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The Official Offseason Thread for the Phoenix Suns

Draft Express ranked Lawal as the 4th best player of the Summer Leagues (though admittedly I don't put too much stock into that)

Here's what they said:

4. Gani Lawal 5g, 15.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 49.2 fg%

One of the hardest workers all week, Lawal is a no nonsense low post stud who is not afraid to play physical. Appears to be a 2nd round steal for Phoneix and a guy that should be able to immediately contribute with Amare now out of the picture. His offensive game remains very limited but he's a guy that will do the dirty work and score garbage baskets for the team.

[ Edited by TheSixthRing on Aug 4, 2010 at 22:53:57 ]
  • crzy
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I have no idea how Lawal ended up in the second round.

I thought he was a bottom of the lottery player a year ago. A year ago he was putting up 15/10 for Georgia Tech and getting touted as a lottery pick. Then Derrick Favors stole his shine.

[ Edited by crzy on Aug 4, 2010 at 23:33:05 ]
The Suns have hired Cavs assistant GM Lance Blanks to be the next GM. I have no idea who Blanks is, but the article on ESPN mentions that he's regarded as a touted up and comer around the league.

Suns hire Lance Blanks as GM

Lance Blanks was named the new general manager of the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.

Phoenix brought in agent Lon Babby last month to serve as president of basketball operations and his first priority was to hire a GM who could evaluate talent for the franchise.

Blanks and Babby will team to replace Steve Kerr, who stepped down at the end of June to return to his former job as a basketball analyst for TNT.

"After a thorough search, we believe we have found the perfect choice to serve as our general manager," Babby said. "Lance Blanks is a first-rate talent evaluator, basketball executive and person. We are thrilled that he will be joining the Phoenix Suns."

Blanks spent the past five seasons as vice president of basketball operations and assistant general manager for the Cleveland Cavaliers. His departure is just the latest change for Cleveland. In addition to losing superstar LeBron James to Miami, the Cavs fired head coach Mike Brown and saw general manager Danny Ferry resign.

"Lance has been a great person to work with for the last five years," Cavaliers GM Chris Grant said. "He has been a key part of a special group that has helped establish a culture of success that our organization can be very proud of and continue to build off of into the future. He deserves this opportunity and we wish Lance the best as he moves on to the Suns."

A first-round pick out of Texas by the Detroit Pistons in 1990, Blanks had an undistinguished playing career. He played 142 games over two seasons with Detroit and Minnesota, then closed out his career with stints in the CBA and overseas.

After his playing career, Blanks worked in the scouting department of the San Antonio Spurs for five years. He will become the fifth former member of the Spurs organization to be hires as a general manager in recent years, joining Ferry, ex-Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard, Oklahoma City's Sam Presti and New Orleans GM Dell Demps.

Blanks is regarded as a promising up-and-comer among executives in the NBA. He has been mentored by Pistons general manager Joe Dumars, whom he played with in Detroit, and Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and general manager R.C. Buford.

Blanks will take over a team that has undergone drastic changes since reaching the Western Conference finals last season.

Beside Kerr's departure, assistant general manager David Griffin stepped down after 13 years with the organization. The Suns' roster has also seen significant changes.

Five-time All-Star Amare Stoudemire opted out of the final year of his contract and signed with the New York Knicks. The Suns have tried to replace him by bringing in Hedo Turkoglu, Hakim Warrick and Josh Childress. They also re-signed shooting center Channing Frye.
Game 5 of the WCF on NBATV right now!
Originally posted by StOnEy333:
Game 5 of the WCF on NBATV right now!

Shut your dirty pie hole! f**k Ron Artest!
Originally posted by TheSixthRing:
Originally posted by StOnEy333:
Game 5 of the WCF on NBATV right now!

Shut your dirty pie hole! f**k Ron Artest!

I'm still pissed about the lack of a rebounder on that play. Robin Lopez anyone?
Lance Blanks takes charge of Suns

PHOENIX -- Lance Blanks is back from Africa and on the job as new general manager of the Phoenix Suns, saying he will try to employ what he learned in a decade of front office jobs with the San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Blanks was in Senegal as part of the Basketball Without Borders organization when Suns president Lon Babby chose him to oversee the team's player personnel operation. He started work in Phoenix this week and was introduced at a news conference on Wednesday.

Blanks said he's "incredibly honored" to take a top job with an already successful franchise and "try to take it to higher ground."

That would be an NBA championship, something that has eluded the Suns throughout their history.

Last season, coach Alvin Gentry led Phoenix to a surprising run to the Western Conference finals, where the Suns lost to the eventual NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.

