The Suns have made general manager James Jones their new president of basketball operations along with his current title, the team announced in a press release.
Jones was named the Suns’ co-interim general manager alongside Trevor Bukstein in the fall of 2018 after joining the organization a year earlier as vice president of basketball operations. He became the lone, permanent GM in April 2019 and has held the position since then. In that time, he has taken a Phoenix team that was among the league’s worst and turned it into a perennial contender.
The Suns have captured two straight Pacific Division titles, posted franchise records with 64 wins and an 18-game winning streak and reached the NBA Finals. Jones received the Executive of the Year award in 2021.
“In the nearly 15 years I have known James, he has excelled in every role he performed, from player to NBPA Treasurer to his roles in our front office, most recently as general manager,” Suns interim governor Sam Garvin said in announcing the move. ” James has the unique ability to create and lead high-performing teams in basketball operations and his commitment to collaborating with our business side, including at the C-level with partners like PayPal and Verizon, is second to none. We are fortunate for his contributions across the organization and this promotion recognizes his commitment to excellence.”
Jones moved into a front office role in 2017 when his playing career ended after 14 NBA seasons. He was hired by Phoenix about a month after playing in the NBA Finals and began working to transform the franchise.
One of his first moves after being named the permanent GM was hiring Monty Williams as head coach, replacing Igor Kokoskov after just one season. Following the team’s undefeated run in the NBA bubble in Orlando, Jones swung for the fences by sending four players and a draft pick to Oklahoma City to acquire Chris Paul. That move lifted the Suns into the NBA’s upper echelon.
“I am grateful for the privilege to work with and support the players, staff and employees of the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury,” Jones said. “The collective efforts of our business and basketball operations have allowed us to provide an amazing atmosphere and best-in-class experience for our fans and community. I remain excited about and dedicated to driving success for our teams on and off the court.”