Since Mike D’Antoni and Steve Kerr left, two of the Suns’ most successful voices in the head coach and general manager position, this organization has had plenty of turnover. Not only seven different head coaches but also three GMs, which includes interim stints as well. Over this current timeframe, Phoenix has had one winning season. And if Igor Kokoskov and James Jones are replaced this offseason, that will only increase those stunning numbers.
As you can tell, all-around stability hasn’t been present within the Suns since their most successful era in franchise history led by D’Antoni, Kerr and Steve Nash.
In the latest Woj Report out on ESPN’s YouTube page, national NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski updated everyone on how the Suns are viewed not only around the league, but also what could be coming next this offseason.
The NBA is even starting to get concerned about the Suns’ management style, too.
“This is an organization that’s in a spiral in almost every way,” Wojnarowski said. “It’s a concern for the NBA. Owner Robert Sarver has seemed to not learn a lot of lessons through the years about his management style, his hands on nature, and his ability to put an infrastructure in place and allow it to build an organization.”
That’s a grim outlook, and one that could hinder the Suns this summer when trying to recruit players and other staff members to the Valley.
Also, Woj relayed that Jones seems to not be a fan of scouting draft prospects. Jones’ indifference toward it has led to him not being on the road a lot checking out possible top-5 picks. There’s barely any sort of this going on in Phoenix, even though almost every other team in the lottery has pivoted towards draft preparation.
“Right now, James Jones is his interim general manager just a couple years retired from the NBA,” Wojnarowski said. “Jones has had a rather unorthodox view towards the NBA draft. There’s not a lot of scouting going on in Phoenix. He’s not on the road a lot.”
There’s been murmurs about Sarver wanting to add an experienced voice alongside Jones in the Suns’ front office. Remember when Woj mentioned Kevin McHale in the same sentence as Co-GMs Trevor Bukstein and Jones right after Ryan McDonough was fired? McHale is a name I would watch to fill the role of President of Basketball Operations in the near future, just based off that alone.
Sarver hasn’t started interviewing candidates, but a priority will be previously running an organization well. An executive with experience, something that hasn’t been within the Suns’ front office for awhile.
Suns announce firing of GM Ryan McDonough. James Jones and Trevor Bukstein will be interims. One candidate to watch long-term: Kevin McHale.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 8, 2018
“I’m told that (Sarver) considered the idea of hiring a President of Basketball Operations that would perhaps oversee James Jones,” Wojnarowski said. “Hasn’t started on interviewing candidates for that, but it certainly is in consideration and probably a pathway to at least get somebody in Phoenix with experience. The resume of running an NBA organization. Running it successfully.”
With the Suns sitting with 12 wins and finally ending a franchise-worst losing streak at 17, many around the league are keeping tabs of what’s going on here.
Not only are high-ranking members of the NBA worried about how Phoenix is operating right now, but so are other teams.
The sobering truth Woj ended on with the Suns was that Sarver will need to figure out how to get this organization from a state of disrepair back on the path to relevance altogether.
“There’s no question from the league office, teams around the league, there’s a lot of raised eyebrows at Phoenix about how they’re operating right now,” Wojnarowski said. “This is another crossroads for Robert Sarver to figure out how to get this from really a state of disrepair back on the path to relevancy, perhaps even before they consider the idea of becoming contenders again.”