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Suns front office fires back at Dragic, talks trade deadline moves

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Phoenix Suns executives were not interested in taking the high road Friday with Goran Dragic, instead firing back at the now former Suns guard over comments he directed at the team front office earlier this week.

“What I personally take issue with,” said Lon Babby, Suns president of basketball operations, “is the unfair and I think unwarranted aspersions cast on our front office and indirectly on our organization as a whole.”

The team traded Goran and his brother Zoran to the Miami Heat on Thursday, the headline deal in a flurry of moves made by the Suns at the NBA’s trade deadline. The trade followed comments from Dragic on Wednesday in which he said, “I don’t trust them anymore,” referring to Suns management. “I see that we’re not going the right direction.”

At a Friday morning press conference, Babby said he was convinced that the Suns were in the best place they have been in since he had been with the team.

“That doesn’t happen without bold moves and hard moves,” said Babby. “If some of those moves ruffled Goran’s feathers, so be it. But we won’t ever apologize for trying to get better and improve this team.”

“What I personally take issue with is the unfair and I think unwarranted aspersions cast on our front office and indirectly on our organization as a whole.” — Lon Babby, Phoenix Suns president of basketball operations.

Suns general manager Ryan McDonough also had some choice words for Dragic, who had reportedly demanded a trade to a specific list of teams, which included the Knicks, Lakers and Heat.

“I never saw a list,” said McDonough. “Maybe it was written in vanishing ink. I guess my perspective is that it wasn’t worth the paper it’s not printed on. Once he told us he didn’t want to be here and in the manner in which he and his representatives handled the situation, we really didn’t care if there was a list or not.”

McDonough went on to confirm what many Suns fans have suspected all along; that this year’s team did not have the same kind of chemistry that made last year’s squad the most improved team in the league. Although the drastic reshuffling of the roster is not the preference, according to McDonough, the organization is not afraid to do it when they feel it is necessary.

“This isn’t singles tennis,” said McDonough. “We’re looking for team guys. The guys who will be here are those who will buy in and play the right way. Those who don’t will be gone. We’re not going to stop until we get it right.”

Despite the sudden shakeup of the team, Babby and McDonough both remain confident that the right moves were made and that the team’s best days are ahead of them. But can they convince the players?

“When Ryan and I jumped on the bus to talk to the remaining players yesterday, that was the point we really made to them,” said Babby. “Let’s have fun again. Let’s play as a team. Let’s recapture that chemistry. The future is bright and we’re excited about it.”