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.