A panel of NBA team basketball executives has selected Phoenix Suns General Manager James Jones as the winner of the 2020-21 NBA Basketball Executive of the Year Award. This is Jones’ first award in his second season as the Suns’ GM and after only four seasons overall in the front office.
NBA team basketball executives have selected Phoenix Suns General Manager James Jones as the winner of the 2020-21 NBA Basketball Executive of the Year Award, the NBA announced today.
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) June 20, 2021
Jones finished with 65 points, which narrowly edged second-place finisher Utah Jazz Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Dennis Lindsey’s 61 points. Both received nine of the 30 first-place votes from a panel put together by one basketball executive from each team. Brooklyn Nets General Manager Sean Marks finished in third place.
Through his leadership in the Basketball Operations department, Jones’ helped overhaul the culture of the franchise starting with the hiring of the runner-up for the 2020-21 NBA Coach of the Year Award in Monty Williams. Afterwards, he restructured a roster that went from a 34-39 record to the second-best record in the NBA (51-21) and the fifth-highest single-season winning percentage in two seasons.
He did that by acquiring guard Chris Paul in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder and signing forward Jae Crowder as a free agent from Miami. Paul averaged 16.4 points and 8.9 assists this season and was an All-Star selection with fellow Suns guard Devin Booker. Crowder made a team-high 148 three-pointers this season as a solid 3 and D player.
Signing Cameron Payne, who was out of the NBA may have been Jones’ genius move of the season as the guard has exploded on the scene in the playoffs.
The award was presented to him before Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.
Deandre Ayton was PUMPED to hear James Jones won 2020-21 NBA Basketball Executive of the Year! #ThatsGame
— NBA (@NBA) June 20, 2021
Phoenix is still competing in their NBA Playoff berth for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
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