Former Phoenix Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough admits he loves Luka Doncic just like the rest of us. Luka’s offensive game has translated to the NBA seamlessly. He is hitting step-back three’s like James Harden. His vision from the wing reminds people of Larry Bird. The Dallas Mavericks are a completely different team this year thanks solely to his addition. And Doncic is winning over the general public: He’s one of the top vote-getters for this year’s All Star Game.
But despite all of Doncic’s accolades overseas McDonough drafted DeAndre Ayton over Doncic. And despite the early season success for the European prodigy McDonough still feels confident in Ayton’s abilities in the long-term.
Part of Ayton’s next step is finding him a point guard, not named Devin Booker, to pair with the young big man. McDonough admits that he tried several times to improve that spot before the season started. Phoenix has a relatively young roster, which is a good thing for a rebuilding team. But that point guard spot is still somewhat vacant and needs addressing.
While point guard is near the top of the list you would have to imagine Phoenix would take Duke freshman Zion Williamson if they had the first pick. Zion is too good to ignore at this point. He is a physical specimen. Zion’s athletic ability is arguably unmatched. And both Jeff and Ryan admit that it’s the other parts of Zion’s game that has scouts enthused. Williamson is a much smarter player than he gets credit for. His jumpshot is more refined than most initially thought. He is a slam-dunk prospect (pun intended).
Finally, McDonough explains what it’s like being a general manager of a NBA. What is life like during trade season? How has Twitter made things harder for front office executives?
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8:15 The future of the young Suns
25:57 What’s it like being a GM during trade season
28:32 Why Ayton over Doncic
39:06 What’s wrong with the Celtics?
46:08 Zion is the #1 pick as of now