Western Notes: Hornacek, Garnett, Jazz

The Suns could show their faith in coach Jeff Hornacek by picking up his 2016/17 contract option year, according to Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. Hornacek will enter the last guaranteed year on his contract next season, though he has a strong relationship with the team’s management. He has been hampered by the Suns’ major roster overhaul during the season, with point guards Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas getting dealt and replacement Brandon Knight getting injured, Coro continues. Hornacek’s system requires multiple playmakers and quality shooters but after all the changes the Suns have been the worst 3-point shooting team in the league since the trade deadline, Coro adds.

In other news around the Western Conference:

  • Flip Saunders expects Kevin Garnett to play again for the Timberwolves next season, Jon Krawcyznski of the Associated Press reports. Garnett has missed 20 of 25 games since being traded back to Minnesota in February and he’s also expected to miss the season finale against the Thunder. Saunders says that’s an indication that Garnett plans on playing another season, the story continues. “If he plays, to me it would be an indication that he didn’t want to play next year,” Saunders said. “He’s looking at this as not being over.” Garnett becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer but is expected to stay with the club if he does not retire.
  • Interim coach Melvin Hunt has the Nuggets playing the fast-paced style of his former boss and current Kings coach, George KarlJason Jones of the Sacramento Bee reports. Hunt, who replaced Brian Shaw, will receive consideration for the full-time job in part because of his willingness to make bold changes, Jones adds. “He [Karl] has showed me a lot of things – that it is OK to not be traditional,” Hunt said to Jones.
  • The Jazz will host a summer league for the first time since 2008, the team announced on Monday. The Celtics, Sixers and Spurs will join the Jazz in the six-game event on July 6-9.

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