Three games into the young season, the Phoenix Suns have already fired their coach Earl Watson. On Oct. 22, it was announced that Watson had been fired and Jay Triano will be the interim head coach for the rest of the season.
On the same day, Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe sent out a very telling tweet about how he feels about Phoenix.
I Dont wanna be here
— Eric Bledsoe (@EBled2) October 22, 2017
Wow. That’s a statement. Phoenix is in early contention with the New York Knicks for the “Most Dysfunctional Franchise” award. By the looks of it, they may be in the lead. This type of mismanagement can doom a franchise for years to come, and it is looking like it will with Phoenix.
ESPN Sources: Eric Bledsoe met with team this morning before shootaround and he was sent home. He will not play tonight against Sacramento.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) October 23, 2017
This manifested itself when Bledsoe was sent home after the Suns’ practice, and did not play in their game vs Sacramento on Monday. Somehow the Suns won that game 117-115, but that is not the point.
Phoenix will now have to resort to a pennies on the dollar trade involving Bledsoe, where they will lose a solid player for next to nothing, similar to what Indiana did with Paul George and what New York did with Carmelo Anthony. This will further set up the Suns to be lottery contenders for the next decade, and the front office has no one else to blame but themselves.
Not only is the front office incapable of handling a franchise, their on-court performance is horrible as well. The Suns allowed 128.7 points per game over their first three games and ranked dead last in net rating (-26.2) according to Bleacher Report and NBA.com’s database.
The talent the team has put on the court is sub-par in all senses of the word, and whoever is the number one pick is most likely headed to the desert. Hopefully they enjoy constant coaching changes and losing 70 percent of their games.
Phoenix can fire Earl Watson, but that will not change their fate. What they really need is a change in front office.
Suns Fire Igor Kokoskov
Kokoskov lasted just one season at the helm of Phoenix after the team brought him in last offseason following a lengthy coaching search that included around 10 candidates.
“After extensive evaluation, I determined it is best to move in a different direction with our head coaching position,” Suns exec James Jones said in a statement. “I want to thank Igor for his work this past season and wish him the best with his future endeavors.”
Kokoskov became the NBA’s first European-born head coach last May when he was hired.
Kokoskov led the Suns to a 19-65 record and the team will reportedly be looking for a coach who can help further the development of DeAndre Ayton who the club feels wasn’t utilized properly by Kokoskov, according to
John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7.
Additionally, while Suns players liked Kokoskov, they felt as though assistant Joe Prunty was more in charge of the bench than Kokoskov was.
Monty Williams and David Vanterpool have been identified as targets, but the dysfunction falls on the shoulders of team owner Robert Sarver who consistently makes bad decision after bad decision in the front office and on the court and should stop interfering with such decisions moving forward.
The Sporting News’ Sean Deveney argues that the team owes it to its fans to explain the decision and discuss the franchise’s direction.
Suns Prefer Ja Morant Over Zion Williamson
The Phoenix Suns could end up with the 1st overall pick for the second consecutive year, depending on how the ping pong balls drop, but landing the #1 overall pick doesn’t mean they are locked in on Duke phenom Zion Williamson.
According to The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie, the Suns actually prefer Murray State point guard Ja Morant, who had an impressive breakout year in 2018-2019, over Williamson.
Morant became the first player in school history to be named a first-team Associated Press All-American.
Point guard is the biggest position of need for the rebuilding Suns, but passing on Zion could mean passing on a bonafide superstar to pair with Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker.
The thought of a frontcourt featuring Williamson and Ayton would instantly elevate the Suns.
Suns Expected to Hire Jeff Bower as Vice President of Basketball Operations
Stability may finally be heading to the front office of the Phoenix Suns, after many years of disorganization.
According to Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s John Gambadoro, the Suns are expected to hire Jeff Bower as the team’s senior vice president of basketball operations.
Following the firing of general manager Ryan McDonough days before the start of the 2018-2019 regular season, James Jones and Trevor Bukstein took over as co-interim general managers, overseeing a Suns team that finished the season with a 19-63 record, owning the worst record in the Western Conference for the third consecutive year.
Bower, 57, turned the Hornet into a playoff contender, capped off by a franchise record 56-win season in the 2007-2008 season.
Bower also made noise in Detroit, pulling the trigger on the deals that brought in Blake Griffin and Reggie Jackson.
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