The Suns  already are working on improving defensively, even though the draft is four weeks away and free agency is uncertain with a lockout looming.

Until the Suns' roster can be changed, the attempt to improve will come with a coaching addition.

Suns coach Alvin Gentry is interviewing candidates to add an assistant with defensive expertise.

Gentry has talked with San Antonio assistant Don Newman, former Chicago assistant and current scout Pete Myers and Houston assistant Elston Turner, who was a finalist for the Suns' head-coaching job in 2008. Gentry also could talk to Lakers assistant Jim Cleamons and coaches who have been involved in the conference finals, such as Dallas' Dwane Casey, Oklahoma City's Maurice Cheeks and Miami's Bob McAdoo.

After finishing the 2010-11 season with the NBA's fifth-worst defensive-field-goal percentage (47.2), the Suns have placed an off-season priority on improving defensively.