The Phoenix Suns are turning to a face from their past, to try to turn around the club’s fortunes in the future; according to a report from the “Arizona Republic,” which states the team will announce the hiring of Jeff Hornacek on Monday to become the next head coach of the franchise. Hornacek spent the first six years with the Suns, after selecting him with a second round pick in the 1986 NBA Draft. He would be traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in the deal that sent Charles Barkley to Phoenix, he would then was shipped to the Utah Jazz, where he became part of the team that went to the NBA Finals twice, before losing to Michael Jordan and the Bulls.
The former outside shooting specialist, has been an assistant coach for the Utah Jazz over the last few seasons, He also interviewed with Charlotte for their vacant bench-boss position, however his previous association with the Suns, may have been the deciding factor to sign with them. The contract is reportedly for three-years, financial terms of the pact have yet to be disclosed.
Hornacek, will be heading into a challenging situation in his first attempt at being a head coach, as Phoenix is coming off an abysmal campaign, in which they terminated former bench boss Alvin Gentry early in the season and interim coach Lindsey Hunter, was let go at the end of the regular season. The Suns limped to the finish line with a record of 25-57, which landed them in last place in the Western Conference and was the second worst record in the team’s history.
Phoenix, is currently without a General Manager as well, as President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby released former G.M. Lance Blanks in April. Hiring their head coach before putting a General Manager in place, could be an indication that the new G.M. could be coming from within the organization.
Although Phoenix has some talented players on their current roster, they lack a legitimate star or go-to player, since point guard Steve Nash signed with the Los Angeles Lakers last summer. The team have the fifth pick in next month’s NBA Draft.