The Phoenix Suns have hired 33-year-old Ryan McDonough, former Boston Celtics executive, to serve as the franchise's general manager, making him the second youngest GM in the NBA.
"Ryan distinguished himself among an impressive group of candidates for our GM position," Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby said in a statement Tuesday. "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."
McDonough worked his way up from a 23-year-old special assistant to basketball operations in Boston to becoming assistant general manager the past three years.
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"It's a very inspired hire by Lon Babby and [Managing Partner] Robert Sarver,"
Memphis GM Chris Wallace, who was Boston's GM when McDonough joined the Celtics, told azcentral.com. "He’s been an up-and-comer for some time. He always loved the game and loved the job. You could tell the job was in his DNA."
McDonough beat out Milwaukee assistant GM Jeff Weltman and San Antonio assistant GM Scott Layden for the position in Phoenix.
"[McDonough's] got the three components you like," Babby told azcentral.com. "He started in the video room, so he’s well-versed on tapes. He traveled the world to see players with boots on the ground to develop relationships with teams and coaches. He’s got the analytics that is critical to our future."
Only Orlando's GM Rob Hennigan is younger than McDonough at 31.
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The Phoenix Suns have their work cut out for them next season. With nine new players on the roster, Phoenix struggled early in the 2012-13 season and never recovered, finishing 25-57, the second-worst season in franchise history behind the inaugural team, which went 16-66 in 1968-69.
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