Amico: A look at possible candidates for Suns’ GM role

Former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin spent 17 years with working for the Suns.

For some strange reason, the Phoenix Suns decided to fire general manager Ryan McDonough nine days before the season-opener.

Vice-president of basketball operations James Jones and assistant GM Trevor Bukstein are acting as interim co-GMs at the moment.

All that aside, here’s a look at some potential candidates for the gig:

James Jones

The former NBA sharpshooter and seven-time Finalist is highly thought of in NBA circles, especially among the players. That can only help when it comes to signing free agents.

But Jones is a lot more than likable. He’s highly intelligent, well-read and as a former player representative, knows how to handle negotiations.

Some around the league already think Jones has the inside track on the position.

David Griffin

The first (and only) GM of a championship team in Cleveland pro basketball history, Griffin is a native of Phoenix and spent 17 years in the Suns’ front office. That included three as the team’s vice president of basketball operations.

That said, Griffin interviewed with the New York Knicks and talked with the Philadelphia 76ers about their vacancies this past offseason, reportedly indicating both times he wanted final say on all personnel decisions. That didn’t fly in either of those places and it’s even less likely to fly under hands-on Suns owner Robert Sarver.

Kevin McHale

The former Minnesota Timberwolves executive and head coach was mentioned as a possibility by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

McHale also served as head coach of the Houston Rockets and is now keeping himself on the league’s radar by working as an analyst on NBA TV and TNT.

While McHale has no ties to the Suns, he is supposedly looking to get back into a front-office role with a team.

Sam Hinkie

The man who made “Trust the Process” a thing as GM with the Philadelphia 76ers is still viewed in a positive light around the league.

And perhaps rightfully so. The Sixers are now considered an Eastern Conference contender thanks to some of Hinkie’s moves — such as hiring coach Brett Brown, drafting center Joel Embiid and signing forward Robert Covington.

Mike Zarren

He may not necessarily be a household name, but Zarren is second in command under Boston Celtics president/GM Danny Ainge.

Before that, Zarren was just a regular Joe. He grew up loving the Celtics as a fan, and went from season-ticket holder to unpaid intern. The Celtics media guide now describes him “as one of the leaders in the field of advanced statistical analysis,” meaning Zarren is the Celtics’ salary-cap expert.

Others to watch

Golden State Warriors director of player personnel Larry Harris; former Suns guard and current Grand Canyon University coach Dan Majerle; Miami Heat general manager Andy Elisburg; Washington Wizards senior vice president Tommy Sheppard; and Suns assistant GM Trevor Bucksetin.

1 Comment on "Amico: A look at possible candidates for Suns’ GM role"

  1. It hard to judge David Griffin. The LeBron effect is real GMs, coaches and players have to change to fit his needs. Would Thompson, JR and Shump get untradeable deals if not for LeBron? Then there is the Korver trade he trade top 10 protected pick for Korver knowing Lebron is signing 1yr deals and Cavs maybe well be in the lottery if he leaves. He traded what could turn out to be a lottery pick (11-14) for a 34 yr old. He did make some nice trades. And yes the Cavs did win a Chip.

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