McDonough Second in Executive of the Year Voting

Barry Gossage/NBAE

It took exactly one year for Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough to be considered an elite executive.

That much was evident in the voting for the 2013-14 Executive of the Year award. McDonough finished second thanks to five first-place votes and a total of 47 points, just 11 shy of San Antonio’s RC Buford.

McDonough, who was introduced as Phoenix's new general manager on May 7, 2013, wasted no time making his mark last summer. He executed a series of moves that helped the Suns go from 25 wins in 2012-13 to 48 this season, just a game out of the playoffs in the rugged Western Conference.

His list of transactions included:

  • Hiring Head Coach Jeff Hornacek, who coincidentally finished second in Coach of the Year voting
  • Drafting big man Alex Len fifth overall and trading up for talented guard Archie Goodwin in last year’s draft
  • Trading for guard Eric Bledsoe, who averaged 17.7 points, 5.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals in his first full season as a starter
  • Flipping veteran forward Caron Butler – who arrived in the trade with Bledsoe – for young spark-plug guard Ish Smith
  • Trading veteran forward Luis Scola to Indiana for sharp-shooter Gerald Green (fourth in Most Improved Player voting), starting center Miles Plumlee and a first-round draft pick
  • Trading Marcin Gortat, Shannon Brown and Kendall Marshall to Washington for another first-round pick while also clearing out playing time for players like Plumlee, Green, Smith and the Morris twins, all of whom enjoyed career years.

McDonough’s deft touch in the transaction department earned him the nickname “The Miracle Kid” from President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby, who credited his general manager and head coach for the team’s one-year turnaround.

“If you look around the league, there are probably only a handful of teams that are as well-positioned as we are for the future,” Babby said.