picks up a ball during warmups before the Utah Jazz face the Los Angeles Lakers in NBA basketball played at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah, Friday, April 1, 2011. (Ravell Call, Deseret News) Jeff Hornacek, Utah Jazz assistant coach, picks up a ball during warmups before the Utah Jazz face the Los Angeles Lakers in NBA basketball played at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah, Friday, April 1, 2011. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The second time might be the charm for Jeff Hornacek.

The Utah Jazz assistant coach has emerged as a front-runner for the Phoenix Suns' head coach position, according to Yahoo! Sports.

Hornacek reportedly interviewed with new Suns general manager Ryan McDonough and president Lon Babby this past week in Phoenix, where the former Jazz sharpshooter lives in the off-season.

Hornacek, a popular player with the Suns from 1986-92, was interviewed for the Phoenix job the last time it opened, before Alvin Gentry was hired in 2009.

The recently turned 50-year-old has already applied for coaching vacancies in Philadelphia and Charlotte in the past couple of weeks.

Hornacek has been a full-time assistant coach in Utah since Tyrone Corbin was hired to replace Jerry Sloan when the Hall of Famer shockingly resigned in the middle of the 2010-11 season. He'd previously worked as the Jazz's shooting coach after retiring from a successful 14-year playing career with Phoenix, Philadelphia and Utah.

An offer hasn't been made to Hornacek, according to the Yahoo! article. But that could happen within a week, NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

"For the Suns, Hornacek would fit the profile of a coach who could grow with the franchise's plan to rebuild through young players and the draft," Wojnarowski wrote. "Phoenix has six first-round picks available to them over the next three years and player development will be a top priority."

Houston assistant J.B. Bickerstaff and interim coach Lindsey Hunter have already been interviewed. The Suns received permission to chat with Clippers assistant Steve Clifford, who is also a candidate for job openings in Milwaukee and Charlotte.

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