Suns owner Robert Sarver said he’s committed to keeping GM Ryan McDonough for next season and optimistic about the team’s position for the future, in an extensive interview with Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. Sarver referred to rookie Devin Booker as a potential face of the franchise and also expressed belief in fellow recent first-round picks Alex Len, T.J. Warren and Archie Goodwin. The owner maintains faith in disappointing offseason signee Tyson Chandler, believing that he’ll perform better next season, when he’ll be 34. Still, Sarver insisted that he’ll leave matters of player personnel to McDonough and company, even as he feels a responsibility to set the tone.
“My biggest regret is that, as a manager of people, I feel I let the organization down in terms of the culture,” Sarver said to Coro. “I didn’t put my hand print on that culture and maybe didn’t hold people as accountable as I should and really make sure we’re putting that together. But I’m starting to see some of that.”
Sarver also stumped for public funding of a new arena and pointed to a clause in the team’s lease at Talking Stick Resort Arena, its existing home, that would allow the Suns to leave in 2021, as Coro relays. See more from around the NBA, which has seen the last of referee Joey Crawford, as Steve Aschburner of NBA.com reports:
- Derek Fisher insists he didn’t lose his job as Knicks coach over character or integrity issues, as he writes in an essay for The Cauldron blog on SI.com. Fisher addressed his preseason encounter with Matt Barnes at the home of Barnes’ estranged wife, writing that he didn’t retaliate against Barnes during the incident and that he never had issues or much of a relationship with Barnes before that. Still, Fisher failed to address why he was in California and away from the Knicks when the episode took place, notes Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News (Twitter link).
- It’s still possible for the Wizards to sign draft-and-stash prospect Tomas Satoransky this summer even in the wake of the four-year extension he signed with Barcelona of Spain, which doesn’t include an NBA out until 2017, a source tells Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post. The Wizards could buy out Satoransky’s contract before the extension kicks in, Castillo hears, adding that Washington would likely sign him to a two-year deal with a team option on the second season if the team brings him stateside.
- Luis Scola‘s professionalism is well-known around the league, and Anthony Bennett, cognizant his NBA career was teetering on the brink, sought out his advice not long before the Raptors waived the former No. 1 overall pick last week, team sources tell Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. The release of Bennett was an eye-opener, rookie Delon Wright said, as Smith also notes in his look at the roles of nonstars in the NBA.