Ryan McDonough Rumors

Suns looking for young free agents

McDonough, who flew overseas Tuesday to watch forward Dragan Bender play for Croatia in the EuroBasket 2017 championships, said the Suns might work out players over the next week or two to see if any “stand out.” But, he said, it’s unlikely Phoenix would sign a veteran to replace Reed. That would seem to eliminate free agents such as Tony Allen, Monta Ellis or former Suns guard Leandro Barbosa.
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“I think we will lean toward younger guys, with the mid-to-late 20s being the upper limit of what we’ll look at,” McDonough said. “Is there one guy out there who could be an exception to that? Maybe. But I think that will be the target of the initial process, somebody who fits with the timeline of our young core.” McDonough said the Suns also have internal options to replace Reed, who will be out four to six months after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.
McDonough said nothing has changed regarding the status of restricted free-agent center Alex Len, who has until Oct. 1 to sign the Suns’ one-year, $4.2 million qualifying offer. Center Nerlens Noel recently signed his one-year, $4.1 million qualifying offer from the Dallas Mavericks but when asked if he thought that might affect Len’s position, McDonough said, “You’ll have to ask Alex.”
Bender looks comfortable and confident as he’s embracing a new role: point-forward. General Manager Ryan McDonough and Head Coach Earl Watson have both praised Bender’s playmaking potential and now the proof is on the court. “Growing up I did it a lot,” Bender said about his ball handling. “Just playing with the ball, playing pick and roll. Just being that point-forward guy. That distributor on the offensive end trying to pass the ball to open shooters on the floor and trying to spread the court.”