James Jones on Suns’ failed 3-way trade, new addition Oubre

Dec 19, 2018, 3:34 PM | Updated: 4:00 pm
Phoenix Suns Vice President of Basketball Operations James Jones does an interview with The Doug &a...
Phoenix Suns Vice President of Basketball Operations James Jones does an interview with The Doug & Wolf Show on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (Matt Layman/Arizona Sports)
(Matt Layman/Arizona Sports)

Phoenix Suns co-interim general manager James Jones could spend the next two decades in an NBA front office and he would likely never find himself in another situation like he was on Friday night.

In a three-team deal involving the Suns, Washington Wizards and Memphis Grizzlies, a misunderstanding between the Suns and Grizzlies over which player with the last name Brooks — Dillon or MarShon — made the deal fall apart.

Jones revisited the talks on Wednesday with 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo.

“It was pretty straightforward for us,” he said. “We knew that the player we were targeting was Dillon (Brooks), somehow at some point that became miscommunicated and ultimately the team that had control on whether or not Dillon was actually a part of the trade, chose not to include him.”

With that deal collapsing, Wizards wing Kelly Oubre Jr. was already involved in the three-team talks heading to Memphis. The next morning, the Suns agreed to acquire Oubre and recently waived guard Austin Rivers from Washington for Trevor Ariza.

As for how the Suns arrived at that point when Oubre was originally in the proposed three-team deal, Jones noted that Oubre’s price tag in a trade was “too rich.” He cited the two second-round picks, one being conditional, that Memphis was giving up in that deal. In the final trade that landed Oubre, the Suns did not include any picks.

Jones digs the way Oubre plays.

“Defensively, you can see his potential,” he said. “In transition, you can just see that he plays at a different speed, at a different burst.”

After all the hoopla, the Suns got their man.

“We got what we wanted,” Jones said of the return for Ariza. “We were looking for a young wing that could fit with our current group to replace Trevor and we got that in Kelly.”

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