The Phoenix Suns have confirmed Earl Watson will continue as head coach of the franchise on a permanent basis.

Watson was appointed as interim coach after Jeff Hornacek was fired in February with the Suns holding a 14-35 record.

Although results did not improve under Watson, who oversaw nine wins and 24 defeats, the Suns' front office praised the 36-year-old for keeping the team together.

"Earl did a very good job with our team last season after taking over as interim head coach during a challenging time for the organisation," general manager Ryan McDonough said in a release.

"Earl's natural leadership qualities and his ability to connect with and motivate our players have stood out throughout his time here in Phoenix.

"We are excited to see what he can do with a healthy roster after having a full off-season to prepare."

Watson has received a three-year contract, according to multiple reports.

With a fully recovered Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight and T.J. Warren returning from injuries and joining exciting young players in Alex Len and Archie Goodwin, and two first-round draft picks this season, the Suns could be a surprise team to watch in the West next season.