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Western Notes: Watson, Conley, Williams

Earl Watson possesses all the qualities the Suns were seeking in their next head coach, and he firmly won over the front office with his preparedness during the interview process, writes Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. “The more and more we discussed it, Earl continued to emerge from the front of the pack and really had everything we were looking for at the top of our list in terms of ability to connect with and motivate players, ability to communicate effectively and directly and the ability to teach and inspire while also being direct with players and holding them accountable,” GM Ryan McDonough said.

The GM also compared Watson to Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers, Coro relays. “They both have a presence about them,” McDonough said. “They both have a command of the room. When they speak, there’s some natural leadership qualities and characteristics that emanate from them and everybody pays attention and knows who’s in charge and who the boss is.” The team also believes Watson will help lure free agents, Coro notes. “I think Earl will be a powerful recruiter,” McDonough said. “He certainly did a great job with LaMarcus Aldridge, getting us very much in the mix for LaMarcus. I have no doubt that will continue, especially as head coach. I think he will have a lot of clout and hopefully help us land some elite free agents.

Here’s more from out West:

  • Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace was emphatic in his assertion that Memphis would re-sign point guard Mike Conley, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, tweets Chris Vernon of 92.9 FM ESPN. “We are undefeated in re-signing our core players, and we will remain so. We are going to re-sign Mike Conley,” Wallace said.
  • Despite his excellent knowledge of the game, veteran point guard Andre Miller says that he has no interest in coaching once his playing career comes to an end, Jabari Young of The San Antonio Express News relays (via Twitter). The 40-year-old appeared in 13 contests for the Spurs this season and he averaged 4.3 points and 2.2 assists in 13.9 minutes per outing.
  • The Timberwolves reached out to Monty Williams at the beginning of their coaching search, but the Thunder assistant is still recovering from the tragic death of his wife and wasn’t prepared to discuss the post, relays Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter). Minnesota officially hired Tom Thibodeau earlier this evening along with Scott Layden, who will be the team’s new GM.

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