James Jones excited for the support, direction Mat Ishbia will bring to Suns

Jan 25, 2023, 4:59 PM | Updated: 5:04 pm

General manager, James Jones of the Phoenix Suns before Game One of the Western Conference Second R...

General manager, James Jones of the Phoenix Suns before Game One of the Western Conference Second Round NBA Playoffs at Footprint Center on May 02, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns are inching closer and closer to the official tipoff to the Mat Ishbia era.

After agreeing to buy the Suns and Phoenix Mercury from previous owner Robert Sarver last December, there is a light at the end of the transferring-of-power tunnel, with the league expected to approve the sale of the teams before the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 9.

And with a Suns team still trying to unload Jae Crowder via trade and jostling for position in a tight Western Conference playoff picture, having Ishbia in the mix to help facilitate any upcoming moves is a big boost for the general manager James Jones and Co.

“It’s beneficial for us. I think everyone involved would want that to be finalized by then,” Jones told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Wednesday. “It’s a process the NBA oversees, but if I was buying a team — especially a team like this and given where we are — I’d be excited about being onboard before the trade deadline.”

And while Jones and the rest of the organization awaits the transition to Ishbia, that hasn’t stopped the GM and owner from conversing in some capacity.

Those macro-level talks haven’t dived into the nitty gritty around the team, but more so about what they want the Suns to stand for and focusing on the ultimate task at hand of winning a championship.

Once final, Jones expects the duo to have much more detailed discussions on what lies ahead for the organization.

And above all else, Jones is amped to have the added support and direction Ishbia will bring to the table.

“My conversations with Mat have been fleeting, but overall, I know he’s excited about being a part of this and pushing us in another direction,” Jones said. “I’m excited and I know our fanbase and players can’t wait for that day.”

“It’s not lost on me that the Suns … are an entity,” the GM added. “It’s the Suns and Mercury. It’s the entire operation, so strategic direction, it helps. I know he’s committed to doing that in a big way, so I’m excited for that to actually come to fruition.”

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