The Phoenix Suns announced on Tuesday that former Boston Celtics assistant general manager Ryan McDonough is the new general manager for the team and will officially be introduced in Phoenix on Thursday, May 9th.
“Ryan distinguished himself among an impressive group of candidates for our GM position,” said Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. “His natural leadership and communication skills will serve the Suns well. And, his prodigious work ethic and ability to identify talent will enable us to take full advantage of the 10 draft choices, including six in the first round, that we have over the next three years. We welcome his championship pedigree to our organization.”
“I think it is a tremendous, tremendous hire by Robert Sarver and Lon Babby,” Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports told Brad Cesmat on ‘Big Guy on Sports’ Tuesday. “I think it’s really the best move in this Babby-era.”
As mentioned, McDonough was most recently worked under Danny Ainge and the Celtics which is where he got his start in an NBA front office as a special assistant to basketball operations as a 23 year-old. He prides himself on expertise in player evaluation honed over the past 10 years at virtually every level of an NBA franchise’s basketball operations.
“To me, Ryan is in the same mold as Sam Presti at Oklahoma City, Rob Hennigan in Orlando, and I think coming from Boston and that organization and knowing the success they had there, he was a big part of it,” Wojnarowski mentioned.
The now 33 year-old McDonough played a big role in bringing in the ‘Big three” of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen joining forces with Paul Pierce which has made the playoffs in each of the last six seasons including an NBA title. He also was highly involved in the draft-day trade of Rajon Rondo which was acquired from the Suns and selecting Avery Bradley.
“He was the driving force behind doing the deal behind doing the deal to get Rajon Rondo,” Wojnarowski explained. “The mold that I think Ryan will use there is what they did in Oklahoma City, what they are trying to do in Orlando which is build through the draft and tear the thing down and then build it back up with young players and stop chasing the eighth seed, stop chasing the seventh seed and build a real foundation. That’s what the Suns desperately need.”
Ryan McDonough is the son of the late renowned Boston Globe columnist Will McDonough, and the brother of ESPN broadcaster Sean and NFL player personnel executive Terry.
Now that the Suns have landed their general manager, a decision on the next head coach of the team is sure to follow shortly. McDonough will know where he will be making his first draft selection as part of the Suns front office on May 21st for the NBA draft lottery.