The Phoenix Suns have named Ryan McDonough the team’s general manager, it was announced today. He will be introduced in a press conference on Thursday, May 9, at US Airways Center.
“Ryan distinguished himself among an impressive group of candidates for our GM position,” said Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. “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.”
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Also among the finalists were Bucks assistant general manager Jeff Weltman and San Antonio Spurs assistant general manager Scott Layden. Weltman also was a finalist for the Suns position three years ago when Lance Blanks was hired as general manager.”
The 33-year-old McDonough is considered one of the game’s brightest young minds, who combines a tireless work ethic with an expertise in player evaluation honed over the past 10 years at virtually every level of an NBA franchise’s basketball operations.
McDonough joins the Suns after most recently serving the past three seasons as the assistant general manager of the Boston Celtics, where he assisted Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge on all basketball-related matters, while being principally responsible for the draft evaluation of college and international players. He combines the experience of nearly a decade of in-person scouting of prospects across the globe with an understanding of advanced metrics and statistical analysis. During his tenure with the Celtics, Boston made two appearances in the NBA Finals, and claimed the 2008 title.
McDonough joined the Celtics front office in 2003 as a 23-year-old special assistant to basketball operations, rapidly moving up the team’s ranks with increased responsibility at each stop, always with an emphasis in talent evaluation. He spent four seasons as a special assistant, a role that included a great deal of video scouting work (2003-07), one season as director of amateur scouting (2007-08), one season as director of international scouting (2008-09), and two seasons as director of player personnel (2008-10) before his promotion to assistant general manager in Sept. 2010.
McDonough played a prominent role in the front office of a club that has kept a veteran-led roster in the playoffs the last six consecutive seasons thanks to an infusion of young talent acquired through quality late first-round draft picks and trades. Included in that list are the draft-day acquisition of four-time All-Star Rajon Rondo in 2006, and the 2010 selection of Avery Bradley, who was one of the NBA’s most improved players in 2012-13.
A graduate of the University of North Carolina with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, McDonough grew up in Hingham, Mass., the son of the late renowned Boston Globe columnist Will McDonough, and the brother of ESPN broadcaster Sean and NFL player personnel executive Terry.