How former Suns GM built team with Warriors' dynasty in mind

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How former Suns GM built team with Warriors' dynasty in mind originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night punched their ticket to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1993.

The franchise's former general manager, Ryan McDonough, drafted Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton, and then traded for Mikal Bridges shortly after the forward was selected 10th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2018.

"We had high hopes for those three guys," McDonough said Wednesday on 95.7 The Game's "Damon, Ratto & Kolsky" show. "Devin Booker's ascension starting the second half of his rookie year surprised us just how quickly he got good individually even when the team really struggled and we were going through a full-blown rebuild.

"I've said this before guys and I'll say it again -- a big part of the reason, maybe the biggest part of the reason, we did that is because the team in your backyard was so good that I didn't see any way we could beat them. So we tried to build the team and its window beyond the great Warriors run [to five straight NBA Finals].

"And it looks like they've made some good moves since I left and that's starting to pay off."

The Suns have made some fantastic moves since McDonough was fired in early October 2018, and that's why the man who replaced him -- James Jones -- recently was named NBA Executive of the Year.

But it's fair to say that McDonough deserves some credit for the Suns advancing to basketball's biggest stage.

RELATED: Why Scalabrine believes Warriors should explore Wiseman trade

Now it's the Warriors who will be aiming to dethrone Phoenix next season, as they fully believe their run with the core of Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson is far from over.

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Let's just hope for better health across the board in 2021-22.

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