PHOENIX SUNS

Suns’ GM James Jones wins NBA Executive of the Year award

Jun 20, 2021, 1:01 PM | Updated: 7:44 pm

General manager James Jones of the Phoenix Suns watches warm-ups to Game One of the Western Confere...

General manager James Jones of the Phoenix Suns watches warm-ups to Game One of the Western Conference first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns Arena on May 23, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona.(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns general manager James Jones has won the 2020-21 NBA Executive of the Year award.

Suns owner Robert Sarver and Jones’ children presented the award to him before Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals between the Suns and Los Angeles Clippers.

Before Jones became the permanent general manager prior to the 2019-20 season, the franchise went four straight seasons without surpassing 25 wins.

In a pandemic-interrupted 2019-20 season, Jones’ first year after he was promoted from interim GM in Phoenix, the Suns went 34-39 and that came thanks to an 8-0 run in the Disney World bubble to finish the year.

Then came the increase to 51 wins in a 72-game season, as continuity, internal development and the acquisition of All-Star guard Chris Paul paid off.

Jones also made deals to acquire Dario Saric and Torrey Craig, plus drafted Cam Johnson and signed free agents like Jae Crowder.

Phoenix won its first Pacific Division title since 2007 this year and was one of four teams that finished the season in the top-10 of both offensive and defensive ratings.

Jones and Utah’s Dennis Lindsey finished with the most first place votes as both executives ended with nine votes.

The Suns GM ended with a total of 65 votes.

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