The Phoenix Suns’ front office has taken more than its fair share of shots over the last few weeks.
First, guard Goran Dragic said he lost trust in the team’s management, leading him to ask for a trade.
The team obliged, sending the guard to the Miami Heat.
Then, Isaiah Thomas, who was traded to Boston on deadline day, refuted the idea that he was unhappy with the role the team had in mind for him when he was signed over the summer.
Then, finally, former Suns forward Channing Frye, responding to comments made by Phoenix owner Robert Sarver about how he gave the team three minutes to match an offer made to him by the Orlando Magic, said, among other things, “I think we have to take what that front office says with a grain of salt.”
While everyone has their motives for what they said, it’s hard to argue that the players saying what they did would appear to paint the Suns in a negative light, the kind that could inhibit their chances of luring top-level talent to the Valley in the future.
A guest of Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday, Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said that’s not something he’s worried about.
“I think around the league our reputation is good, I think in free agency you guys saw that with some of the elite players considering coming to Phoenix to play for the Suns,” he said. “I think through the pre-draft workout process we got almost every player we wanted to get in — including some guys that went ahead of the 14th pick where our first selection was just because their agents really liked what we were were doing and what we were trying to build in Phoenix.”
The way the second-year GM sees it, most relationships in sports don’t end on a particularly positive note, so it’s not necessarily a surprise when hard feelings lead to some unkind things being said. And when it comes to Frye, who is well-respected in Phoenix and around the league, McDonough is not at all bitter about how things transpired.
“We move on, we thanked Channing for his contributions with the Suns — we had some negotiations with him in free agency, he got a better financial offer and he took it,” he said. “There are certainly no hard feelings on our end and we certainly appreciate and respect what he did for us last year.”