Report: Suns spoke with McHale about GM position, interested in Paxson

Mar 21, 2019, 2:22 PM

(AP Photo/Ben Margot)...

(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

In the early stages of the Phoenix Suns’ search for their next general manager, two names have been reportedly linked to the team.

According to The New York Times’ Marc Stein, the Suns have spoken with Kevin McHale, former Rockets and Timberwolves coach and Minnesota GM, about the opening.

The team also has reported interest in Bulls consultant and former Cavaliers GM Jim Paxson, per Stein.

McHale has been on the Suns’ radar previously.

Last April when the Suns were looking for their next head coach, McHale’s name was linked to the team as someone Phoenix was considering. Current head coach Igor Kokoskov ended up getting the job.

When former Suns GM Ryan McDonough was fired last October, McHale’s name was again floated around as a potential replacement. James Jones and Trevor Bukstein took over the GM duties as co-interim general managers.

After his playing days were over, McHale headed to Minnesota as an analyst and special assistant. He was promoted to assistant general manager in 1994 before taking over the reins as general manager in 1995.

He’s credited with hiring former Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders and selecting Kevin Garnett with the fifth overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft. McHale also coached the team at different times during his tenure with Minnesota.

Following his time with the Timberwolves, McHale was hired by the Houston Rockets in 2011. He coached in Houston until the start of 2015-16 season, getting the team to the Western Conference Finals in 2015.

Like McHale, Paxson got back into the NBA after retiring as a player. He joined the Portland Trail Blazers’ front office as an assistant GM following his 1990 retirement before being named the Cavaliers vice president of operations in 1998. He was later promoted to GM in 1999, selecting LeBron James in the 2003 NBA Draft, before getting fired in 2005. Over the six-year span Paxson was GM, Cleveland won 185 of its 492 games.

Following his time with the Cavaliers, Paxson joined his brother, John Paxson, in Chicago as part of the Bulls front office as a consultant.

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