The day after Steve Kerr’s surprising departure as GM for Suns, Planet Orange mills about in dazed confusion. Paul Coro, Sun’s beat writer for AZRepublic, helps clear up the situation:
Kerr and Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver negotiated through Monday. Kerr was offered a one-year contract to stay at his current salary or a three-year deal that would repeat his previous one except for adding a third-year bonus. That meant Kerr’s first-year salary would be a cut of about 10 percent from last season, when his salary ranked in the upper one-third of West GMs.
“It (money) was a small part of it,” Sarver said. “I’m not sure it was a part of it at all.”
It was part of a picture that made leaving a better option. Kerr was not expecting a raise, considering the club’s annual losses and $2.5 million still owed to Terry Porter, a coach he hired and fired. But negotiations came at the same time that TNT’s lead-analyst job was vacated by Doug Collins, who became Philadelphia’s coach.
Where do the Suns go from here?
Internal candidates will be considered, but Kerr’s No. 2 man in basketball operations, Senior Vice President and 18-year Suns staffer David Griffin, also has a contract that expires June 30. A national search is expected to include Dennis Lindsey, the San Antonio assistant GM who was Minnesota’s top GM candidate last year before withdrawing.
Kerr will keep a Suns ownership stake and hopes to return to the NBA as a GM or coach.