Arizona Sports: McDonough on Booker, Bogdanovic

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by Matt Petersen

Did he know Devin Booker would be this good?

That question was posed to Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough this week during his weekly appearance on the Burns & Gambo Show of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. It was a fair question, especially after the month Booker just enjoyed. The youngest player in the league averaged 22.4 points in March, the top mark among all rookies.

McDonough could have looked prophetic in hindsight. Instead, he joined the rest of the NBA's onlookers in simply admiring Booker's early body of work.

"I think anybody who would say that they thought Devin would be this good this early in his career would be stretching the truth," McDonough said. "We thought he had a lot of potential. We loved his character and work ethic, his size and his shooting ability stood out. I think sometimes when you're on a team with a lot of talent like Devin was at Kentucky, all that talent can do one of two things: it can mask some of your deficiencies if you do lack in some areas. I think in Devin's case, it was the opposite of that.

"Did we think Devin would be setting records and putting up numbers," McDonough continued, "with some of the great players in the history of the game at 19 years old in his rookie year? No. I don't think any of us could have anticipated that."

Speaking of anticipation, the buzz has been building around 2014 first-round pick Bogdan Bogdanovic, whose star has been rising steadily while playing overseas. The Serbian swingman has earned multiple awards and played in meaningful tournament games for his professional team, Fenerbahce Ulker, as well his his national team.

Phoenix will look into the possibility of putting the 6-6 guard in a Suns uniform soon, both to gauge his interest as well as to properly prepare for this summer's NBA Draft.

"We're going to go meet with Bogdan after the season," McDonough said. "He does have ways to get out of his contract with Fenerbahce and come to the NBA. We'll present a plan for him about how we envision his role with the Suns."

"I think the exciting part for us," McDonough added, "is that he has produced at a high level in Europe and also at the World Championships...He does have a very high level of experience. In terms of coming to the NBA, he'd obviously be a rookie by NBA standards, but if we are able to bring him over this year -- which we'd like to do if we can -- then at 24 years old, we think he'd be one of the more ready-made guys to plug in and be able to hopefully play right away."

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