The Phoenix Suns have come a long way as a franchise in the last few years. From not making the playoffs for 10 seasons in a row to finishing with the best record in the NBA for two straight seasons now, the Suns have had quite a turnaround.
While the acquisitions of players like Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton along with a supporting cast of Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson have been a big catalyst, the work that the Suns' executive team led by James Jones has probably had the biggest impact.
Becoming the team's official general manager in 2019, Jones made some bold moves right out of the gate by taking a chance at Monty Williams for the head coach role. He even traded some impressive players like Kelly Oubre Jr. but ultimately Jones' bold moves made sense as the Suns ended the season with an 8-0 run.
While a 26-39 record might not be enough for a team to go all-in on a title push, Jones took the chance anyway bringing in 'Point God' Chris Paul. This worked wonders for the Suns as they ended up in the 2021 NBA Finals narrowly missing out on a championship.
The moves the Suns have made in the last few seasons have been phenomenal and it is absolutely shocking to see that it is only 14 people behind the basketball operations of the Phoenix Suns balls club. In a recent conversation with ESPN, James Jones explained why Phoenix does not have a big executive team.
"How big can your staff be before it becomes too much for the system to bear?" he says. "When you have 25 or 30 front-office people and scouts, now you have to tell people they can't be in our strategy meeting."
"I don't want certain people sitting and certain people standing. I don't want anyone here to feel like they're on the fringe, or that their voice isn't heard."
While the last two seasons have been great for Jones, the 2022 off-season is going to be a huge challenge for the Suns' general manager so far. With Ayton applicable for a big offer, the Suns might have to let go of their star big man.
But if any man can pull a rabbit out of the hat in this scenario, it would be James Jones.