The Suns have officially given general manager James Jones a new title — that of president of basketball operations.
Usually, these types of promotions come with a pay raise, and more than anything, reaffirm the Suns’ faith in the man in charge of putting together the roster and hiring the coach.
Jones, 42, was hired as Suns GM in 2019, just two years after his playing career had ended. He quickly fired then-coach Igor Kokoskov after one season, hiring fellow former NBA forward Monty Williams as the replacement.
As for the roster, Jones’ most notable move may have come in November 2020, when he traded Kelly Oubre Jr., Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque, and a protected 2022 first-round pick to the Thunder in a deal that landed All-Star point guard Chris Paul. The Suns made a run to the Finals that very season.
OFFICIAL: James Jones has been promoted to President of Basketball Operations and General Manager for the Phoenix Suns.
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) November 28, 2022
“In the nearly 15 years I have known James, he has excelled in every role he performed, from player to NBPA Treasurer to his roles in our front office, most recently as general manager,” Suns interim owner Sam Garvin said in a statement. “James has the unique ability to create and lead high-performing teams in basketball operations and his commitment to collaborating with our business side, including at the C-level with partners like PayPal and Verizon, is second to none.
“We are fortunate for his contributions across the organization and this promotion recognizes his commitment to excellence.”
Jones played in the NBA from 2003-17, mostly as a perimeter shooter for hire off the bench, quickly becoming one of LeBron James‘ favorite teammates, both with the Heat and then later the Cavaliers.
Jones and James won two titles together with the Heat, then another with the Cavs.
“I am grateful for the privilege to work with and support the players, staff and employees of the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury,” Jones said in the statement. “The collective efforts of our business and basketball operations have allowed us to provide an amazing atmosphere and best-in-class experience for our fans and community. I remain excited about and dedicated to driving success for our Teams on and off the court.”
First time I met James Jones was in Barnes & Noble in my hometown of Akron, Ohio. That was back in my days as a Cavs beat writer. He had just signed with team and was carrying stack of books, asked for recommendations. Since then, I’m pretty sure we’ve never talked 🏀. Great guy.
— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) November 28, 2022