Source: Lindsey, Ainge among choices

Updated: June 23, 2010, 1:31 AM ET
By Ric Bucher | ESPN The Magazine

The Phoenix Suns have been granted permission to talk to San Antonio Spurs assistant general manager Dennis Lindsey about being their next GM on the condition they wait until after Thursday's draft, league sources said Tuesday.

While Lindsey appears to be at the top of the Suns' list, he is not the only candidate in which owner Robert Sarver is interested.

Sources said Sarver also hopes to talk to Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge, former New Jersey Nets assistant GM Kiki Vandeweghe and former Portland Trail Blazers assistant GM Tom Penn. Sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein that Sarver also has interest in Sacramento Kings assistant general manager Jason Levien.

While Phoenix's soon-to-be ex-brain trust -- GM Steve Kerr and assistant GM David Griffin -- is working for the organization through the draft, sources say Sarver has been extremely "hands-on" in the team's preparation.

Kerr stepped down in Phoenix earlier this month after building a team that made a surprising run to the NBA's Western Conference finals.

In the three years Kerr was at the helm, the Suns twice made the playoffs.

"I wouldn't have left a year ago, where we were," Kerr said when he announced his departure. "But given where we are right now with a really good young base of talent, a great coaching staff, a lot of stability, a lot to be excited about in the future, I'm very comfortable making this move."

Ric Bucher is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.

Ric Bucher

NBA Reporter, ESPN The Magazine Senior Writer