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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.”

Golden State Warriors

Jonas Jerebko Heading to Europe

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Jonas Jerebko

Former Golden State Warriors’ forward Jonas Jerebko is continuing his playing career in Europe this upcoming season.

According to Lithuanian basketball journalist Donatas Urbonos, Jerebko is close to sign with Khimki Moscow Region.

Jerebko averaged 6.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.3 assists last season with the Warriors, highlighted by some strong play during the playoffs.

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Los Angeles Lakers

Lance Stephenson to Play in China

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Former Los Angeles Lakers guard Lance Stephenson has inked a one-year, $4 million deal to play in China.

According to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, Stephenson has agreed to a one-year, $4 million deal to join the Liaoning Flying Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association.

Stephenson averaged 7.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists last season for the Lakers.

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Golden State Warriors

James McAdoo to Play in Turkey

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James McAdoo

Former Golden State Warriors forward James McAdoo is heading to Turkey to continue his playing career.

According to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando, McAdoo has signed with Turkish team Besiktas.

McAdoo entered the NBA has an undrafted talent back in 2014, spending his first three seasons with the Golden State Warriors, winning titles with the Dubs in 2015 and 2017.

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