Since the dismissal of general manager Ryan McDonough last fall, James Jones and Trevor Bukstein had been running the front office in Phoenix as co-interim GMs. Jones and Bukstein will stick with the Suns going forward, but only Jones will remain in the GM position on a permanent basis. Bukstein, who is more of a scouting and salary-cap specialist, will assume the role of assistant GM.
As for Bower, he’ll be the Suns’ senior vice president of basketball operations. According to the Suns, Jones will oversee all basketball operations, with Bower and Bukstein reporting to him.
“James has demonstrated a remarkable ability to manage the day-to-day efforts of our front office while developing strong relationships with our players, coaches and those across our organization and league,” team owner Robert Sarver said in a statement. “Furthermore, he is instilling the same championship culture and standard that he experienced on multiple occasions as a player. I have the utmost confidence in James as the leader of our basketball operations moving forward, and we are aligned in the ultimate goal of one day bringing an NBA championship to Phoenix.”
It should be a busy offseason for the new front office in Phoenix — the Suns are in position to nab a top draft pick in the lottery, and will also have some cap flexibility, even if Tyler Johnson picks up his player option and Kelly Oubre is re-signed as a restricted free agent.
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Of course, before addressing the roster in June and July, the Suns will need to make a decision on head coach Igor Kokoskov, who led the team to a disappointing 19-63 record in his first year in Phoenix. Greg Moore of The Arizona Republic questioned this week whether Kokoskov might be a one-and-done coach, but there has been no indication yet which way the Suns’ new decision-makers are leaning.