Everyone has a "wish list" around Christmas time which children often write out in their letters to Santa. If you were to write your own letter to Santa, what would you ask for? And just what might Phoenix Suns GM Ryan McDonough ask for in his letter to Santa?
That's the question that's been on the minds of our staff and the Fantable members and we've decided to share our thoughts on the subject with you.
Simply put, McDonough's Christmas list and letter to Santa himself should be a few pages long.
If I was in general manager Ryan McDonough's shoes at the moment, you have to re-analyze this roster from top to bottom. After that's done, he would quickly realize that this team needs a long-term point guard and center in the fold by this summer. Also, if you can kill two birds with one stone here, a top-notch scorer to pair alongside Devin Booker needs to be the next step.
With that being said, who fits the billing? Well, if we are looking at the draft, Missouri wing Michael Porter Jr. and Oklahoma point guard Trae Young seem to be preferred, but prospects like Luka Doncic or Deandre Ayton could swing the pendulum for Phoenix in such a positive way it wouldn't matter.
For this, though, lets say Porter Jr. is avoided with Josh Jackson and T.J. Warren already in the fold. Now, for me, it's down to Doncic and Young if they want to go the draft route of finding Booker's backcourt partner.
When examining free agency, the point guard class is pretty average headlined by veteran Rajon Rondo, so obtaining a 1 in June should be the top priority on his Christmas list.
The next item has to be a veteran big man then if Doncic or Young is the point guard. With either of those guys, you need to have a defensive presence to mask their negative defensive warts. Okay, maybe not a defensive prize because DeMarcus Cousins would be an unrestricted free agent but after his best friend, Eric Bledsoe, went through that ordeal with Phoenix I doubt he would want to come here regardless of the roster.
Now, that leaves DeAndre Jordan and Clint Capela as possible bigs you target this summer. Jordan will be 30 while Capela would be only 24 at the start of the 2018-2019 season. Honestly, if Bender proves to be a legitimate long-term option at the 4, I'm pretty comfortable obtaining either of these players if the trade market for a star big isn't there.
That leaves my roster tinkering with this, while adding quality veterans via trade and or free agency to fill out the league's youngest roster in 2017.
Here's my projected depth chart if this is what happens:
PG: Doncic/Young, Ulis, Canaan/Vet PG
SG: Booker, Reed, Daniels
SF: Jackson, Warren, Vet SF / floor spacer
PF: Bender, Chriss, Dudley
C: Capela/Jordan, Len? (I could easily see him getting big money from a team like Brooklyn this summer and taking that to be a guaranteed starter next season), Williams
That's definitely only one option that McDonough could take, but I like that roster's chances of making a playoff push next season if that's the case.
A trade to acquire a star or a top prospect seems like the best option to take this team higher, but if this is how it went I wouldn't be opposed to it.
Remember, 2020 was the goal for Robert Sarver, McDonough and Co. to reach the playoffs. With this type of roster in tow by September 2018, I would put some pretty good odds on Phoenix sliding into the 8th seed or at least making a heavy push if their young talent continues to take steps forward consistently.
#TheTimeline, however it ends, needs to work.
Sun-Arc: I, Ryan McDonough, being of sound mind and body, do hereby wish for…
- For fans to gain and hold the patience of Persephone. I’m learning on the job and, seemingly, a slow learner. And, in some cases, a really slow learner. And sometimes not learning at all. So, on second thought, maybe its better just to have one of those eye-flash memory-eraser gizmos they had in Men In Black. Yeah - give me a giant one of those.
- For players that play really well and yet don’t get all bitter when they don’t get what they want. Though, maybe the gizmo in #1 will work for this too.
- For other GM’s to bend to my will and allow me to make the easy trades I envision. Hmmm, maybe #1 works on this as well. Do they work over the phone? Man, I hope so. I’m-a gonna trade Brandon Knight for John Wall!
- For the Suns to get the bloody #1 pick for once and the Lakers to get bupkis, the bastards. (You do give them coal every year for Christmas, right?) If I had #1 gizmo and could flash it at just the right time I might be able to change the ping pong ball results. That wouldn’t bump me down a notch on your naughty list next year, would it?
- For Lebron James to sign with us - this time for real! Negotiations will be different this time. Dammit, screw James Jones, I’m going to bring Will Smith to come along with me and ensure we use the eye-flash gizmo the right way!
Patient fans, happy players, John Wall, LBJ, and the #1 pick… championship here we come! Happy Hanukkah, Santa. And I mean that because I assume you are Jewish - just like Jesus. Because, I mean, you have to be part Jesus, right? Wait... did I just mistreat you? I hope not. I can never tell.
I wrote you, but GMs still ain’t callin’. I left my cell, my e-mail, and my work phone at the bottom. I sent two letters back in autumn; you must not’ve got ‘em. There probably was a problem at the North Pole or somethin’. Sometimes I scribble addresses too sloppy when I jot ‘em. But anyways, forget it. What’s been up, man? How is Donner?
My team’s not too good, it’s like a smokin’ crater. If I could have a trade, guess what I’ma trade for? I’ma trade for Curry.
