PHOENIX, AZ – JUNE 22: General Manager Ryan McDonough of the Phoenix Suns speaks during a press conference at Talking Stick Resort Arena on June 22, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Phoenix Suns fired general manager Ryan McDonough on Monday, eight days before the 2018-19 NBA season begins.

Suns owner Robert Sarver announced vice president of basketball operations James Jones and assistant general manager Trevor Bukstein will handle the GM duties on an interim basis.

“After much thought and a long evaluation of our basketball operations, I have decided to relieve Ryan McDonough of his duties as general manager of the Phoenix Suns,” Sarver said in a statement.

“Our focus in the short term is to prepare for the upcoming NBA season and to continue pursuing opportunities to strengthen our roster. Over the course of the season, we will explore both internal and external options as we look to restructure our basketball front office leadership. On behalf of the entire organization, I want to thank Ryan for his efforts and contributions during his five-plus years with the Suns. We wish him nothing but the best moving forward.”

Michael Scotto of The Athletic reported that McDonough’s exit wasn’t the only change in the Suns’ front office:

The Athletic Sources: The Phoenix Suns also fired assistant GM Pat Connelly and director of scouting Courtney Witte, along with GM Ryan McDonough. Draft picks under McDonough’s regime included Alex Len, T.J. Warren, Devin Booker, Dragan Bender, Josh Jackson and Deandre Ayton.

McDonough spent the last five seasons as the Suns general manager. The team signed him to an extension last July.

The timing of this decision is curious. McDonough handled the hiring of coach Igor Kokoskov, the drafting of DeAndre Ayton and Mikal Bridges and the team’s entire offseason plan. Phoenix is attempting to acquire a starting point guard but has been unable to do so, which was perhaps the final straw for McDonough.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Jones and former Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale are candidates to replace McDonough long term. Wojnarowski later noted Steve Nash, “a Sarver favorite,” has “no interest in pursuing the demands of the day-to-day duties of running a front office.”

Sarver is also reportedly taking a more hands-on role with the Suns.

McDonough previously spent 10 years with the Boston Celtics.

Courtesy: Bleacher Report


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