A gift is a gift. When you have a gift, no matter how frustrating it is you need to find a way to turn that gift into a positive. I have the gift of guessing completely wrong on the Phoenix Suns next moves. They have been much more aggressive than I have given them credit for.
Three times this spring, the Phoenix Suns have made a huge decision mere hours after I posted an article predicting a long waiting period before the Suns would make their move - extending Lon Babby, firing Lance Blanks and hiring Jeff Hornacek.
Dave's faulty reasoning:
It's certainly possible that Sarver rides out this current front office through July since they are already under contract, but is that likely? Is it likely he has a new staff inherit the work of the prior regime without the opportunity to shape the roster before their first season in power?
Sounds crazy, but he's done it twice before. He did it in the disastrous summer of 2010, when Babby and Blanks were not hired until the heavy lifting had been done already, absolving them of any blame but also castrating them for 1/3 of their contracts. He also kind of did it in 2006 when Bryan Colangelo went to Toronto. Sarver simply promoted D'Antoni to GM without engaging in a GM search.
Suns 1, Dave 0
Dave's spot-on reasoning:
I still think the bigger issue is the player evaluation staff. The guys who have to "nail it" this summer and next to re-set the trajectory of the franchise in an upward direction.
Maybe that's why the coaching decision is taking so long. By now they know if Hunter is their man or not. Maybe it's more about the rest of the front office than we are being led to believe.
Suns 2, Dave (a shaky) 0.5
Dave's faulty reasoning:
The delay, which could extend to late June
Because some of the best coaching prospects are still roaming the sidelines in the Conference Finals, that's why. Brian Shaw (Indiana), Mike Budenholzer (San Antonio), David Fizdale (Miami) and Lionel Hollins and Dave Joerger (Memphis) are all on the short list of favorites.
Indiana, in particular, has declined all interview requests through the end of the playoffs. Not only is Brian Shaw on a lot of teams' lists, so is GM Kevin Pritchard to take over front office openings.
Suns 3, Dave (a shaky) 0.5
Three times, the Suns have made a smart, timely decision without bringing me into the loop. Imagine that?!? All three decisions have been good ones, and I would have agreed with each one if they had just asked me.
Why Lon didn't call for my advice is beyond me. I'm flabbergasted, really. In fact, I emailed this timeline to Lon yesterday and asked 'what gives'?
"I read your posts and do the opposite!" he replied, employing a sense of humor used too infrequently in the past three years.
Yes, folks, I have a gift. You want something done, have me write an article concluding the Suns will sit on their heels and procrastinate. A new Suns era has begun.