PHOENIX — Back in June Lon Babby was nothing more than a 59-year-old player agent trying to sell his client, Hedo Turkoglu, to the Phoenix Suns. But after an opportunity opened up in the Suns’ front...

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PHOENIX — Back in June Lon Babby was nothing more than a 59-year-old player agent trying to sell his client, Hedo Turkoglu, to the Phoenix Suns. But after an opportunity opened up in the Suns’ front...

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Lon_babby_3_medium

 

I'll be writing this all up, but some initial reactions:

  • Babby has what I believe to be a mid-Atlantic accent
  • Called this a dream job (and didn't argue when asked if he was taking a pay cut)
  • His main role will be salary cap and player negotiations - will bring in a GM to be talent evaluator expert
  • First started talking to Suns about Hedo in June. Discussions with Sarver turned towards this new role, at which point Babby informed Hedo and recused himself and Jim Tanner took over representing Hedo. Seems like a non-issue
  • No timeline on GM, but they are moving with all "due deliberate speed"
  • Sarver said there are four main roles to be filled and instead of having one person do them all, he's bought into a team approach: Talent Evaluation, CBA/Salary Cap, Negotiations, Communications With Players
  • Sarver mentioned the Suns will focus more on scouting NBA players and will add dedicated staff for that without reducing scouts focused on college. Also mentioned hiring Goran's strength and conditioning coach to work full-time with the players in the offseason
  • Sarver was clear that he sees Phoenix as an attractive destination for free agents, but he wasn't willing to blow up the Suns and suffer through 3 or 4 years of losing to try and get a high draft pick to find a franchise player
  • Sarver thinks the Suns will get franchise player through trade and so these moves are about having pieces to do that. The goal is to be competitive and flexible
  • Babby talked about a false dichotomy that exists in people's minds about the adversarial relationship between players, agents and teams and said the Suns are one of the most player-friendly organizations in the league
  • Babby said he's spoken a bit with Kerr - whom he knows - and that Kerr is a good friend and he has big shoes to fill

Press Conference Audio


Babby new Suns Pres; looking at Demps for GM

According to Y! Sports, looks like Dell Demps is the pick to to be #2 to Babby's #1.


Lon Babby / Hedo Conflict Of Interest Questions

Mike Prada from SB Nation.com along with Tom Ziller from Fan House have raised questions about the connection between Babby joining the Suns at the same time that Hedo's contract is coming to Phoenix.

They are smelling a rotten fish here because Turkoglu is widely considered a bust with 4 yrs left on his deal.

I am certainly interested in hearing these issues addressed today at the press conference but think Mike's piece was a bit of "premature accusation".

What do you think?


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