"It's pretty obvious that there's a great infrastructure in place to have success," Blanks said, "so part of my job will be staying out of the way and not messing this thing up."

The immediate job is a bit more challenging than that. The Suns have made a series of significant personnel changes following the departure of All-Star Amare Stoudemire, who opted out of the last year of his contract to sign with the New York Knicks.

Gentry, who said he has known Blanks for 21 years, said he is comfortable with the new roster, but acknowledged rebounding could be a problem. Blanks endorsed the Suns' high-octane offense, as long as some defense is included.

"I know Alvin has started to institute defense around here," Blanks said. "They're saying that a lot more."

Babby also is new to his job. Owner Robert Sarver hired the former agent after deciding to restructure the top of the Suns basketball operations department following Steve Kerr's decision not to return as vice president and general manager. Babby's first big chore was to find a general manager, and he liked Blanks immediately. The two discussed the job in Babby's Washington, D.C., office.

"When you sit down and talk to people in an intimate setting, you have a feel for whether or not it's going to work," Babby said, "and it was so clear to me after our conversation that when I got on the phone and told Robert that I would like him to meet Lance, I knew we had found the right guy."

Because Lance will do everything Sarver tells him to do like a corporate lap dog?
Originally posted by StOnEy333:
Originally posted by TheSixthRing:
Originally posted by StOnEy333:
Game 5 of the WCF on NBATV right now!

Shut your dirty pie hole! f**k Ron Artest!

Now this one is Beautiful! 1990 NBA Conference Semis - Game 5

KJ and the Suns meet Magic and the Lakers in LA at the Great Western Forum, with the Suns coming from behind and closing out the Lakers 4 games to 1.

A couple of tidbits from Paul Coro's blog on the Suns ongoing voluntary workouts:

It's a holiday weekend so let's break out the orange slices:

* It has been another great early turnout for the Suns voluntary workouts, which don't customarily start in earnest until after Labor Day. Nine of the 14 contract players are in town. The others are easily accounted for with Jared Dudley, Jason Richardson and Hakim Warrick sharing their workouts and events on Twitter and Hedo Turkoglu and Goran Dragic playing in the FIBA World Championship in Turkey.

* With visitors like Amar'e Stoudemire, Zabian Dowdell, Cezary Trybanski, Sean Marks, Alex Scales and Lawrence Westbrook, the pickup games began this week. They can produce some interesting lineups like a Thursday team with a front line of Stoudemire, Robin Lopez and Dwayne Jones. Jones was covering Grant Hill. Jones also got to be the hero with a tip-in for the win in "Game 7" to give his team (with Josh Childress and Scales) the series triumph over Hill, Dowdell, Trybanski, Matt Janning and Gani Lawal.

* You have to give pause before reading too much into these voluntary sessions (I thought Marcus Banks looked like an ideal piece in September 2006). But here are some things that popped out about the new guys:

* Lawal dunks everything hard. Stoudemire's gone but a violent dunker is still around.

* Janning's shot looks so smooth. It seemed like he missed maybe one shot Thursday. It is hard to see what the Suns want to tweak about his release but it's just a subtle change to get his off-hand off the ball. He is getting in good work at the point, with Hill even making sure that Janning runs it.

* It's been a while since we've seen Childress shoot. It's a funky, low release that might make you do a Matrix cringe. But he is selective and effective with it. More importantly, he's constantly slashing for easy buckets.

Word has it Amare still wears his Suns shorts during these workouts.

[ Edited by TheSixthRing on Sep 9, 2010 at 11:23:46 ]

A few more notes of interest from Paul Coro's blog:


* At one point, the Suns thought Jason Richardson would join informal workouts at the start of last week. He is now expected to join them Monday, still a week ahead of the mandatory reporting date but well after most teammates arrived in August with the rest coming Sept. 7, except for Goran Dragic and Hedo Turkoglu getting a pass for some down time after the World Championship. Richardson is squeezing in quality time with his son in Denver.

* The roster spot battle to be the third point guard will be interesting during the camp and preseason. Matt Janning and Zabian Dowdell both have impressed the staff. If Chucky Atkins indeed joins the camp too, that seems like it would be the in-case-of-emergency-break-glass-for-veteran scenario. Steve Nash is fine but it is always good to have a vet who knows the system around in case something ever happened to Nash, who is the Suns' system personified.

* Random pickup game observations games of the week: Robin Lopez is much more comfortable (and accurate) with taking perimeter shots out to 20 feet, Janning and Dowdell both have looked strong running their teams, Josh Childress continually finds his way to the rim on drives and follows but takes and makes few perimeter shots and the quality of play dramatically changes when Steve Nash joins the games. Duh.
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