The Suns haven’t made the playoffs since 2010, and yet another season ended in disappointment when Phoenix failed to make the postseason once more.
Of course, that was due largely in part to the trades the franchise made at February’s deadline, which shuffled the deck and sent perhaps two of the team’s best three players out of town, despite what the GM in Phoenix declared at the time.
The roster is a bit of a mess right now, which is why the Suns are more open to trading their pick in this summer’s draft than they’ve been in seasons past. In the meantime, the team has decided to make some changes in its coaching staff in order to be better-suited for the player development responsibilities that are likely to be on the way.
The Suns are tweaking coach Jeff Hornacek’s staff in hopes of making improvements beyond what they will do to the roster in the next two months.
Assistant coach Kenny Gattison’s two-year tenure on the Suns staff ended as he was informed that his contract, set to expire June 30, would not be renewed. The Suns also will reassign assistant coach Mark West to the front office, promote player development coach Corey Gaines to assistant coach and hire D-League affiliate head coach Nate Bjorkgren as a player-development coach.
Director of Player Personnel John Treloar, who ran most of the basketball operation for former Suns General Manager Lance Blanks, also will leave after the June 25 NBA draft to become the associate head coach at Louisiana State, where he was an assistant coach from 2004-08. Treloar has scouted prospects and organized draft workouts for the Suns since Ryan McDonough became general manager in 2013, the same time assistant GM Pat Connelly was hired.
This doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things; the personnel on the roster is more important than the assistants who end up helping Hornacek behind the scenes.
But it does show that the organization is looking at everything as it makes every effort to get back to the playoffs — a prospect made much more difficult in the immediate future by the decisions that were made in the middle of this past season.