Lon Babby’s reign as president of basketball operations in Phoenix lasted five years, and the Suns haven’t made the playoffs since he joined the team in August of 2010.
His time with the club in that role is over, but not for that reason.
“The Phoenix Suns have announced today that President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby will be transitioning to the position of Senior Advisor as of August 1, 2015,” the team said via official release. “At that time Ryan McDonough will lead the Basketball Operations Department from his position as General Manager with continued support from Assistant General Managers Pat Connelly and Trevor Bukstein. All three individuals will take on increasing responsibilities within the organization and are signed to multiyear contracts.”
Babby didn’t do a lot during his time as president that could be considered a positive.
He oversaw the disastrous tenure of GM Lance Blanks, who made a series of questionable moves, but most notably signed Michael Beasley for three years and $18 million. Beasley was ultimately waived following a series of disappointments.
There was the curious way the whole Alvin Gentry firing played out midway through the 2013 season, and the equally strange decision to replace him with Lindsey Hunter on an interim basis.
Since then, the decisions have been more sound. Ryan McDonough was brought in as GM, who appeared to be well-qualified after learning under Danny Ainge in Boston for several seasons. The next coaching hire appeared to be a good one in Jeff Hornacek, who has done well in his first two seasons, all things considered. McDonough pulled off a deal to land Eric Bledsoe, and his presence was partly responsible for Phoenix going from 25 wins in 2013 to 48 wins the following season, while missing the playoffs by only a single game in the standings.
But the team took a step back with the moves that were made at the trade deadline, when both Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas were shipped out of town. The club had its reasons, but the current roster is a bit of a mess right now. With McDonough fully in control beginning in August, perhaps a true, singular plan can be properly put into place.