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Former Suns’ General Manager Ryan McDonough Talks Tenure, Firing

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It was surprising to see the Phoenix Suns fire general manager Ryan McDonough prior to the season starting, but the Suns have done some whacky things in the past. Still, McDonough was entering the season without a true starting point guard and the organization didn’t feel good moving forward with that scenario.

McDonough made an appearance this morning on ‘The Jump’ and talked about his tenure, the Suns organization, roster, and his firing.

“I viewed the roster as not fully completed” McDonough said when asked about the timing of his dimissal. We were working on a few trades to upgrade the team, and I guess I thought we had more time than I ended up having.”

“Phoenix is a great place to live. It’s a great place to play. The team is super young, so I think that hurt us somewhat in terms of recruiting elite free agents in their prime” McDonough said when discussing the challenges of luring marquee free agents to Phoenix. “The two foundational pieces that we left there are 22 years old (Booker) and 20 (Ayton). I think free agents, especially veteran free agents like a LeBron James or LaMarcus Aldridge, look at it and say, ‘They’re a little ways away.’

“It is a challenge. There are unique challenges to every setup, every situation. The Suns have been a destination franchise in the past. I think, and hope, as Devin and Deandre and the rest of the young players improve, they will be again in the future.”

McDonough had his regrets as well.

“The biggest regret, I think, is how public some of the conflicts with the players became. I think the good organizations have historically handled that behind closed doors. And that’s not a shot at Phoenix — that’s more of a shot at me than anything. We could have done better internally, from ownership and the front office and our coaching staff in terms of communication with the players, and vice versa. If I do jump back in on the team side at some point, I’ll learn from that. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting over the last couple weeks, just thinking about how we can do better in that area going forward.”

McDonough also defended his decision to sign Trevor Ariza, another wing, instead of prioritizing a point guard during the offseason.

“We studied the final four teams in the league last year, and other than Cleveland with LeBron, if you look at Golden State, Houston, and Boston, they have a ton of interchangeable wing players” McDonough explained. “And a lot of times, they’ll have three or even four of them on the court at a time.

Ariza was an unrestricted free agent, he’s a West Coast guy, he had interest in coming to Phoenix, and we viewed his contract similar to how Philly viewed J.J. Redick‘s contract a year ago, where we can pay him a lot of money for one year [and] keep our future flexibility. … We thought Ariza would help us take a step from rebuilding to hopefully being playoff competitive. And then we could build from there, either with Ariza or with an elite free agent from the 2019 class.”

Brooklyn Nets

Nets to Re-Sign Alan Williams

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The Brooklyn Nets are bringing back veteran big man Alan Williams following his recent departure to join the Chinese Basketball Association.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Williams has decided to remain in the United States following complications that popped up during hit contract negotiations with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association.

Williams was having quite the season in the G League,
averaging 21.0 points per game and a league-leading 14.7 rebounds per contest.

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Boston Celtics

Celtics’ Kyrie Irving Credits Team Meeting for Spark

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The Boston Celtics have been on the upswing of late and Celtics’ guard Kyrie Irving is crediting a recent team meeting, following a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, as the catalyst for the turnaround.

The loss to Milwaukee back on December 21st was the Celtics’ 3rd in a row and dropped their record to 18-13 on the season.

“We could pinpoint a lot of turning points,” Irving said, according to Jay King of The Athletic.

“We just want to build that chemistry first. Just getting with one another (after the Bucks loss), really put everything out there and then move on from that point. At that point, playing against Milwaukee, we weren’t at rock bottom, but we needed to address some shit in this locker room. It’s just good to get stuff out in the air.”

Irving believes in this team’s chances this season, despite the early struggles.

“We’re not on a good team, we’re on a great one,” Irving said. “We have the talent to be great.”

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Los Angeles Clippers

Mark Jackson Believes Clippers Should Retire Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan Jerseys

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ESPN TV analyst Mark Jackson strongly believes that the Los Angeles Clippers need to honor former players Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan by retiring their jerseys when their respective careers come to the end.

Mark Jackson wants the Clippers to retire the jerseys of Blake Griffin, DeAandre Jordan, & Chris Paul… A troika who played 6 years together & never got past the 2nd round.— Justin Termine (@TermineRadio) January 10, 2019

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