Update (10:42 a.m.): It’s gone official. Ryan McDonough is in as the Suns GM.
Ryan McDonough, the Boston Celtics assistant general manager, appears to be the next Phoenix Suns GM and the announcement could be official as soon as today, John Gambadoro of 620 KTAR reports. The news either quickly squashes Monday night’s report from ESPN’s Marc Stein that Grant Hill could be a target for the Suns’ GM opening or indicates that Hill does not have interest.
Stein did note that the Suns would choose between McDonough and Milwaukee Bucks assistant Jeff Weltman if Hill passed on the opportunity.
McDonough, 33, received strong praise from Celtics boss Danny Ainge this week regarding the Suns’ opening specifically.
. “He’s been a guy that I’ve heavily relied on over the last handful of years, and I’m excited for him to get an opportunity,” Ainge told the Boston Herald. “It’s been a dream for Ryan. It’s a chance to rebuild. Phoenix is in pretty good position. They have some cap space. They have six first-round picks over the next three years. I think it’s an opportunity for Ryan to try to do his thing.”
Paul Coro reported that McDonough had made headway in putting himself atop the Suns’ wish-list alongside Weltman. A McDonough hire gives Phoenix as close to a home run as can be expected, and it aligns with president of basketball operations Lon Babby’s declaration of the offseason of 2013 being “the summer of analytics.” McDonough, who started in Boston’s video room, is at the forefront of the movement.
“I’ve sort of said to our staff that this summer is the summer of analytics,” Babby said after former general manager Lance Blanks was relieved of his duties. “Last summer was really the summer of upgrading our medical facilities, training facilities … I would say that this summer is our task on analytics. I would say we made tremendous progress, but we’ve got to find a way to integrate that not only into our decisions in the front office but also into coaching in ways that have not been done.”