PHOENIX – The worst-kept secret in the NBA became official Monday afternoon when Suns president Steve Kerr announced he was replacing fired coach Terry Porter with assistant Alvin Gentry.
“I’ve signed a multi-week contract,” Gentry joked, referring to the interim tag his appointment carries with it.
How many more weeks are left on Kerr’s contract, by the way?
With that statement, Gentry unwittingly touched on the state of flux that continues to engulf the organization. Kerr said the coaching change does not preclude any changes to the roster before Thursday’s trade deadline. He’s still taking and placing calls, with the crux of the matter being whether Phoenix finishes the season with the roster intact, tries to make a trade that will improve it in the short term, or buckle to financial pressures and dump salary in a move toward the future.
“I know you all are waiting for me to say we’re not going to trade anybody,” Kerr said. “But this is the NBA. This is business as usual.”
Business as usual for the Suns, anyway.
While Kerr said his intention is to “keep what we have and go forward and see what we can do with it,” he left out the part about whether everyone in the organization wants to do that. There have been strong indications in recent weeks that managing partner Robert Sarver is pushing for financially motivated trades that would dump salary and clear cap space for the future. I can’t imagine Sarver is eager to keep the roster intact after eating about $4 million of Porter’s contract only 51 games into it.
So the dysfunction continues, and Kerr is next with the bull’s eye on his chest. Asked how he likes his job, he smiled and said, “Just peachy.”
Just another day in paradise.