It’s hard to find a bit of negative reaction to the Phoenix Suns’ decision to hire 33-year-old Ryan McDonough as the team’s general manager. After all, it’s easy to drink the Kool-Aid that any front office move would have cooked up following the Suns’ worst year since their inaugural season. But like it is when NBA teams draft players, the word potential brings hope that a youthful selection would develop into a star.
With McDonough, it’s just about talent evaluation. And that should be fine with Phoenix if he fits in with president of basketball ops Lon Babby.
“By tapping McDonough, I think (the Suns) found a guy who has a real talent in this area,” said ESPN’s Chad Ford. “I don’t think he’s going to be your traditional GM. You think of McDonough of a head scout whose title is GM. His job is to get the players on the team and to identify those guys.
“I think they made a good choice.”
Whereas Jeff Weltman would probably bring a shrug and satisfaction from Suns fans and Scott Layden would at least put the team in competent hands, the McDonough hire is about being progressive, ahead of the curve. That said, it’ll be a matter of building a strong working relationship with Babby while completely rebuilding the current roster. It’s hard to see how the latter will be done all that easily and all that quickly, but we knew that already.
McDonough will be formally introduced as the team’s GM Thursday. In the interim, it was interesting to dig for reactions — there were many good things being said about the Suns’ new GM. And by the way, Ryan isn’t the only McDonough reportedly heading to Phoenix. There is the belief that brother Terry, who was fired from the Jacksonville Jaguars, will be joining the Arizona Cardinals.
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Suns hire Ryan McDonough as GM
The Phoenix Suns filled their general manager position vacated by Lance Blanks.
Storified by Kevin Zimmerman· Wed, May 08 2013 10:34:55
With hiring of Boston’s McDonough, Suns direction is clear: No more stopgap short-term free agents, rebuild through multiple picks in draft.Adrian Wojnarowski
First job for McDonough in Phoenix will be to hire a coach: Expect him to find a bright, young assistant to grow with a full-blown rebuild.Adrian Wojnarowski
Wish the late Will McDonough were alive to see his son Ryan take over as Phoenix Suns GM. Congratulations to McDonough family.Adam Schefter
Look for Terry McDonough, fired by @jaguars on Monday, to join @AZCardinals scouting staff.Gil Brandt
"What gets guys like me excited: Spending all that time watching video & stats looking for outliers to help you get an edge."-Ryan McDonoughEric Musselman
Congrats to UNC grad and former SID student assistant Ryan McDonough, new GM of the Phoenix Suns.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id…Carolina Basketball
Ryan McDonough is 33 going on 43, by the way. He’s a very mature, grounded guy.Paul Flannery
Suns fans, you’re getting a very smart and thorough GM bit.ly/10ipc2YPaul Flannery
Sat on plane with Ryan McDonough about 10 years ago and at that point you could tell he would be #NBA GM in future.Jason Smith
Congrats to new Suns’ GM Ryan McDonough, a great young rising star and from Boston’s "First Family of Sports." I know dad would be proud!Fran Fraschilla
Danny Ainge on Ryan McDonough: “For the past 10 years, he’s played a huge part in our success."Baxter Holmes
Have met Ryan McDonough a few times over the years. Bright and hard working. Celtics loss is Suns gain. Phoenix has a lot of work to do.Probasketballdraft
Congrats to our friend Ryan McDonough on being named Phoenix Suns GM. We wish you luck on building another great team like 2002 Ambassadors.Boston Red Sox
Congrats to my friend Ryan McDonough on new GM job for the Phoenix Suns. 33 years old, but no doubt prepared. Smart guy from a good family.Matt Davison
Pumped for my buddy Ryan Mcdonough as he moves to do great things in PHX.Patrick Burke
Hiring of Ryan McDonough works for me. Son of a great writer + reporterDan Bickley
Hear @WojYahooNBA’s thoughts on the @Suns hire of Ryan McDonough as GM at 5:00 w/ @danbickley & @mikejurecki on @XTRA910. #SunsXTRA Sports 910
There still is belief that the "good guys"get a chance. A tremendous hire by the Phoenix Suns in naming Ryan McDonough GM. A real superstarTim Welsh
New @Suns GM Ryan McDonough is smart, hard working and great guy!! Will would be proud as we all are who call him a friend!Rich Krezwick