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Suns’ Triano beginning offseason process ahead of season finale

Phoenix Suns head coach Jay Triano shouts at an official during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics, Monday, March 26, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
LISTEN: Jay Triano, Suns Interim Head Coach

The Phoenix Suns’ season comes to a close on Tuesday night, but head coach Jay Triano has already started preparing for the offseason.

Ahead of the team’s regular season finale against Dallas, Triano has held exit interviews with all but four players.

“We’ve looked at them as we’d like to spend a little bit of quality time instead of trying to rush out on the last day,” Triano told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “Just because we have plans for these guys that we want to make sure that they’re communicated with ahead of time so that they know what’s expected of them in the offseason.”

The remaining players will be met with on Wednesday.

An unconventional ending

Not many teams opt for shootaround on the final day of the regular season in anticipation of a game that has no postseason or lottery implications. Then again, not many teams have a roster as depleted as the Suns.

“A lot of teams wouldn’t have a shootaround on the last day, but we need to figure out at shootaround who’s available for tonight,” Triano told Doug & Wolf. “We’ve had so many injuries and we’ve been decimated lately.”

The Suns will be without Devin Booker (right hand sprain), Josh Jackson (right quad contusion), Elfrid Payton (left knee tendinopathy) and Alan Williams (right knee soreness) in Dallas while Marquese Chriss (hip) is doubtful.

A lasting impression

For Triano, Tuesday will be his final game as the team’s interim coach and he will be considered for the head coaching vacancy.

Prior to Phoenix, he has previous head coaching experience with the Toronto Raptors (2008-11).

This season he was tasked with developing the youngest roster in the NBA after being thrust into the interim role three games into the year. Despite the hand he was dealt, Triano made it a point to stay true to himself.

“After 22 years I think I tried to be who I am and I think that’s all you can be. I think the one thing in this business is if you try to be something you’re not, people figure you out pretty quick,” Triano told Doug & Wolf. “I’ve always said, you never underestimate the intelligence of the players … If you’re selling them something that’s not right, they’re not going to have respect for you.”

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