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Suns GM James Jones added proven, productive players in offseason

(AP Photo/Matt York)

It’s safe to say James Jones got what he wanted on his offseason shopping list.

The Phoenix Suns general manager reiterated Monday he’s been clear about the types of players he wants in the Valley, and apparently, marquee sales jobs weren’t required to get ’em.

“The guys that we added this offseason wanted to be in Phoenix,” he said. “There wasn’t a lot of convincing that I had to do. They’ve seen the work that coach Monty and his staff put in, they’ve seen the progressions for Devin and the rest of our group and they wanted to be a part of it.”

In come Chris Paul, Jae Crowder, E’Twaun Moore and Langston Galloway, established veterans that play the way Jones desires.

More specifically, when speaking on the Moore and Galloway additions to the guard rotation, Jones said the focus was being able to trust their NBA resumes.

“I’m expecting those guys to be who they’ve been,” he said. “They’ve been contributors on some good teams, they’ve been consistent contributors, but most importantly, they’re shooters.

“We wanted to add some depth on the perimeter knowing that with Chris and Devin (Booker) drawing a lot of attention going into the season, that there’d be opportunities for guys to come in and step in and make big plays. And we wanted guys that wouldn’t be afraid of the moment and that have proven that they can make big plays when it matters.”

By bringing back restricted free agents Dario Saric and Jevon Carter, acquiring wing Abdel Nader in the Paul trade and drafting Maryland big Jalen Smith in the lottery, Jones has formed a group that’s 13 players deep of guys that could realistically be expected to play minutes.

While he got his type of guys, Jones also sees variety within his roster construction.

“There’s not a lot of redundancy,” he said. “Our guys have similar traits and similar skills, but they’re all independent. They all have their lane.”

The Suns aim to not only ramp up a competitive training camp over the next two weeks leading into the preseason but also competitive practices all season.

Jones wasn’t willing to declare much on who is favored on a projected rotational depth chart, such as the returning Cameron Payne for backup point guard.

“I’ll let it settle. Position battles will determine all that,” he said.

The contributions as a whole will be about complementing his All-Star backcourt.

“It’s gonna happen by committee. Outside of Devin and Chris, the rest of our team, these guys are fighting to establish an NBA identity,” Jones said. “They’ve had some NBA success but they haven’t established an NBA identity. And my hope is that by committee we can establish a collective identity that supports those two guys.”

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