With the NBA season nearly 50 percent complete, one thing is certain when it comes to the Phoenix Suns: they’re not very good.
The Suns entered play Wednesday with a 12-24 record to go along with a three-game losing streak. They’ve lost nine of their last 10 games.
Yet, when Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby looks at where the team is, he says things are moving along pretty much as scheduled.
“What we’ve tried to do and the way I would try to describe it and the way we talk about it a lot in our office is we want our soil to be fertile,” he told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Wednesday with regards to the Suns having a bevy of quality players but a lack of a true star. “And we want to have all the pieces in play so that when we get the kind of player that we all know we need, all of the culture, all of the soil has been cultivated so we can sprout and grow quickly.”
As Babby admitted, though, how the Suns will acquire that star player remains a question mark.
“Do you get that player in the draft, do you get that player in a trade, or do you develop that player,” he asked.
The Suns possibly being so close, yet, so far from being good is not easy for Babby to stomach. His team is rapidly digging a hole that will be difficult climb out of, and while the Suns have been in the NBA’s draft lottery each of the last two years, this is by far the worst they’ve been in his tenure.
Babby said he “hates” that the team is doing so poorly, but added he cannot get “caught up in the moment” and make a move that may benefit the team now but not in the future.
“You can’t get caught up in the moment; we’re not going to be in the business of quick fixes to try and win a few more games in the short run that makes no sense in terms of the best interests, long term, of the franchise,” he said. “So we’re disappointed — profoundly disappointed — that we’re not playing better, we’re not winning more games, but in some sense the plan is intact and we’re moving forward.”
So, in other words, don’t expect the Suns to make a move solely because of the recent struggles.
“You can’t operate out of panic or, as painful as it is for us, for Alvin, for our players, to be in the throes of this kind of situation, you can’t exacerbate it by making rash decisions that are going to feel good in the short run and not be good in the long run,” he said. “If I’m not doing that then I don’t belong in the job.”
Babby said his job is to make sure the franchise stays focused on long-term success and does not do anything that may damage those prospects.