HoopsHype Lon Babby rumors


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
July 30, 2012 Updates

"The Suns and the Lakers have competed in the same division and conference for a long time," Sarver said. "But I think we're at different stages right now in terms of the two teams. At the end of the day, this just gave us the best option for assets, too, and from a basketball standpoint, if you kind of take the emotion out, it was the best thing for the Suns, for the franchise. I think we've shown in the last couple of years that drafting is one of our strengths, so it kind of played into our strengths. It's one of the things we definitely have to use to move our franchise forward, especially with the new rules with the new CBA." NBA.com

"People ask me whether it was a financial decision," Babby said. "I would say the answer was no. Because we had to get younger. We had to get more athletic. That great era had pretty much run its course, and if Steve was going to stay we would have to have a high-end backup or a borderline starter, because he was going to be 39, then 40." NBA.com

The transaction flurry that has defined the Suns this month has not included a contract extension for head coach Alvin Gentry. And that's not a surprise. We were escorted to the acceptance porch of this reality during Lon Babby's preamble-to-summer press conference back in June. "My view is if a person has a three-year contract, you assess it at the end of three years," the Suns' president of basketball operations said when asked about Gentry's status with the final year of his deal approaching. "That's how I'm going to be judged. I've talked to Alvin, and he's perfectly fine with that, and you know, there are a lot of very successful coaches in the league right now coaching in the final year of their contract. "This notion that you always have to be one year ahead, I don't think it's in his best interest, I don't think it's in our best interest ... but it has absolutely nothing to do with an assessment of his coaching ability or his performance. He understands that. He's our coach." Fox Sports Arizona

July 27, 2012 Updates
July 3, 2012 Updates

"After visiting the Suns, the impression the organization made on me was incredible," Gordon said in a prepared statement. "Mr. Sarver, Lon Babby, Lance Blanks, the front office staff and Coach Gentry run a first-class organization, and I strongly feel they are the right franchise for me. Phoenix is just where my heart is now." Arizona Republic

July 1, 2012 Updates
June 27, 2012 Updates
June 26, 2012 Updates

The Suns are getting some interest in Lopez but Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby said the team intends to retain Lopez because of his youth and the team’s need for rim protectors. As for Brooks, the Suns already have Sebastian Telfair returning and could be doing one or two of the following things at that position – re-signing Steve Nash, drafting Marshall or signing a free agent point guard like well-traveled Raymond Felton or former Suns favorite Goran Dragic. Arizona Republic

June 10, 2012 Updates
March 15, 2012 Updates
March 14, 2012 Updates

Lon Babby was on the Doug and Wolf Show Wednesday afternoon and of course, the primary topic of discussion was the NBA Trade Deadline. In case you've been living under a rock, the deadline is Thursday, March 15 at 3pm ET. Nothing has changed on the Steve Nash trade front and it seems like the rest of the league has got that message. As for other deals, here's what Babby said: "We're working the phones constantly just to make sure that we've left no stone un-turned. But if you asked me for a prediction, I'd say there's nothing even remotely close to doing right now so it would have to be something that kind of fell out of the sky in the final 12 or 24 hours." And in summation he surmised, "I would anticipate that we would not do anything." Bright Side of the Sun

December 23, 2011 Updates

The Suns bought out Pietrus' contract, paying him about $4.2 million of his $5.3 million salary. Once he clears waivers, Pietrus can pick from a group of other interested teams, led by Boston, to make up the difference. "Both Mickael and us realized it'd be beneficial for both parties to party ways," Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby said. "There's an expression that, 'All's well that ends well.' In this case, all's well that ends." Arizona Republic

December 17, 2011 Updates

Nash keeps repeating that he wants to stay with the Suns this season for better or worse. Beyond that, Nash is ineligible for a contract extension until July but was assured that the team wants him to remain in its long-term future. "I've met with him and he knows he's welcome to stay here as long as he wants," said Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby, comparing it with how Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson remained in Detroit and Los Angeles, respectively. "The opportunity is available to him." Arizona Republic

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