The NBA announced prior to Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals that Phoenix Suns general manager James Jones has been selected as the 2020-21 NBA Executive of the Year.
James Jones wins 2020-21 NBA Executive of the Year pic.twitter.com/QCKR9hMteV- NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) June 20, 2021
The award is selected by a pool of votes from 30 executives - one from each NBA team.
Jones, a three-time NBA champion and 14-year NBA veteran as a player, took over the Suns general manager role in 2019 with the team coming off of a 19-63 season. With two franchise cornerstones already in place in Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, Jones was tasked with the challenge of bringing Phoenix back to the postseason for the first time since the Steve Nash era in 2010.
The Suns flashed the potential of a young and promising team when they went a perfect 8-0 during the NBA's restart in the Orlando Bubble in 2020, just missing a spot in the Play-In Tournament with a chance to reach the playoffs by way of a tiebreaker.
During the 2020 offseason, Jones made the move to bring in All-Star veteran guard Chris Paul among other key signings like veteran wing Jae Crowder to try and expedite the team's maximum potential.
In just his second year as the team's GM, Jones assembled a roster that was good enough to finish with a 51-21 record, the second-best in the NBA. Phoenix would not only snap its 10-year playoff drought, but also defeat the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the postseason before sweeping league MVP Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets to advance back to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2010.
Bringing the Suns from tied for the worst record in the league in 2019 to a championship contender in 2021 made Jones an easy decision among his peers for Executive of the Year.
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