James Jones, a longtime staple in the Miami basketball community, might be in line to add another impressive line to his resume. The three-time NBA champion may be the frontrunner to be the Suns next full-time general manager, ESPN reported Tuesday.
Jones, who joined Phoenix’s front office last year, is currently serving as as one of the Suns’ interim general managers. Jones had been Phoenix’s vice president of basketball operations until Phoenix owner Robert Sarver fired Ryan McDonough on Sunday. McDonough had been with the Suns since 2013 and brought Jones into his front office last July.
Jones and assistant general manager Trevor Bukstein are currently sharing the title of interim general manager, although league sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Sarver plans to give the full-time job to Jones, who played for Phoenix from 2005-2007.
Although he played for five teams in 14-year NBA career, Jones has always called Miami home. The wing was born in Miami, starred for four years of high school at American and then earned academic All-American honors at Miami. Jones was the Miami Herald’s Boys Basketball Player of the Year in 1999.
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The Pacers ultimately selected Jones in the second round and Jones spent two seasons in Indiana before the Pacers traded him to the Suns. After two seasons in Phoenix and another with the Trail Blazers,Jones returned home to play for the Heat in 2008.
Jones’ legacy began to blossom in 2010, when Miami acquired LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Jones became a favored teammate of James’,winning two titles with the Heat and then following James to the Cavaliers when James returned home in 2014. The role player won his third title in 2016 with Cleveland before retiring in 2017.
While Jones’ track record as a talent evaluator and executive is still virtually nonexistent, his track record on the court is undeniable. Jones never played for a losing record and only missed the postseason once, during his lone season in Portland. His laundry list of accomplishments earned him a fitting nickname during his time with the Cavaliers: “Champ.”