The Phoenix Suns are finalizing a deal to hire Chris Jent as head coach of the franchise’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Bakersfield Jam, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Jent, 45, had been an assistant coach under Michael Malone with the Sacramento Kings for the past two years.
Jent has been discussed as a top candidate to return to college basketball as a head coach, especially after going back to his alma mater, Ohio State, for two successful seasons as an assistant beginning in 2011. Jent in 2013 joined Malone as the top assistant coach in Sacramento, where he stayed until Malone’s ouster as head coach in December 2014.
Jent played briefly in the NBA, and served as the Orlando Magic’s interim head coach to finish the 2004-05 season and had a successful run as an assistant under Mike Brown with the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2006-11, developing a strong working relationship with LeBron James.
Bakersfield’s previous coach, Nate Bjorkman, was promoted to a staff job with the Suns.