Devin Booker: Suns should keep Jay Triano as coach

AP Photo/Matt York

Devin Booker is the Suns’ franchise player.

He’s throwing that weight behind Phoenix interim coach Jay Triano.


Devin Booker has decided whom he wants as the Suns coach next season.

The current coach.

“Me and Triano have that relationship. He’s somebody I’m comfortable with and somebody I’ve been around for a long time,” Booker said. “I love Triano. I don’t make those calls but he’s been doing a wonderful job since he’s been here and I would vouch for him. He’s been really good.”

What Booker says publicly matters. What he says privately to general manager Ryan McDonough matters even more. Booker must work with Triano the rest of the season. It’d be foolish to introduce unnecessary tension into that relationship now. But if Booker didn’t want the Suns to keep Triano, he didn’t have to offer such an unequivocal statement. This is clearly stated support.

But just keeping the interim coach because players like him is what got Phoenix into trouble last time with Earl Watson. There’s usually a bump in enthusiasm and focus with any interim coach just because the previous coach got fired for a reason.

The Suns have gotten that with Triano. Determining whether it’s sustainable into future seasons is much more difficult.

Unlike Watson, Triano has previous NBA head-coaching experience. He coached the Raptors from 2008-11.

The Suns should consider Triano. But they should also conduct a full coaching search to find the best candidate. If that’s Triano – with Booker’s backing dutifully considered – great. But if it’s someone outside Phoenix, that’d be better for the Suns – including Booker – long-term.