Professor Chad Ford was not kind on the Phoenix Suns in his evaluation of their offseason. Ford gave the Suns a D+ for their summer and ranked them ahead of only the Denver Nuggets in the West;...

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Nothing against John Treloar. I'm sure he's a nice guy and all and it's perfectly understandable for new GM Lance Blanks to bring in his "own guys".  But in a summer where the Suns had already replaced two staples of the front office -- Steve Kerr and David Griffin -- you would think that there might be some reservations about replacing former Director of Player Personnel Todd Quinter with an outsider who has absolutely zero NBA experience.

Treloar's ties to Blanks go back to his two years coaching the Erie Bayhawks, the D-league affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers. In this 2008 interview, Treloar listed Blanks as one of the guys who hired him.

Quinter has been with the Suns organization since 1986 and has worked his way up through the scouting ranks.  Among other things he's done for the team, Todd's the guy mostly responsible for finding and "selling" Goran Dragic to the team.

Most importantly, he's a link to the past and when you are trying to preserve the culture of an organization as Lon Babby and Lance Blanks both said they wanted to do, then bringing in an outsider doesn't pass the initial smell test.

Word is Quinter will focus his experience on scouting current NBA players while his new boss, Treloar, will take over primary responsibility for scouting college players and draft preparation.

Treloar spent 11 years as an assistant coach at LSU and IU, along with a couple of years in the D-league and eight seasons in the CBA back in the early-to-mid 90s. I guess that's qualification to lead the scouting and draft preparations for an NBA team. I guess.

Robert Sarver said earlier in the summer that the team would add a position to put more focus on scouting NBA players (which is a great idea), but the way this was done sends a message to the fans: We're cleaning house.

The problem is the Suns aren't a house in need of cleaning.

This isn't the Clippers or Warriors we are talking about. The Phoenix Suns have been an extremely successful franchise (albeit no rings) and now they are moving forward with a front office team of Lon Babby, Lance Blanks and John Treloar who are all brand new in their positions.

Perhaps this will all work out for the best, but don't be surprised if there's some bumps in the road that get chalked up to the "learning process".

Suns fans have been through enough change and learning; patience and continuity is a staple of winning organizations.

Phoenix Suns' Zabian Dowdell passes around Los Angeles Clippers' Kevin Pinckney during their NBA Summer League basketball game at Thomas & Mack Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 19, 2009. (AP Photo/Laura Rauch)

More photos » Laura Rauch - AP

about 1 year ago: Phoenix Suns' Zabian Dowdell passes around Los Angeles Clippers' Kevin Pinckney during their NBA Summer League basketball game at Thomas & Mack Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 19, 2009. (AP Photo/Laura Rauch)

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As expected, the Suns invited Zabian Dowdell to training camp. Valley resident Chucky Atkins is also expected to get an invite to Suns camp, forcing a nice little competition for the fifth and final guard spot with rookie Matt Janning.

The Suns could be one injury away from needing one of these guys during the season, but my master of the obvious senses tell me that Atkins is last year's Dan Dickau, and while it may be wise to stash Dowdell on the bench as insurance, the edge in this battle goes to Matt Janning.

Janning's game has been discussed on BSOTS and you can find an interview here, so most of us know what he brings to the table. The Suns consider him a high basketball IQ guy with upside, but he is certainly NBA raw. Another factor playing into the mix is Jason Richardson's contract situation. After Josh Childress, there is no true 2 guard. If J-Rich gets traded or signs somewhere else in the off season, Janning could provide a cheap, young in house replacement for the future. In addition, he can go at either the 1 or 2, which adds further depth for the Suns.

If the worst were to happen (I won't mention it specifically but it involves injury to certain vital cogs in the Suns wheels), the Suns may be in better shape with either Atkins or Dowdell as a backup. At 36, Atkins has been around the NBA block and would add some veteran poise and ball distribution help (which is about all he adds at this stage in his career). Dowdell isn't nearly as experienced as Atkins with the majority of his career played overseas in Spain (77 games).

But perhaps Hedo Turkoglu makes this decision a little easier for the Suns. Turk's "Point Forward" skills could allow the Suns to invest in young Janning instead of Dowdell. Janning may not be forced into action in the case of a back court injury which gives him time to sit, learn, and put on some NBA style muscle.

The other side of the coin, split between Atkins and Dowdell, is to consider the veteran factor. If one looks at true PG depth for this season, then either Atkins or Dowdell are the best "ready to play" options.

Of course, unless something really awful happens, we're probably only looking at this 5th guard option playing minimal to no minutes per game.

Who Makes the 5th Guard Spot?
Old Man Atkins (assuming he's invited to camp)
31 votes
Matt "Hornacek" Janning
465 votes
Zabian Dowdell
70 votes

566 votes | Poll has closed

The Western Conference rosters for EA Sports’ upcoming NBA Jam redux (on shelves Oct. 5) were announced Tuesday and’s Marc Stein had the scoop. The Phoenix Suns roster came as no...

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Gani Lawal LIVE Chat at Noon Today

Don't forget about the interactive chat today with Gani.

He will respond to YOUR questions in the comments section, just like Goran and Robin did last year. It was really cool watching them answer our very own questions.

Click the link above and leave a question in the comments section (one question per comment please).

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