Phoenix Suns extend contract of general manager James Jones

Jan 25, 2022, 9:56 AM

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)

The Phoenix Suns have extended the contract of general manager James Jones, the team announced on Tuesday.

“It’s a privilege to support our Suns and Mercury players, staff, employees and our fans,” Jones said in a press release. “The Valley is a special place and I’m excited for the future.”

Jones took over for former GM Ryan McDonough at the start of the 2018-19 season with former head coach Igor Kokoskov at the helm.

Since then, Jones has hired head coach Monty Williams and acquired the likes of Chris Paul, Jae Crowder, Cam Payne, Dario Saric, JaVale McGee, Bismack Biyombo and Landry Shamet via free agency or trade.

He drafted Jalen Smith in 2020 and traded for Cam Johnson during the 2019 NBA Draft. Jones was also the team’s vice president of basketball operations when Phoenix took Deandre Ayton No. 1 overall out of Arizona in 2018.

The former Suns player and current GM was named the 2020-21 NBA Executive of the Year after Phoenix not only broke a 10-year playoff drought, but returned to the NBA Finals for just the third time in franchise history and first time since 1993.

And since the 8-0 run in “The Bubble” in 2020, Phoenix boasts the NBA’s best regular-season record at 96-30 (.762).

Jones’ best season as general manager might be the one the Suns are currently playing in.

The Valley’s oldest professional sports franchise sits atop the NBA standings at 37-9, highlighted by a franchise-record 18-game winning streak.

Phoenix was the first team to reach 30 wins this season and is still the only squad yet to reach double digits in the loss column.

“We’re fortunate to have a great basketball mind leading this team,” Suns owner Robert Sarver said in the release. “James not only has tremendous instinct for identifying talent, but he has an innate ability to compose a roster that is deep with complementary players who make each other better, on and off the court.

“He came in with strongly-held beliefs on what it would take to nurture a championship culture and what it should mean to wear a Suns jersey. We promised fans an elite NBA franchise that would steal their hearts and make them proud and that’s what we have built under James’ leadership.”

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