GM James Jones, Suns Agree to New Multiyear Contract; PHX Holds NBA's Best Record

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 25, 2022

PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 30: General Manager James Jonesof the Phoenix Suns speaks during media day on September 30, 2019 at Talking Stick Resort Arena 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Barry Gossage NBAE via Getty Images)
Barry Gossage NBAE via Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns agreed to a multiyear extension with general manager James Jones.

Jones confirmed the new deal to The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears:

"I'm just fortunate and I'm extremely grateful to be a part of it. It's more than I could have ever dreamed of to be a part of a team like this, some of the best professionals across sports. And to have the success that we're having, it's so much fun. When you step into this job, you never really know what it’ll be like, you hear stories about what it looks like, what the profession looks like, and the arc of a career in the front office or in an organization."

The Suns reached the NBA Finals last year and own the NBA's best record (37-9) this season.

Jones took over as GM in April 2019. He had already been serving as Phoenix's vice president of basketball operations.

During his tenure as the head of the front office, the 41-year-old has executed a number of moves to transform a franchise that had grown stagnant on the court and dysfunctional off it.

Firing Igor Kokoskov after only one season was Jones' first big move, and he subsequently hired Monty Williams as the Suns head coach. Phoenix's Finals run was an example of how Williams' demeanor meshed perfectly with a young squad that was hungry to taste postseason success.

Jones also correctly identified how the Suns were on the precipice of something big when he acquired Chris Paul from the Oklahoma City Thunder. At the time of the deal, the franchise had missed the playoffs for 10 straight years.

Paul averaged 19.2 points and 8.6 assists during the 2021 postseason, and his experience was invaluable behind the scenes. Those contributions earned him a four-year, $120 million extension.

Jones has also nailed lesser moves that strengthened the Suns' supporting cast.

During the 2019 NBA draft, he raised eyebrows by trading T.J. Warren to the Indiana Pacers and trading back to ultimately get Cameron Johnson and Dario Saric.

Although Jones couldn't envision the stress fracture that has dogged Warren over the last two years, Johnson has been an excellent fit in the rotation. The 6'8" forward is shooting 38.6 percent from three-point range.

Over time, Phoenix has made improvements around the margins—adding Jae Crowder, Cameron Payne and Torrey Craig—that were pivotal toward assembling a title contender.

Jones has proven to be an adept general manager and his new contract is well deserved.