http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/15272569/phoenix-suns-hire-earl-watson-new-coachThe Phoenix Suns are retaining Earl Watson as their head coach.
Watson, who initially was named interim coach after Jeff Hornacek was fired on Feb. 1, has agreed to a three-year deal with the Suns, sources told ESPN's Jeff Goodman.
The Suns went 9-24 under Watson, finishing the season with the second-worst record in franchise history (23-59). But Watson has said he was told he would not be judged on wins and losses -- because of the injury-depleted roster he inherited -- but on other factors, including improving the team's attitude.
In a news release Tuesday announcing the decision to keep Watson, Phoenix general manager Ryan McDonough praised the young coach's "natural leadership qualities and ability to connect with and motivate" the Suns players.