This week, the Suns look to fill up the big positions in their new restructured front office: President of Basketball Operations, and General Manager (and maybe assistant GM or VP of Ops as well).
Let's talk about the Pemp Babbys...
According to rumors, the Suns are about to announce long-time NBA player agent Lon Babby as President of Basketball Operations. In addition, the Suns are rumored to be interested in former Portland Assistant GM Tom Penn and current San Antonio VP Dell Demps for their vacant GM position. Sarver hinted he is filling mutiple positions in a restructured front office, complete with an analytics department. So I've speculated he might hire both Demps (a talent evaluator) and Penn (a capologist and numbers guy).
A little background on these guys...
Hence, the nickname: the Pemp Babbys. Catchy, huh?
Unfortunately, there's not as much internet info on agents and front office people as there is on players. But I'll give you what I've heard on these folks.
Lon Babby is a long-time and very well-respected player agent. Here's a hoopshype link to his NBA client list, and a link to his professional web page. Here also is a writeup on Babby on bleacherreport.com - not bad, actually. His NBA client list is full of guys who are high in character. Just look at this list: Grant Hill, Tim Duncan, Shane Battier, and Ray Allen. He's going to have to pass these clients off to someone else in order to take a job with the Suns. Recently, he was agent for Hedo Turkoglu, before handing him off before the Suns trade, and Josh Childress (though he'd split from Chill a while ago). This is a high-class guy who is VERY well respected in the NBA.
Tom Penn was an up-and-coming Assistant GM in Portland before his unexpected firing last spring. Since then, his GM Pritchard was also fired (on draft day, no less!) and a few others have left abruptly as well. And we thought the Suns' situation was bad. Those guys were kicked out the door. Hard. And didn't seem to deserve it. (Another aside: Jeff Bower in NO was kicked out as well... as was Rod Thorn in NJ. Only Thorn had presided over a terrible team. Strange summer indeed). Back to Penn. Recently, he worked for ESPN during the draft and free agency, and really shows his ability to talk 'capology' with the best of them. Penn is currently being considered for the New Orleans front office as well.
Dell Demps is more unknown. He is getting credit for San Antonio's success in drafting, but so have many former/current San Antonio Spurs employees, like Sam Presti (now OKC's GM) and Dennis Lindsey (an early favorite who pulled out), along with the actual GM RC Buford and GM-like coach Greg Popovich. So there's really no telling just how qualified Dell Demps is, since he was surrounded by such other proven talent. Still, he's being interviewed a LOT by New Orleans, so he must be okay. According to ESPN, Demps is scheduled for an interview today with the Suns. Last week, Sarver said he'd wait on the GM process until Babby was officially in place. So I assume Babby will participate in this interview. My money says he finds out if Phoenix wants him (Suns are a better proposition than New Orleans) before taking any other offers.
I'm all for the Pemp Babbys! Lets get 'em in place.