Ryan McDonough Rumors
The Suns were in this situation with Bledsoe a year ago and it dragged out the entire summer before he signed a five-year, $70 million deal. The Suns will be more proactive and are working with a more communicative client. “He’s a guy who made a good impression on us,” McDonough said of Knight. “He didn’t play as much as we’d like because of the injury but, at 23 years old, it’s amazing how young he is given he’s been in the league four years and was a borderline All-Star last year for Milwaukee. He’s certainly one of our top priorities, if not the top priority. We want a quick process with all of our guys, him included. We’ve got good vibes from him about his time in Phoenix. I imagine he will be one of the first guys we call, if not the first.”
The Suns are not permitted to comment on free agents but Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough, in keeping with an approach he laid out upon his 2013 introduction, said the team would pursue top talent by free agency or trade. “We’re going to be aggressive and target the best players,” McDonough said. “I think you’ll see us go after the top guys. We hope to get meetings with some of the top free agents and sell them on all Phoenix has to offer. You win big in this league with elite players. We had some success over the past couple years, not as much as we’d like this past year, but we’re going to be aggressive. There’s a great history and tradition here. You saw how a player like Steve Nash transforms an organization when he arrives. We’d be doing a disservice to ourselves and our fans if we didn’t go after the top guys.”
They have to determine quickly whether they are in the mix. Free agency scenarios move fast. If there is no realistic chance at the top players, the Suns do not want their time taken or cap space frozen while other targets move on. The Suns have needs to fill with the frontcourt, shooting and a third point guard. “We’ll ask them to be honest with us about our chances,” McDonough said. “Some of it is a gut feel and a gut call about how much of a chance you have and how realistic it is to be picked by a player.”
Babby’s second contract as Suns president of basketball operations will expire at the end of July but he will remain a part-time senior adviser. Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough takes over as head of basketball operations. Babby, 64, never intended to stay past his first three-year contract but he is smitten with Phoenix, where he will stay involved in Suns contract negotiations and salary-cap management. The change will not be a major shake-up with McDonough, after two years in Phoenix, already leading much of the operation and Babby hesitating to even cut back to half as much work.