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Phoenix Suns

Updated Jan 6, 2014 - 10:32 am

GM Ryan McDonough: ‘You're seeing the core of the next great Suns team'

Phoenix Suns' Goran Dragic, of Slovenia, directs his teammates against the Memphis Grizzlies' during the second half of an NBA basketball game on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, in Phoenix. The Grizzlies won 99-91. (AP Photo/Matt York)

The storyline has been made a platitude -- the Phoenix Suns are surprising everyone. We know.

It needs not repeating. There are new stories to follow.

Is the team going to use its well-stocked arsenal of draft picks and youth to trade for a star?

Can the Suns continue to navigate the gauntlet that is the NBA's Western Conference and make the playoffs?

Will the ability to bounce back from defeat and adversity last?

Suns general manager Ryan McDonough is ready for the narrative to morph. To him, and many inside the organization, the start really isn't all that surprising.

To him, it's more promising than shocking. The youthful roster he built to blossom is just a collective early bloomer.

"I think our expectation was always to get the most out of our guys," McDonough explained while a guest with Burns and Gambo Thursday.

They are, indeed, getting a lot from an overhauled roster which only returned four players from the 2012-13 team. First-time head coach Jeff Hornacek -- who, himself, is blossoming as evidenced by December's Western Conference Coach of the Month honor -- led the Suns to a 19-11 record through their first 30 games.

"Individually, a lot of them are having career years," McDonough went on.

Starters Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe and Miles Plumlee have all seen a significant spike in nearly all mentionable per-game stats. Both Bledsoe and Plumlee are seeing drastically more minutes than they previously had in their young careers, while Marcus and Markieff Morris are themselves making far more significant contributions than they had last season or the one before, when they were both rookies.

Gerald Green, P.J. Tucker, Channing Frye and several others have also opened eyes under Hornacek this season.

"I think the most exciting part for us is not only that we're having success now, but it's just the age of the guys we're doing it with," McDonough went on.

"Channing Frye recently turned 30 and everyone else is in their 20s, down to Archie Goodwin who's 19 years old."

Of particular note is the ages of Bledsoe (24), Dragic (27), Plumlee (25) and the Morris brothers (24) -- all of whom are among the Suns' top eight minutes-getters.

"The plan really doesn't change -- it's to continue to develop with this group," McDonough said of the stratagem moving forward.

"I think you're seeing the core of the next great Suns team hopefully start to form and if we can keep adding to that, we certainly will."

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