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Lindsey's name prominent as Suns begin GM search

PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver said he has begun the interview process for a new general manager.

Sarver would not comment on reports that he interviewed San Antonio Spurs assistant general manager Dennis Lindsey on Monday, saying he did not want to get into those kinds of specifics. The Spurs have confirmed that the Suns received permission to speak with the highly regarded Lindsey, who was a front-runner for the Minnesota Timberwolves GM job a year ago before withdrawing from consideration.

Yahoo! Sports first reported that the interview with Lindsey took place on Monday. A person with knowledge of the situation later confirmed to The Associated Press that the Yahoo report was "on the right track." That person did not wish to be identified or comment further because of the private nature of the situation.

Sarver is searching for a replacement for Steve Kerr, who chose to leave after three years on the job. Kerr has insisted he is leaving to spend more time with his family in San Diego and explore broadcasting opportunities, although there are widespread reports he was dissatisfied with the contract offer Sarver made to him. Kerr announced Tuesday that he is returning to TNT as a basketball analyst.

Assistant general manager David Griffin also is stepping down after 13 years in the Suns organization. The contracts for Kerr and Griffin expire Wednesday.

The Suns also have received permission to speak with Los Angeles Lakers assistant general manager Ronnie Lester and Milwaukee Bucks assistant GM Jeff Weltman about the vacancy left by Kerr's departure.

Lindsey, a Texas native who played collegiately at Baylor, came to the Spurs in 2007 after 11 seasons with the Houston Rockets, the last five as vice president of basketball operations/player personnel.

Sarver said last week that he hoped to have a new general manager in place within 30 days. Kerr's departure came as the team was in negotiations with All-Star forward Amare Stoudemire in an attempt to sign him to an extension before he opts out of the final year of his existing deal. Stoudemire has said he expects to opt out of the remaining year of his contract and become part of this year's illustrious free agent class.

Sarver and coach Alvin Gentry are to meet with Stoudemire and his agent, Happy Waters, in Los Angeles on Tuesday in a last-ditch attempt to reach agreement on an extension that would keep the high-scoring player with Phoenix. Stoudemire, if he opts out of his contract, would become a free agent as of 9 p.m. Phoenix time on Wednesday (midnight EDT).

Talks with Stoudemire reportedly have centered around the length of the contract, with the Suns wary of a maximum six-year deal in light of his knee and eye injury history. Phoenix expects to remain in the picture in the likely event that Stoudemire becomes a free agent and tests the market elsewhere.

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Associated Press writer Paul J. Weber in San Antonio contributed to this report.