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.
Kyrie Irving missed the Nets’ win over the Bulls on Saturday.
He’s not healthy enough to play the Pacers tonight.
Nets public relations:
Kyrie Irving (right shoulder impingement) is OUT.
Brooklyn (5-7) lags behinds Indiana (7-6) in the Eastern Conference’s middle morass. The Nets must try to catch up in the playoff race without their best player.
But it’s a long season. Brooklyn has plenty of time to gain ground. Spencer Dinwiddie is capable in relief, and the unselfish Nets can create ball movement while Dinwiddie rests.
I’m more concerned about next week. A segment of Brooklyn’s schedule:
- Nov. 24 at Knicks
- Nov. 25 at Cavaliers
- Nov. 27 at Celtics
That’s the team Irving spurned in free agency, the team Irving requested a trade from and the team Irving just left after pledging to re-sign. Those are juicy matchups. Hopefully, Irving is healthy enough to play in all three.
Ray Allen left the Celtics on bad terms in 2012. He finished his career with the Heat in 2014.
But Allen apparently could have come back with Boston in 2016… if Kevin Durant signed there first.
Allen, via Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston:
“I had a conversation with (Ainge) and I told him this was my last-ditch effort. I would’ve went back,” Allen said on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria” radio show.
“This was when Kevin Durant was a free agent. He was thinking about going to Boston. And I said, ‘Hey, if you guys land Kevin, I would certainly look at lacing them back up one more time and try to make something good happen here in Boston.’ “
This is a fascinating “what if?” – for the Celtics on the court and for Allen’s legacy in Boston.
But it also probably didn’t come close to happening. Durant said his top two choices in 2016 free agency were the Warriors and Thunder. Even Allen himself said he never neared a comeback.
Still, it’s interesting – after all the animosity – Allen even spoke to Celtics president Danny Ainge about returning.
Remember Luigi Datome? He spent a couple seasons with the Pistons and Celtics.
He makes an appearance in this wild video featuring Fenerbahce coach Zeljko Obradovic (warning: profanity):
A partial transcript the best I could muster:
YOU’RE GOOD GUYS. IN YOUR EYES, YOU’RE GOOD GUYS. F— YOU, EVERYBODY! F— YOU, OK!
F— YOU, GIGI DATOME. OK? SHAME ON YOU. AND YOU…
Festivus isn’t for another month, but someone is already ready for the airing of grievances.
To facilitate a trade from the Rockets to the Suns last summer, Ryan Anderson reduced the guarantee of his 2019-20 salary by $5,620,885. Anderson barely played in Phoenix, got traded to the Heat, barely played in Miami and got waived. He again signed with the Rockets this summer.
Now, after barely playing in Houston, Anderson will continue his odyssey elsewhere.
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Anderson was guaranteed $500,000 on his minimum-salary contract this season. By the time he clears waivers, he will have earned $434,704. So, assuming Anderson goes unclaimed, Houston will be on the hook for the remaining $65,296.
This might end the career of the 31-year-old Anderson. Once a premier stretch four, he no longer stands out in a league where 3-point shooting has become a common skill for power forwards. He’s also a major defensive liability.