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McDonough says Suns are willing to pay big for a prominent head coach

Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough does an interview with The Doug & Wolf Show on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. (Matt Layman/Arizona Sports)
LISTEN: Ryan McDonough, Suns' General Manager

The Phoenix Suns are headed for one of the team’s most important offseasons in quite some time.

Star shooting guard Devin Booker will be eligible for a contract extension, the Suns could have the No. 1 overall pick in the draft — along with potentially two more first-round picks — and they will be hiring a head coach.

All of this comes with the playoff drought reaching eight years as the team’s rebuild has accumulated disappointing results three years in.

That adds a certain level of stakes on the Suns’ next head coach and a desire from fans for the Suns to break their past trend and spend serious money on a prominent head coach.

So, when Phoenix’s general manager Ryan McDonough was asked Wednesday on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo if the team is willing to pay a high price tag for a head coach with a strong reputation, McDonough made a big statement.

“Yes, we are,” he said. “That’s something we’ve discussed with (owner) Robert (Sarver) and our ownership group and those guys are fully committed to hiring the best coach we can get, whether that’s Jay Triano or somebody else that we talk to through the interview process.

“The finances are not going to be a determining factor.”

Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Mannix reported the Suns are “going to have to come with real money over a 4-5 year deal to get anyone credible interested.”

Per McDonough speaking with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi, the Suns see a very competitive space for head coaching hires in the offseason and want to move fast.

McDonough reaffirmed those past comments on the mentality the front office will have with the coaching search, saying they will be aggressive once the season ends to reach out to the right names.

While that report did indicate the Suns’ head coaching search is already underway, McDonough said it’s only the initial steps.

“We’ve reached out to pretty much all the top coaching agents and agencies and have just asked them to submit their list,” he said. “All we’re doing is gathering information.”

Once they gather that information and complete interviews with candidates, the Suns are ready to spend big for the right candidate.

“We’ll spend a significant amount of money if and when we find the right guy,” McDonough said.

Burns & Gambo