When Ryan McDonough was hired as the Suns' new general manager earlier this offseason, he didn't exactly have a low bar to clear, writes Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. Coro's latest column examines the track record of McDonough's predecessor, Lance Blanks, noting that many of the players acquired by Blanks have since departed for little or no return.
Even the successful signings and acquisitions made during Blanks' tenure can often be attributed to someone else in the front office, according to Coro, who says that owner Robert Sarver was more responsible for the addition of Goran Dragic than Blanks, who wanted Raymond Felton.
Here's more on the Suns, plus a couple other links from around the Pacific Division:
- Because the Suns didn't waive Michael Beasley on or before August 31st, the team will now pay off his $6MM salary for this season at normal intervals, but would still be able to stretch the $3MM he's owed for 2014/15, as Randy Hill of FOX Sports Arizona details.
- Jimmer Fredette is among the "make-or-break" players highlighted by Zach Lowe in his latest piece for Grantland. Fourth-year option decisions are due on Fredette and others before the end of October, and if the Kings decide not to pick up that 2014/15 option, the 2011 lottery pick would hit unrestricted free agency next summer.
- The Kings have agreed to hire Joel Abelson to coach their D-League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Abelson was the head coach of the D-League's Sioux Falls Skyforce last season.
- Despite his recent off-court issues, former Clipper Lamar Odom deserves more than to be written off as an NBA player, says Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times.