Phoenix Suns GM admits that team is 'certainly open' to trading No. 1 overall pick


It’s the only certainty surrounding the NBA draft.


At this time of the year, when a general manager says his name, it usually needs to be double-checked.

With that as the backdrop, it sure sounds like Suns GM Ryan McDonough is trying to muddy the waters.

At last week’s NBA Draft Combine, McDonough told ESPN that yes, he’d consider trading away the franchise’s first-ever top overall pick.

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“We’re certainly open to that,” he said. “We’ll consider it. Obviously, we’ll have more information closer to the draft than we do today, after we go through the workout process and the interview process and we get the medical physicals. So we’re open to that.

“I think if you look around the NBA, as far as the veteran players, there are probably a few players we’d consider trading the pick for, not … just pick for player No. 1. So it’ll be a busy month for us.”

Nearly every mock draft has Arizona center DeAndre Ayton and Croatian swingman Luka Doncic going 1-2 in some order.

That, too, is not necessarily true, according to McDonough.

Do you think the Suns should draft Ayton at No. 1?

“It is difficult,” he said. “And I think people are jumping to conclusions, as far as there’s only one or two guys in the mix for us. There are more than that … there are a handful of guys.”

Before we take the Suns GM at his word, let’s investigate why most people think he’s blowing smoke.

Ayton was the most dominant big man in college, which happened to be in the same state as the Suns.

Well, it also just so happens that the team’s biggest need is a productive big man.

Alex Len is a free agent, Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender have been huge disappointments in their first two seasons, and Tyson Chandler is 35 years old.

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Even if they don’t go after Ayton, the team did just name Igor Kokoskov as its new head coach.

When Kokoskov coached in Europe, one of his players was … Luka Doncic.

In other words, it would be stunning if the Suns didn’t take one of these two players.

Phoenix also owns the 16th pick, so whatever need it doesn’t address at No. 1 would be a consideration later.

“Our biggest team needs are at the point guard slot and at the 5. … Where we sit in this draft, those are two pretty good positions to address,” McDonough said. “But we won’t look to just address those through the draft through young players. We’ll also look at free-agent signing scenarios, we’ll look at trade scenarios. We think and hope we’re one of the more improved teams in the league next year.”

Last year, McDonough’s pick, forward Josh Jackson, showed signs of brilliance, but the team still had its fourth consecutive losing season and finished a league-worst 21-61.

You get the feeling that if McDonough doesn’t get this pick right, he won’t be around for pictures next season.

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Mike is an 11-time Michigan Emmy Award winner who has spent nearly 30 years working in sports media.
Mike has spent nearly 30 years in all aspects of sports media, including on-air, 10 at ESPN and another 10 at Fox Sports Detroit. He now works as a TV agent, and lives with his family in West Bloomfield, MI.
Sudbury, Massachusetts
11-time Michigan Emmy winner
Emerson College
Books Written
The Longest Year: One Family's Journey Of Life, Death, And Love/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Tigers/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Lions
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