Jeff Hornacek to be next Phoenix Suns head coach

Jeff Hornacek is expected to be named the new coach of the Phoenix Suns.

Jeff Hornacek is expected to be named the new coach of the Phoenix Suns.

As first reported by Arizona Sports 620′s John Gambadoro late Saturday night, the Phoenix Suns are in negotiations with Jeff Hornacek to become the team’s next head coach. According to Gambo, the contract will be for a minimum of three years and an official announcement could be made as early as Tuesday.

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, who initially reported Saturday night that Hornacek was a “frontrunner” for the position, also confirmed Gambo’s report. According to Woj, Hornacek is “eager” to helm the Suns after also interviewing with the Charlotte Bobcats earlier in the week. The new coach and Phoenix brass have already begun to put together a team of assistants.

Hornacek was drafted in the second round of the 1986 NBA Draft by the Suns and played his first six seasons with the organization before being traded to Philadelphia as the centerpiece of the Charles Barkley trade. The former All-Star played 14 years in the league and has served as an assistant on Tyrone Corbin’s staff in Utah since Feb. 2011 after working three years as a shooting consultant. He spent “much of his time” teaching Utah’s younger players, per Paul Coro, which likely was attractive to the Suns.

Hornacek was an elite shooter during his NBA career, as he nearly averaged a 50-40-90 with a career field-goal percentage of 49.6 percent, a 40.3 three-point shooting percentage and 87.7 percent shooting from the line. If he can teach shooting nearly as well the Suns figure to improve greatly after hitting just 44.3 percent of their shots last season (23rd). Throughout the Nash era, the Suns routinely led the league in shooting percentage.

Once this hiring becomes official, new GM Ryan McDonough will be linked with Hornacek as the duo charged with rebuilding the Suns. Due to the dearth of talent on the current roster and high volume of picks in the next three drafts, it will likely be a patient process focused on youth yet one in which improvement is expected year after year. This also avoids the sometimes awkward situation whereby the new GM inherits a previous coach as was the case previously with Alvin Gentry and Lance Blanks.

Stay tuned to ValleyoftheSuns for further news and analysis on the Suns’ coaching search as it breaks.

Tags: Jeff Hornacek

  • http://none Keith

    Love it. Good guy and someone who was a smart player and learned from the best (Jerry Sloan). We could do much worse. I think he’ll do a great job. I think he’s exactly what we were looking for, and it’s obviously a great PR move in addition to being a solid coaching choice for a rebuilding team.

  • Beasley’s No.1 fan

    Horny returns to Phoenix!

    Love this hire.

  • Scott

    It’s a bit early to say for sure, but this already looks a lot better than anything Blanks put together.

    Glad to see the Suns finally get Hornacek back. :)

  • Steve

    Horny was a bad white dude back in the day!!!!!!

  • Azbballfan

    Great hire

    This will allow for a total team reset, with a new GM and Coach in place and low expectations as we prepare for the Summer of 2014

    There may have been more qualified people, but this is a good pr move, and it erases some of the poor choices we made last season

    I hope Alvin Gentry gets a decent job soon as well

    Now the Suns can turn there attention to flanking Hornacek with quality assistants and getting ready for workouts for the draft

    I expect a fire sale, honestly

    no one is safe from being moved at this point except Dragic

    Nail these next 2 drafts and things will look alot brighter

    Developing players in a low expectation environment , along with a new coach, should do wonders

    Credit Sarver and Babby for making a tough decision and getting rid of blanks and bringing in McD

    Now they got more tough deciisons to make

    What do we do with the Morris Twins?

    How do we get rid of Beasley?

    is JO retiring?

    whats the market for Scola?

    What kind of team do we want to be?

    Run and Gun all offense no D or rebounding didnt work

    This team has to create and develop a real defense

    its been around 10 years since the Suns were Top 10 in defensive efficency

    in addiiton to that, this is an undersized team

    we also are no where near athletic enough to scare anyone

    The Suns FO has to come up with a plan, a much better one than whatever Blanks came up with in his 3 years here

    I expect our FO to be living in front of a Ipad for the next month while we try to find the best player for us, and some diamond in the rough players for number 30 and 57

    Go Suns!

  • Doug

    I still think we should keep Gortat unless someone offers a top 10 pick, or 2 first round picks (one this year one next year) He is a talented quick footed big man who can hit a mid range jumper…those dont exactly grow on trees like back up point guards do.

    We can probably unload beasly for a 2nd round pick. There should be a decent market for Scola because he is a low priced (4 mil a year) skilled big man. Dudley may fetch a good piece on the open market.

    I would not mind keeping the Mooris twins as a back-up SF-PF combo.

    I still think we can run and gun but we also MUST play defense and rebound to set up the run and gun.

  • Mel.

    One of my absolute all-time favorite players from the early 90′s, though I’ve got more curiosity than cautious optimism about his coaching abilities… hopefully, the fresh start works out.

  • john

    Excellent. I’m excited about this for both the history and the fact that Hornacek comes from a great coaching background. I think they made the right decision.

  • THEDRAGON!!!!!

    Yes, Glad the Suns got Hornaceck, someone who can teach the suns how to shoot.