Exclusive Interview: Todd Quinter Discusses New Suns Players Turkoglu And Childress

The Phoenix Suns' director of player personnel, Todd Quinter, sat in the stands with SB Nation Arizona during a Summer League game between the Knicks and Raptors. Quinter has been with the Suns organization since 1986.

Quinter started as a video coordinator and has moved up through the scouting ranks. With the recent departure of Steve Kerr and David Griffin, he's played an important role shaping the future of the team, working alongside head coach Alvin Gentry and the team's owner, Robert Sarver.

Q. Talk about Josh Childress, his role on the team and what he brings and what you might expect from him this year:

"I think Josh... what he brings to the table is a great guy off the bench. He'll complement all the guys on the second unit. He fits in really well; he can play the two or the three position and he'll be called upon on in defensive situations against some of the best perimeter players.

"He's a guy who's Shawn Marion-like in that he does not need the ball to score. He'll go get his own points off offensive rebounds or slashing in the lane.

"I think his 3-point shooting, which has always been a little bit of question -- in fact, his shot is flat out ugly -- but hopefully he'll come on his shot. Most guys who come to us really seem to improve their shooting. I think that will come along, as well.

"His role this year will be part of a large group of guys who will all have a role in what we do and as the years go by, we look for him to be one of our main guys."

Q. Is Josh a guy who can guard quick point guards like Andre Miller or Russel Westbrook?

"Andre Miller maybe. Because of his size and length, he'll be able to do that. The quicker point guards... I think he can give it a try. Guys like Westbrook, maybe Chris Paul, might give him a little problem. Against some of the other point guards, I think he's definitely a very good option for us."

Q. With Goran, Josh, Jared, Grant and maybe Earl, this could be one of the best perimeter defensive units this team has seen in a long time. Do you agree with that?

"I think the versatility was something we really, really liked about the group. We'll be able to play small at times and switch everything with all those guys involved. It's kind of exciting and will be fun to play that way. Alvin (Gentry) is the first to admit the way you get better defensively is to add defensive players and hopefully we're doing that."

Q. What kind of guy is Josh, what kind of leader and how's he going to fit in with this team?

"I think chemistry-wise, he's going to be ideal. He'll fit in really well with our guys. I don't think he's a verbal leader. His experience overseas brings a lot to the table... I think he learned a lot about his game and how life is and I think he'll bring that to the table. He is probably, as far as a person, very Grant Hill-like. He's a top of the line person and we like to have those kind of guys."

Q. Hedo Turkoglu had a lot of problems in Toronto with questions about motivation.

"It's interesting: to the man, the people that we talked to, especially from the Sacramento era and all his old coaches, they love the guy. I think he was just in a situation up there that went side-wise as a group and it wasn't just him. Their entire team had a bump in the road and I think he just got caught up in it.

"What he brings to us is very Boris-like when Boris (Diaw) was here, in that he handles the ball at the top in mismatches and at the elbow and he makes plays. He can take the pressure off Steve a little bit. Both he and Josh can handle the ball and make plays off the dribble and create, which is something that we love. I think they both fit in very well that way."

Q. Talk about Hedo's ability to defend and rebound at the power forward position.

"It's going to be a challenge for him for sure. Even last year, there were a lot of times with rebounding where we had our struggles.

"The one thing about last year was Jason Richardson, Grant Hill -- this year, I think Josh will help in that aspect -- they stepped up and became better rebounders and all crashed the boards to help us out.

"I think there'll be nights we'll struggle in that area, but they're also going to struggle on the other end trying to defend the guys. I think there's a give and take there.

"I'd be lying to you if I didn't think there weren't going to be nights when that's going to be a concern."

Q. Any thought to cutting back the minutes for Grant Hill and Steve Nash?

"Steve... we've been thinking about cutting back his minutes since he's got here and that hasn't really happened.

"As long as those guys perform the way they do, it's very hard to take players like them out of the game and at the same time, in a perfect world, you'd like to cut their minutes and make sure that they stay healthy all year long. We'll see how it goes."

Q. How's Earl Clark progressing?

"I think Earl's biggest hurdle is similar to Jason Richardson's in that they are most comfortable with the ball and creating for themselves. It took Jason a little bit to get used to the way we play and I think Earl is the same way.

"Once he figures out how to keep the ball moving and, when he goes to the basket, to go quickly and strong, and move the ball and set pick and rolls. His length and defense is a real plus. We still really have a great feeling (about) what he can do in the future."

Q. Talk about the guys further down the roster like Gani Lawal and Dwayne Collins and do you think you might carry more than 13 players on the roster?

"We talked about that. That's something we are still considering as far as how many people we're going to carry and when the new GM or the new President is hired, whoever that might be, that might be a good question for them. I think we prefer to wait for those guys to come and have some influence in what we're going to do and help us make the final decision on that.

"Gani Lawal and Dwayne Collins -- I would love to see those guys battle in camp because they both play hard and they are both physical and they both bring a presence to our team that I think is going to be a real positive."

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