The Phoenix Suns would ideally be naming a new GM any day now. Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby wants to have someone in place before next week's NBA Draft Combine.
According to Paul Coro, he's down to two candidates: Bucks' Assistant GM Jeff Weltman, who was a finalist and reportedly Babby's preference in 2010, and Celtics' Assistant GM Ryan McDonough. Coro never writes anything without quality sourcing, so this is a good sign for those Suns fans who want the next Presti.
McDonough, a Boston-area native, got his start in the Celtics' video department and then scouted locally and abroad before becoming the assistant GM. His background is more in the mold of a Sam Presti, the Oklahoma City GM who was groomed in the San Antonio front office. McDonough does not have a player's background but has shown acumen for the advanced metrics that the Suns want to emphasize after making investments toward that in the past year. He is known for his work ethic and his parts in drafting Avery Bradley and making a draft-day trade with the Suns to get Rajon Rondo.
Suns fans want the next Sam Presti, but let's remember that there's only one Presti and for every Presti there's a lot of guys riding coattails that can't hang in the real job (like, ahem, the last guy we had).
McDonough clearly has a good resume, but he wasn't Boston's trigger man any more than Weltman has been Milwaukee's or Lance Blanks in San Antonio or Cleveland.
Still, these are two really good finalists. Either of them will start the Suns back up the hill from the valley they are currently mired in.