The Phoenix Suns introduced their new general manager Thursday, and the 33-year-old Ryan McDonough wasted no time in revealing that his first charge is to find the next head coach of the team.
“My first order of business as the general manager is to find the best guy for that job,” McDonough said. “Obviously, I’ll be working closely with Robert (Sarver) and Lon (Babby) and the rest of our staff on that.”
McDonough, who spent the last decade in several capacities in the Boston front office, including serving as assistant GM under Danny Ainge, says the process of finding the next coach began even before he landed the job in Phoenix.
“That was part of my interview with Robert and Lon — we discussed potential coaching candidates and who we thought would be good fits,” he said. “And we were in alignment on a lot of the names — most of the names. So we have an initial list to go off of.
“We’ve received a good amount of interest from people all over the basketball world who want to be the coach of this storied franchise and they see a great opportunity here.”
Alvin Gentry started the 2012-13 season as head coach but was fired after 41 games, paving the way for interim Lindsey Hunter to finish the season. The Suns limped to a 25-57 record — the second-worst in team history.
There has been much speculation on Hunter’s future with the organization, and McDonough confirmed that he’s in the mix.
“We will meet with Lindsey,” he said. “I don’t know him very well, but I’ve heard good things about Lindsey’s character, and his toughness and his work ethic. So Lindsey is a candidate. I know he’s interviewed for jobs elsewhere, but he’s a candidate for us as well and we’re going to go into it with an open mind and consider all the top guys, and Lindsey is one of the top guys.”
Hunter interviewed with the Detroit Pistons about their vacant coaching position last month after the team fired Lawrence Frank following a 29-53 campaign.