Jeff Hornacek is out as the coach in Phoenix — which everyone knew was eventually coming after they let his two top assistants go just after Christmas.
Hornacek had flaws as a coach, but the Suns organization has far more issues than him. What Hornacek was given to work with was not enough in the West, especially with Eric Bledsoe (and often lately Brandon Knight) out injured. Why have Bledsoe and Knight and their overlapping skill sets in the backcourt together in the first place? The front office’s big summer move ended up being the more injured and suddenly much older looking Tyson Chandler at center. They traded Marcus Morris and made Markeiff Morris so mad he is trying to force his way out of town and is playing poorly. In an effort to move Isaiah Thomas and bring in Brandon Knight, they sent away the Lakers’ first round pick this season or next (top three protected), one of the most valuable chips out there. The Suns as an organization need to change things around.
Could Steve Nash do that? Chris Mannix of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports says to expect there to be conversations about bringing in the former All-Star point guard.
As the Suns regroup, expect one name to surface: Steve Nash, the two-time MVP and former franchise point guard, who has been operating as a part-time consultant for Golden State this season, parachuting into the Bay Area as needed. Suns owner Robert Sarver’s affection for Nash is well known – the two recently bought controlling interest of a Spanish soccer club – and there is no question the return of Nash would reinvigorate the fan base.
Nash has yet to indicate when, or if, he intends to seek a larger role in the NBA, or what kind of role he would look for. Intelligent and widely respected, Nash’s potential is seemingly limitless. Coaching is an option, although Nash’s balky back could make a front-office position more appealing… The Suns have a bright young general manager in Ryan McDonough, whose role was enhanced when Lon Babby, Phoenix’s former president of basketball operations, stepped down last summer, but many believe Sarver will do whatever it takes to lure Nash back.
Right now the Suns need a coach, and Saver wants Nash, but that’s not happening, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.
Bringing Nash into the front office would be a bold move, and Nash has the hoops IQ and business acumen to pull it off. However, he also has never done this before and would need trusted lieutenants working for him. He would need a coach he could trust (Nash wouldn’t be a full-time coach) and he’d need an experienced GM to follow his lead. McDonough would not be that guy.
What the Suns need is a direction, right now it’s not clear what kind of team they are trying to build. Nash would provide that (or, at least, should be able to), and it could even clear the way for a Mike D’Antoni return.
It’s something you know Sarver will consider. He just needs to be patient and stick with whatever he decides long enough to see it out.
There are a lot of teams around the league looking for a quality big who can stretch the floor.
Orlando happens to have one in Channing Frye, a respected veteran around the league. They also are bringing him off the bench to get Aaron Gordon more run (and Gordon is responding).
Not surprisingly, that is leading to trade inquiries, and with the Magic being out of the playoff picture in the East, they are listening, reports Sean Deveney of the Sporting News.
Already, the team has received multiple inquiries on big man Channing Frye, who despite being 32 years old and having two years and $15.2 million left on his contract, still is considered a commodity around the league because of his combination of size, defense and perimeter shooting.
“He’s one of the names I think you hear a lot and you will hear a lot more about before the deadline,” one NBA executive told Sporting News. “His contract is not that bad and he could help a contender, and it looks like they’re moving on from him. There’s a lot of interest there.”
Frye is playing less than 18 minutes a game, averaging just 5.4 points and 2.7 rebounds a contest. His defense has not aged well, he gets torched on that end of the floor (which is why Scott Skiles limited his minutes. That said, he is shooting better than 40 percent from three, and there is a sense that if he were put in better situations on the court (to pick-and-pop with a strong point guard) he could contribute. With the spike coming in the salary cap, his salary is going to be close to a mid-level deal, which is very affordable for a contributing role player.
There’s a good chance he’ll get moved at the deadline (Feb. 18), it will be interesting to see how much the Magic can get back for him.
We knew that big men were coming to the All-Star Saturday skills competition, DeMarcus Cousins confirmed he was participating. Reports had Anthony Davis joining him.
This weekend, Davis confirmed he is participating, too. Via John Reid of the New Orleans Times Picayune.
Anthony Davis confirmed on Saturday night that he is going to participate in the skills challenge during NBA All-Star Weekend next month in Toronto.
Davis will join Sacramento Kings’ center DeMarcus Cousins, Minnesota Timberwolves rookie center Karl Anthony-Towns and Golden State Warriors power forward Draymond Green, who are all expected to compete in the event.
Traditionally the skills competition was for guards, past winners include Damian Lillard (twice), Stephen Curry, Steve Nash (twice), Derrick Rose, Tony Parker. In an effort to breathe new life into the event, there will be skilled big men in the mix.
Davis also will play in the All-Star Game, Sunday, Feb. 14, he was picked as a reserve by the coaches.
Jeff Teague. Ryan Anderson. Rudy Gay.
Those are likely the biggest names moved at the trade deadline, which comes up Feb. 18. While fans want to talk about DeMarcus Cousins or Kevin Love, neither of them are on the move.
Kurt Helin and Sean Highkin of ProBasketballTalk discuss a lot of names rumored to be on the move this trade deadline, plus the guys teams would like to move but probably can’t, such as Markeiff Morris or Kevin Martin. It just doesn’t look like a dynamic trade deadline is shaping up, this could be a little quiet.
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MIAMI (AP) — Dwyane Wade doesn’t keep track of his milestones.
He does, however, enjoy hearing about them.
Wade kept climbing up the NBA’s career scoring list Sunday when the Miami Heat star had 17 points to tie Bernard King for 42nd in league history. They both have 19,655 points, though Wade got there in 48 fewer games.
“I don’t celebrate it but it all matters in the long run,” the 34-year-old Wade said after Miami topped Atlanta 105-87. “It’s all great, it’s all cool. For me, when I got to top 50 all-time in scoring … there’s been a lot of players that played this game.”
Wade started the season 54th in scoring. He’s now on pace to be in the top 40 by the end of the season, and recently picked up his 12th selection to the NBA’s All-Star Game. Only 12 other players in league history have been chosen to play more times.
And given his life story, it’s easy to see why accolades matter to Wade.
He wasn’t a high-profile high school player in the Chicago area and was found by Marquette after playing one year of AAU basketball on a team that featured Darius Miles. Wade was never, as he put it, “a big-name” prospect. But no Illinois-born player has scored more NBA points than Wade, who passed Terry Cummings for that distinction a couple weeks back.
“A Chicago guy doing good things, I guess,” Wade said. “That’s how I look at it. I just feel like the city is proud anytime my name is mentioned with Chicago behind it. It just helps shine some good light on our city.”