Three finalists have emerged for the Phoenix Suns' general manager's job, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The Suns plan to have completed interviews with Boston assistant general manager Ryan McDonough, Milwaukee assistant GM Jeff Weltman and San Antonio Spurs assistant GM Scott Layden soon, sources said.
McDonough interviewed with Suns president Lon Babby and owner Robert Sarver on Tuesday, sources said. Weltman is expected to meet with them on Thursday, sources said.
Suns president Lon Babby is presiding over the search to replace the recently fired Lance Blanks. Phoenix wants to move quickly on the GM hire, so that the new executive can start the franchise's coaching search and preparation for the NBA draft in June.
Sarver was a primary proponent of choosing Blanks over Weltman two years ago, sources said. Babby was a strong advocate for Weltman's candidacy, and that has made many in the league consider Weltman a strong favorite this time.
Weltman has history in the front offices of the Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets and Detroit Pistons.
McDonough's pedigree with the Celtics also is impressive to the Suns. He was a driving force in the drafting of guards Rajon Rondo (No. 21 in 2006) and Avery Bradley (No. 19 in 2010), and has been given considerable responsibility within the Celtics as the top assistant to general manager Danny Ainge.
Layden has been a GM for the Utah Jazz and New York Knicks. After returning as an assistant coach with the Jazz, Layden was hired as San Antonio's assistant GM a year ago. For seven years in the 1990s – which included five 50-victory seasons – Layden was the Jazz's top basketball executive and won the NBA's executive of the year award for the 1994-95 season.
As Knicks president and GM for four-plus years, the franchise made the playoffs twice, including a run to the Eastern Conference finals in 2000.
Spurs president R.C. Buford has appreciated having Layden on his staff.
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