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GM Ryan McDonough, Suns Agree to Contract Extension; James Jones Named VP

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 19, 2017

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, OCT. 26-27 - FILE- In this May 9, 2013, file photo, newly-appointed Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough speaks during an NBA basketball news conference in Phoenix. A new generation of general managers has flooded the league, and they're not the ex-players and ex-coaches that used to dominate those jobs. Six of the league’s general managers are under 40 this season. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)
Matt York/Associated Press

The Phoenix Suns reached an agreement with general manager Ryan McDonough on a multiyear contract extension. They also hired longtime NBA player James Jones to serve as the organization's new vice president of basketball operations.  

Phoenix announced the front-office deals Wednesday. The release included a statement from McDonough about his new deal and the staff addition.

"I would like to thank [managing partner] Robert [Sarver] and his partners for extending my agreement with this great franchise," he said. "We have laid the foundation for what we hope will become the next championship-caliber Suns team. There is still a lot of work to be done to reach our ultimate goal of bringing a championship to Phoenix, so we are thrilled to add James Jones to our staff."

McDonough was just 33 when the Suns hired him away from the Boston Celtics to become their new GM in May 2013. He had already spent a decade in the Boston front office in various roles.

Phoenix made a 23-win improvement during his first season in charge, posting a 48-34 record during the 2013-14 season. The team won 39 games the following year, however, and has combined to score just 47 victories over the last two seasons combined.

In February, the Massachusetts native told Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer the path to building a consistent winner can be "painful."

"We appreciate the support. We appreciate the patience," McDonough said. "It's a painful process. … It takes time and it's something I think is hard — organizationally, it's hard; as a fan, everybody wants to win."

While the Suns do feature some intriguing young assets, led by Devin Booker, Dragan Bender and Josh Jackson, they are still trying to create a culture of winning.

It's an area the franchise will hope Jones, who came off the bench for the Cavaliers over the past three seasons and has 148 career playoff games on his resume, can help when it comes to teaching a young roster.

"James has a wealth of experiences that will greatly benefit our organization," McDonough said in the announcement. "He is a three-time NBA champion and has been one of the top executives with the National Basketball Players Association over the past few years. We welcome Champ and his family to our Phoenix Suns family."

The Suns and their fans could be in for another long season, though. OddsShark noted they are tied with the Sacramento Kings for the second-worst title odds in the NBA at 500-1.

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