The Phoenix Suns named Ryan McDonough their general manager on Tuesday, according to a press release from their official website. McDonough will be introduced during a press conference on Thursday, May 9, at the US Airways Center.
The Suns' president of basketball operations, Lon Babby, had kind words to say about McDonough and provided justification as to why the 33-year-old received the job:
Ryan distinguished himself among an impressive group of candidates for our GM position. 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.
The new Suns GM replaces Lance Blanks, who was fired after two mediocre seasons and then a full-on unraveling in the 2012-13 campaign. His only draft pick in 2012 was point guard Kendall Marshall out of North Carolina, and the North Carolina product barely cracked the rotation as a rookie.
Phoenix needs someone who can evaluate talent exceptionally after finishing at the bottom of the Western Conference with a 25-57 record this past season—its worst campaign in 44 years.
After beginning with the Celtics in 2003 as a special assistant to basketball operations, McDonough made it all the way to assistant GM by September 2010.
That’s an impressive track record to say the least, especially with how successful the Celtics have been in recent years.
Will the Suns be playoff contenders next season?
According to a report by Paul Coro of AZCentral.com, McDonough is credited with drafting Avery Bradley, who has developed into a starter in Boston. McDonough also was part of the group that convinced Celtics management to trade with, ironically, the Suns back in 2006 to acquire superstar point guard Rajon Rondo.
As Babby alluded to, the Suns have an ample amount of draft picks in the coming years—due in large part to the sign-and-trade deal involving current Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash.
That transaction netted Phoenix first-rounders in 2013 and 2015, and second-rounders in 2013 and 2014, which provides McDonough with plenty of assets to rebuild this struggling franchise.