Reports: Suns GM McDonough meets with Hunter about coaching job; other candidates emerge.
By RANDY HILLFS Arizona
According to reports from NBA writers embedded at the pre-draft combine in Chicago, the
Phoenix Suns are talking the talk.
Roughly one week after being hired, general manager Ryan McDonough met Wednesday with interim head coach Lindsey Hunter, according to Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Hunter, who went 12-29 after taking over for Alvin Gentry at midseason, has been referred to by McDonough and president of basketball operations Lon Babby as a strong candidate to land the job on a full-time basis. Hunter, however, was given permission to interview for the head coaching job with the Detroit Pistons late last month.
There are also some other familiar names among those McDonough is gathering information on during this stage of the coaching hunt. According to the report, former Suns guard Jeff Hornacek (an assistant coach with the Utah Jazz), Houston Rockets assistants Kelvin Sampson and J.B. Bickerstaff, Los Angeles Lakers assistant Steve Clifford and CSKA Moscow assistant Quin Snyder are also being vetted.
Wojnarowski indicated that McDonough has not yet scheduled formal interviews with any of those candidates.
In player-related news coming out of Chicago, Georgetown forward Otto Porter – projected anywhere from third to sixth in most mock drafts – told reporters Thursday that he has been interviewed by the Suns, who are slotted fourth heading into next week's draft lottery. Porter, a 6-foot-8 sophomore who has spent the last year developing a perimeter game in anticipation of playing small forward in the NBA, said the Suns are one of three teams he considers good fits for his skills.
And on a related note, the Suns announced that Babby will represent the team during the public, nationally televised portion of the draft lottery next Tuesday.
The Suns have an 11.9 percent chance of landing the first overall selection and a 38 percent chance of jumping into a spot in the top three. On the flip side, there’s a 52 percent chance they fall anywhere from fifth to seventh.