A lot of NBA executives deserve credit for what has been an incredible season. But only one of them could win the prestigious NBA Executive of the Year award.
Jones kicked off the Suns’ 2020-21 offseason with a blockbuster trade, adding Chris Paul and Abdel Nader in a huge deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Paul went on to enjoy a renaissance year while rising stars Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton had some of the best years of their careers.
The end result was a 51-21 record, the No. 2 seed in the West, and the end of Phoenix’s 10-year playoff drought. They followed that up by beating the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of playoffs and swept the Nikola Jokic-led Denver Nuggets in the Conference Semifinals.
Phoenix Suns GM James Jones has won the 2020-21 NBA Executive of the Year award.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 20, 2021
As a player, James Jones enjoyed 14 seasons as a small forward for the Indiana Pacers, Suns, Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers. Playing alongside LeBron James, he won three NBA titles with the Heat and Cavs before his final season.
James Jones joined the Phoenix Suns front office in 2017, ending NBA playing career. Just over a year later, he was named interim general manager for the 2018-19 season.
Jones was named full general manager during the season but endured two straight losing seasons. But the ownership maintained confidence in him, and the results speak for themselves.
The Phoenix Suns are now four wins away from their first trip to the NBA finals since 1993. And they have James Jones to thank for assembling this terrific team.