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McDonough: Suns’ coaching search will be ‘thorough and pretty extensive’

As the final month of the NBA’s regular season plays out, Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough maintains he has tunnel-vision.

The team remains focused on watching how interim coach Jay Triano leads his 19-46 team and what the roster needs to take steps forward next season. While that’s true, it can also be accurate to assume the Suns are already preparing for what will come after the 82nd game.

Before the draft and free agency workload gets heavy, Phoenix needs a new head coach.

“In terms of the chronology of it, the head coaching search comes first, and that’s something we won’t waste a lot of time on when the season wraps up,” McDonough said Monday in a Facebook Live chat. “(Triano will) get an interview, but we’ll talk to a number of other candidates as well, and it’s a process that we were criticized for not going through two years ago (when Phoenix hired interim coach Earl Watson) and I think rightfully so.

“This year, it’ll be pretty thorough and pretty extensive.”

Triano, who took over for Watson three games into the current season, has helped the young Suns show flashes.

Phoenix has cut down its turnover rate and developed a clear offensive identity despite injuries and roster changes altering the personnel available throughout the 2017-18 season.

Nonetheless, Phoenix currently owns the worst defensive rating in the NBA and the third-worst offensive rating.

The Suns have not yet conducted preliminary interviews for the head coaching job, and McDonough said they have taken to a policy of telling interested candidates that the team will reach out in April once the season ends.

“I think you’ll see a number of different candidates interviewed, guys who have been NBA head coaches, guys who are current NBA assistant coaches, maybe some college coaches.

“There are a lot of good candidates that I think will be interested.”

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