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Suns remove interim tag from Earl Watson, name him head coach

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Jude LaCava of Fox 10 Phoenix first reporting that the Phoenix Suns will settle on Earl Watson to officially fill their head coaching vacancy for the 2016/17 season.

LaCava doesn't have a strong history of breaking Suns news -- you might remember him for his "take it to the bank"quote during the Eric Bledsoe contract negotiations in 2014 -- so it would be prudent to wait for an official word before, well, taking this to the bank.

UPDATE: TAKE IT TO THE BANK - IT'S OFFICIAL - WATSON HIRED

However, if the report is accurate, the timing speaks volumes to the impact Watson had with the players on this team, who have been vocal in their loyalty to the interim head coach. As Dave King recently pointed out, back in 2013 the players basically took the fifth when questioned about Lindsay Hunter, who found himself in a similar situation with a season that had already circled the drain when he stepped in for Alvin Gentry.

While Watson might leave a bit to be desired on the X's and O's front, by all accounts he held his players accountable and encouraged them to finish out this miserable season with class and professionalism. Even Archie Goodwin spoke highly of him in exit interviews after being DNP'd a number of times down the stretch.

Of course, the more cynical take would be that instead of big names like Tom Thibodeau, Jay Wright and Mike D'Antoni, the Suns went with the option that would A) command the lowest salary, and B) be the easiest to fire if things go belly-up again.

In this humble blogger's opinion, the Suns need to have a season where they focus on development in earnest instead of gunning for another elusive eighth seed. Given that he has already made an impact on this locker room, I'm hard-pressed to envision a better candidate for right now.