Coming off a season in which the Phoenix Suns remained in the NBA cellar with a pedestrian 19-63 record, there is still some silver lining to be found.
Following a successful trade deadline and an overall improved roster heading into the offseason, it was clear interim GM James Jones had done a fine job navigating a disastrous season, despite their record showing otherwise. According to The Vertical’s Shams Charania, the Suns plan on promoting Jones to full-time GM instead of in an interim capacity.
The Phoenix Suns have named James Jones as the general manager. Jones has been the interim GM.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 11, 2019
Yes, the Suns have a ways to go before they even become a winning team, but locking up James Jones as their long-term GM is a much-needed first step in the right direction. Jones was named the interim GM following the firing of Ryan McDonough before the season’s commencement. Building a sturdy foundation is integral towards a team’s success and this season was the first step towards that for Jones and the Suns.
Even though a last-place finish in an impossibly tough Western Conference is far from where they want to be, Jones did some good things as GM this season. The trade deadline in particular was productive as Jones orchestrated trades for young role players Tyler Johnson and Kelly Oubre Jr. Oubre has blossomed into a star on the Suns and will be one of Jones’ priorities this summer as he heads into restricted free agency.
Still, a daunting task lies ahead for James Jones. Now as one of the youngest GMs in the league, Jones will have to make Phoenix a relevant team in the West again which is no simple task. Sure they have a building block in Devin Booker and some other young pieces, but the Suns still have a long way to go before actually being able to compete.