Phoenix Suns GM And Team Architect James Jones Wins NBA Executive Of Year Award

Phoenix Suns GM And Team Architect James Jones Wins NBA Executive Of Year Award

NBA executive Jones

Phoenix Suns general manager James Jones speaks to the media regarding the firing of Suns head coach Igor Kokoskov, Wednesday, April 24, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

James Jones, general manager and team architect of the Phoenix Suns pro basketball team, has won the 2020-21 NBA Basketball Executive of the Year Award, the NBA announced.

Jones received nine of the 30 first-place votes and earned 65 total points from the voting panel, which comprised one basketball executive from each of the 30 NBA teams. 

Utah Jazz Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Dennis Lindsey finished in second place with 61 points, including nine first-place votes. Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks finished third with five first-place votes.

The award came on the day the Phoenix Suns played their first Western Conference finals game in more than a decade, highlighting the positive impact of a series of moves that Jones has made since 2019 to get the Suns to the cusp of the NBA Finals.

Jones, a former NBA star with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat, made a number of smart moves since taking over as GM of the Phoenix Suns. These include hiring Monty Williams as coach, trading for and signing Cameron Johnson, and signing Cameron Payne.

Trading Chris Paul and bringing in Jae Crowder last offseason were game-changers that cemented the Suns as a serious contender.

When Jones stepped into the role of GM on a permanent basis in April 2019, the Suns were coming off a 19-63 season. Within two years, Jones is credited with having the team finishing at 51-21 and in their first playoff appearance since 2009-10.

The Phoenix Suns finished this season with the NBA’s second-best record and advanced past the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets in the first two rounds of the playoffs before hosting the LA Clippers in Game 1 of the West finals.

Rashad Phillips, a NBA prospect specialist and talk show host, tweeted that Jones @has pure basketball eyes”.

“Phoenix GM James Jones has pure basketball eyes. He put together a well oiled roster,” Phillips wrote on his Twitter handle @RP3natural. “His build out over the years was nothing short of brilliant. He made great draft picks despite the noise, hired the right coaches, and signed the right players.”

Troy Weaver, general manager for the Detroit Pistons, became the eighth current Black NBA GM in June 2020.

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