PHOENIX Suns general manager (GM) James Jones was named National Basketball Association (NBA) executive of the year on Sunday.
The Suns posted the league’s second-best regular season record at 51-21. They reached the Western Conference Finals with a six-game series win over the Los Angeles Lakers and a four-game sweep of the Denver Nuggets.
Jones was honored the same day the team he helped construct tipped off the conference finals at home against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Jones, 40, played 14 seasons in the NBA for the Indiana Pacers, Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers before joining the Suns’ front office. He was first the vice-president of basketball operations, then given the general manager position on an interim basis in 2018 before the interim title was lifted several months later.
He was the architect of the trade that brought Chris Paul to Phoenix from the Oklahoma City Thunder last November. Paul was named All-NBA second team in 2020-21.
Jones received nine of the 30 first-place votes and earned 65 total points. Utah Jazz executive vice-president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey was a close second with 61 points (nine first-place votes), and Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks finished third with 51 points (five first-place votes).
The award is voted upon by a panel of one executive from all 30 teams. — Reuters