I know you got a lotta worry, too, I’m sorry. But it just might be my job this summer if you don’t hurry.
I know you probably hear this every day, but I need a superstar. I’ll even scout him on VHS if you bring me a VCR. I got a room full of stockings and a cookie jar, and you can take ‘em all back with you, too, if that’s okay.
Anyways, I hope I get a star. On Christmas Day. You’ll be bae.
Truly yours, your biggest fan,
This is Ryan
All I want for Christmas is my two All-Stars. My two All-Staaaarrrs. My two All-Stars. All I want for Christmas is — gall dangit I been singing this song for four years now and I haven’t gotten anything! I mean, I got a beautiful wife now and incredible kid. But I want my All Stars, Santa! And I want them noooowwwww.
Your bud Ry-ry
I've been a good boy this year, despite what you might read on Bright Side of the Sun. So with that in mind, this is what I would like for Christmas:
1. A good public relations opportunity. It would really be great if a Sun or a former Sun could be filled with the holiday spirit and say something about how great I am to work for. I'm so tired of people thinking I'm not a good boss. I try really hard!
2. A good coach who wants to work here. I like Jay Triano, but our team is still bad and I really need to get this next coaching hire right after what happened last time. Do you think you could stuff someone like Jeff Van Gundy in a bag and put him under my tree? That would be really swell.
3. Some new draft picks. I don't want to seem greedy. I know there are starving children around the world with no draft picks, and I've had so many. But they make me really happy, I love having them. Is there any way you could bring me more?
So that's my list, Santa, I hope it isn't asking too much.
Will McDonough's son, Ryan.
Dear Santa (from Will McDonough’s son),
I’ve been a really good boy this year. I sat my best player for the final 2 months of last season and tanked to the second worst record in the league! It’s okay that we didn’t get the top pick, because tanking never ends! I then proceeded to call my best player a liar on a radio show. I know you are proud of me for speaking the truth. What NBA player goes to a hair salon, even if his wife worked there! It’s okay because I turned Eric Bledsoe into a 2020 1st round pick in the 20-30 range. Isn’t that amazing, another pick! Santa, because I have been a really good boy this year I made a wish list of things I want for Christmas:
- 1) A gigantic, beautiful tank!
- 2) I need a hitman to “take care” of Isaiah Canaan. The dude wins too much!
- 3) More G-leaguers please. I gobble them up so quickly because they taste so good!
- 4) 3 All-Star point guards please. The process of upsetting and dumping each one for picks so we can tank gives me such a rush.
- 5) A speedy recovery for Brandon Knight. I traded the Lakers pick for this stud. I need him to be healthy so he can deliver us a championship next year.
- 6) Give me Earl Watson back. I miss the love he expressed for me every morning and every night. I knew everything was going to be ok after we dropped to the 4th pick because of the brotherly love Earl and I shared. Just look at how powerful that love was the first 3 games of this season! Historic tanking!
- 7) My own radio show to talk about my players daily. Calling Bledsoe a liar and Marquese fat is not enough. I NEED to talk about Devin Booker’s hair and Dudley’s dad-bod! I think I’ll call the show McDonough’s McNuggets because I’ll be dropping fire nuggets of information throughout.
I don’t need much this holiday. I’m mostly happy with the team I’ve built. I’ve even narrowed it down to three big ones for you, to make it real easy.
- A clean cap: Please just get rid of Tyson Chandler’s and Brandon Knight’s contracts for me, Saint Nick. You’d turn a lot of naughty Suns fans into nice ones.
- A disgruntled star: So, we missed out on Kyrie Irving. And LaMarcus Aldridge. And who knows how many others. But with the Celtics’ barrel all tapped, we’re suddenly the team most equipped to make a deal. However, the Pelicans seem mostly happy and no one else is causing a fuss.
- Ping pong balls: It’s about time we won the damn lottery, Santa.
I know I haven't been the best general manager this year. I've pissed off fans, upset the team's best player from last year, talked trash about him on the way out, and didn't really do anything to improve a 24 win team from last year. The only positives that my team is seeing are players that are accidentally better than I planned on them being.
That said, I do have a wish list I'd like you to consider.
1. Please make Isaiah Canaan stop looking like a legit NBA point guard. The team isn't supposed to have one of those. I don't like it.
2. Please make Troy Daniels forget how to shoot 3's. What the hell man!? We're trying to tank here!
3. Please have an injured superstar become available at the trade deadline for a package not including our first round pick, so I can trade for him and not actually improve the team this season or lessen our lottery ball odds.
4. Please make Suns fans continue to be satisfied with the team winning one out of every three or so games.
5. Please bring me a magical crystal ball that allows me to pick a player that will actually live up to his draft position.
6. Please replace all the #SarverOut billboards around town with #McLovinTheDonough ones.
Will McDonough's son
Rod Argent: There are a lot of things that Ryan could put on his Christmas wish list but whatever he asks Santa for, we should all hope that his Christmas wishes are BIG wishes... and that Santa has him on his "nice" rather than his "naughty" list.
From all of us to all of you, have a wonderful Holiday Season!