Danny Ainge had been joking the Celtics won’t suffer in the upcoming draft for the loss of Ryan McDonough to the Suns, because “I have Ryan’s brain waves.”

The new Phoenix general manager laughed, but he went on to suggest there is truth within the humor.

“That was, I think, one of the reasons Danny and I worked so well together,” said McDonough, who worked his way through the Celtics organization to become Ainge’s top lieutenant. “We did agree on a lot of players. It was kind of weird.

“We didn’t agree just to agree. One of us would say, ‘You know who I really like?’ And almost without fail, the other guy would say a name, and the other would be like, ‘Geez, how did you know that?’ I learned a lot from him. I obviously only have a fraction of his experience and knowledge, but I think that’s why we worked so well together.”

And he agrees that he’s already made a heavy contribution to the Celtics’ preparation for the June 27 draft.

“Yeah, especially because we’re now in May,” McDonough said. “I’ve been working for him all year, so he does know how I feel about a lot of the players.

“And the good thing is we’re not really in the same range in the draft. We’ll be drafting 1 through 7, depending on how the lottery balls go. The Celtics are at 16, and then we don’t come back again until we have a second first round pick at 30. We’re obviously out looking at all the same players, but I guess we’re at different tiers.”

And if McDonough can help the Celtics without hurting his new team, well, that’s probably something he’d consider. At least that’s the impression when hearing him talk about the opportunity he was given with the Celts — his home team.

“Danny was great to me,” McDonough said. “I started in the video room and worked my way up. I went from video scouting to local scouting, driving around to games at Boston College, Providence and UConn. Then I started going out to conference tournaments and scouting some games nationally.