Suns GM McDonough denies report of split decision at 4, calls it ‘unanimous’
If there’s one thing the Phoenix Suns’ draft didn’t lack Thursday, it was their name being mentioned by various national reporters.
From possibly trying to trade for New York Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis to what the supposed offers were for Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe, the reporters looking for the big scoop were mentioning the Suns often.
One of those reports was the draft day morning edition of ESPN’s Chad Ford’s mock draft. Ford had Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox going to Phoenix, citing a split between owner Robert Sarver, general manager Ryan McDonough and head coach Earl Watson.
Jackson would give them a defense-minded wing who adds toughness and versatility to a young, offense-minded team. He appears to be favored by GM Ryan McDonough.
Fox gives them a high-character, super-quick point guard who could open the door to Phoenix moving Eric Bledsoe over the summer. However, he canceled his workout with the Suns and didn’t reschedule. Still, owner Robert Sarver, according to a source, is very high on Fox.
Isaac might have more upside than either player as a long, athletic forward who can guard multiple positions and score in a number of ways. He has the support of head coach Earl Watson.
“The report (is) completely untrue,” McDonough said of the report to Doug and Wolf Friday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station.
“Our preference for Josh at four was unanimous and for us, it wasn’t a tough decision.”
Another bit of news that made landfall was on Thursday night when Celtics general manager Danny Ainge didn’t seem pleased with the way Jackson handled his communication with his team.
“Never talked with Josh, no one in our organization did,” Ainge told the Boston media after the Celtics took Duke forward Jayson Tatum in the draft. “They canceled a workout on us when we flew out to Sacramento and they just decided to cancel it as we flew — it was Brad and I and Mike Zarren, it was cross-country. There was something, he didn’t want to play for the Celtics.”
McDonough was careful in his answer on the story before not turning down the notion that his team was possibly connected to Jackon’s reasoning.
“Let me see how I can answer this politically or diplomatically without offending anybody,” McDonough said.
“I’m not saying we did have anything to do with it but there’s a chance that maybe Josh’s decision not to work out for the Celtics or to go visit Boston or be as involved or engaged with the Celtics as he could have been had something to do with us and the Phoenix Suns.
“Not saying it did but not saying it didn’t.”