The front office opening first came available when the team fired general manager Ryan McDonough just before the start of the 2018-19 season. James Jones and Trevor Bukstein took over as co-interim general managers for McDonough.
Phoenix finished the year 19-63, giving it the worst record in the Western Conference for the third year in a row.
The Suns began interviewing candidates for VP of basketball operations with the intention that Jones would continue to have front-office decision-making power, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Bower separated himself from the field and earned the job.
The 57-year-old helped turn New Orleans into a playoff contender, which won a franchise-record 56 games in 2007-08. In Detroit, he showed an aggressiveness on the trade market to acquire Blake Griffin and Reggie Jackson.
Phoenix will hope his experience will be enough to turn around an organization that hasn't made the playoffs since 2010.
There are quality young pieces in Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, but the team needs help to compete in the West going forward.