Phoenix Suns Building Brain Trust - Connelly, Lester, Kovacic added

Phoenix Suns GM Ryan McDonough wanted a small front office who could scout all the pockets of NBA talent - college, pro, international - and he has built a staff prepared to do just that.

New General Manager Ryan McDonough and President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby have surrounded themselves with some very smart, skilled and experienced folks to help lead the Suns into the next era.

Pat Connelly has been named Assistant General Manager after seven years with the Washington Wizards. His most recent position with the Wizards was Director of Player Personnel. Connelly's path has been similar to McDonough's, working up through the ranks of the Wizards organization from video coordinator.

"Connelly is very well respected," said a long time NBA scout about Connelly joining the Suns. "He definitely fits the mold of what McDonough has described as an evaluator who can do pro, int'l and college scouting."

Ronnie Lester has been added as a scout. Lester last worked in the Lakers' organization for 24 years, most recently as Assistant GM to Mitch Kupchak when they built the latest title winning team. His contract, along with those of 20 other Laker staffers, was not renewed at the end the of the 2011 season when the NBA lockout occurred.

"Both excellent hires," said the scout of Lester and Connelly. "These are experienced guys who have done the job before."

The Suns also named Emilio Kovacic to the position of International Scouting Consultant. Kovacic's last position was European General Manager of Synergy Sports Techonology, a scouting service used by all NBA teams, after a long European basketball career. Long time Suns fans might remember Kovacic from the Suns' 1992 summer league squad. Kovacic also played at Grand Canyon Community College for Paul Westphal in 1988 when they won the NAIA Championship together.

The three new additions supplement the incumbent staff from last season.

Trevor Buckstein, formerly Director of Basketball Administration, was promoted to Assistant General Manager. Trevor worked the last three years in a basketball administration role (CBA interpretation and application, cap management and trade and contract negotiations).

John Treloar will remain the team's Director of Player Personnel, while John Shumate and Bubba Burrage remain as scouts.

Lon Babby oversees the entire staff as President of Basketball Operations.

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