HoopsHype Lon Babby rumors

April 2, 2013 Updates

The Phoenix Suns today announced that the club has reached an agreement with President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby on a new two-year contract. The deal will keep Babby in his current position through 2014-15. “Lon has led our front office during this important transition period for the organization and he has my full support as we continue to rebuild,” said Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver. NBA.com

Fair enough. But it’s what Babby didn’t say — or couldn’t say — that intrigues us. Will he be around to make the call on Hunter? As hard as this is to believe, who coaches the Suns next season isn’t as important as who’s making the basketball decisions. Phoenix isn’t going to be a playoff contender in 2013-14, and its championship hopes are years away. What’s paramount is that the right people are building the team, so whoever’s the coach has a fighting chance down the road. Arizona Republic

March 23, 2013 Updates

As for Babby, he's just taking it one day at a time until he and Sarver have that conversation about contract extensions after the season ends in April. "I have made some notes in a journal that I keep," he says. "So that when I sit down with Robert I'm not going on what happened that day, but on what happened all along. And hopefully Robert will do the same." Looking at it from a big-picture point of view is tough to do sometimes, especially when you're riding the roller coaster of wins and losses throughout the season. "Keeping emotions in check from game to game," Babby says of the toughest aspect of his job. "Not getting too high or too low. That's been tough and something I will have to learn." Bright Side of the Sun

March 22, 2013 Updates

The interim title attached to Suns’ coach Lindsey Hunter won’t disappear before the end of the season. Lon Babby, Phoenix’s president of basketball operations, reaffirmed Thursday that no decision on Hunter’s future would be decided until the off-season. The Suns are 10-18 under Hunter, who replaced Alvin Gentry as head coach in mid-January. “We said all along we’re going to wait until the end of the year to assess the full body of work, and that’s what we’re going to do,” Babby said. Arizona Republic

Asked what has encouraged him about Hunter, Babby said: “There have been positives but you’re not going to trick me into answering your question. I’m not going to give an interim report on the interim coach.” Hunter said he’s OK with not knowing his status beyond the final 13 games this season. “The least of my worries is that,” he said. “I would not even want to talk about that right now. I’ve got bigger things to do. I’ve got a lot to handle.” Arizona Republic

January 25, 2013 Updates

A request to interview the Suns' president of basketball relations, Lon Babby, for this story was rerouted in Blanks' direction. Blanks, to his credit, was more than willing to detail the controversial decision to put Hunter at the helm and address a number of perceptions about the hire. USA Today Sports

January 19, 2013 Updates

On what Babby wanted to see from Gentry that he did not: “I don’t want to get into the details of evaluating what led to the decision. This is not something we planned for. As short as a month ago, Robert Sarver was direct and blunt in saying Alvin would be here for the rest of the year. That was our intent all along. That was a commitment that we had made. But sometimes in this business you get to a point where it just doesn’t feel right and we just reached that point. We met after the game last night. Robert, Alvin and I met long into the night and met again this morning and just felt like it was the right time for each of us to move on. How you get to that point is something that we look at closely and try to learn from but I don’t think it serves anybody’s purpsoe to share all of the details and all of the reason, either from his side or from our side.” Arizona Republic

January 18, 2013 Updates
October 29, 2012 Updates

The Suns went for the gold in trying to negotiate a deal to acquire James Harden from Oklahoma City, but Houston landed the gold medalist Saturday. The Suns have assets of salary-cap space, draft picks (10 in the next three years) and players on good contracts but no offering struck Oklahoma City’s fancy, and the Thunder sought more than Phoenix was willing to give. “We were engaged in discussions on numerous occasions,” Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby said. “We most recently met in person when we played them (in Tulsa, Okla., on Oct. 19). At the end of the day, there wasn’t a deal that was workable for both sides.” Arizona Republic

October 23, 2012 Updates

When the Suns faced Oklahoma City on Friday night in Tulsa, Okla., and Thunder guard James Harden was sitting out the game because of a groin strain, the BOK Center’s largest crowd ever (beating George Strait’s record) broke out a “We want James!” chant. There is no truth that Suns executives in attendance — Lon Babby, Lance Blanks and John Treloar — started the chant. But there is no question the Suns want Harden, a former Arizona State star who will be on a track to become a restricted free agent in July if he does not agree to a contract extension by Oct.31. Arizona Republic

If he is a restricted free agent, you could assume that Phoenix and other teams would offer Harden a maximum-level, four-year contract. The bigger question is whether Harden will be allowed to get to that point and whether signing Harden to an offer sheet would be as fruitless as it was for the Suns with Eric Gordon. Harden could accept slightly less than a maximum deal with his preference in Oklahoma City, whose small-market finances would like him to sacrifice money to lessen the more punitive new luxury tax’s impending burden. The Thunder’s maximum-level contracts for Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and a four-year, $48million deal for Serge Ibaka make a Harden decision taxing. But with multiple teams sure to come with a maximum offer for Harden, it is hard to see him agreeing to less, especially after how his agent, Rob Pelinka, handled Gordon’s situation. Arizona Republic

October 12, 2012 Updates

Suns president Lon Babby wasn't thrilled about trading Nash to the Lakers, calling it a "basketball decision" that was better than losing Nash for nothing. Phoenix will now have significant salary-cap space next summer, giving them the ability to sign one or two major free agents. "My first reaction was I can't do that," Babby said. "As time went on, [Suns owner] Robert Sarver was really good and said, 'We have to make a basketball decision that's best for our franchise.' " Yahoo! Sports

September 22, 2012 Updates
September 21, 2012 Updates

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