Suns' Front Office Just Getting Started
The Suns’ front office overhauled the team’s roster last offseason. They swung three trades that netted them young talent (Eric Bledsoe), draft picks (six first-rounders in the next two years) and cap space (upwards of $20 million this summer).
Oh yeah, and they were 23 games better in their first season of work.
The scariest thought for opposing teams? They’re just getting started.
At least that’s what General Manager Ryan McDonough hinted.
“When you get hired in one of these positions that there’s a lot to do in terms of filling out our scouting staff, [Head Coach] Jeff [Hornacek’s] coaching staff, trying to figure out logistically how a lot of things are going to work – [President of Basketball Operations] Lon [Babby] was extremely helpful through that process – it is time consuming,” McDonough admitted. “Now we’re at the point where I think everything is up and running pretty well.”
In all seriousness, McDonough’s point is both fair and true. Even the promptness with which the Suns hired him and, later, Jeff Hornacek after the 2012-13 season left little time to prepare a team-specific draft and offseason plan – and that’s not including all the long-term infrastructure mentioned previously.
In the end, the front office made their transition year look a lot smoother than many can appreciate.
“The biggest difference – and this is one of the challenges of the job – the higher up you go in an organization on the basketball side, the more responsibilities you have other than traditional scouting and traveling to watch players,” McDonough said. “You have more responsibilities with the business side, more media responsibilities, more meetings with ownership and things like that. You have to really be disciplined in your approach and you have to make sure you’re making time to watch the players.”
All those responsibilities required delegation, all of which was assigned during the offseason. That doesn’t account for the time needed to establish a rythmn, patterns of communication and routines, whether it’s month-to-month, game-to-game or even day-to-day.
With those now established and settled, McDonough feels he and his team will be further enabled to maximize the Suns’ assets and potential.
“We all know what we’re supposed to do and what our roles are,” McDonough said. “It’s all basketball. We can focus on the players and their development in getting better. Obviously we’re extremely proud of the step we took this year.”