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James Jones made a number of smart moves since taking over as GM of the Phoenix Suns: Hiring Monty Williams as coach, trading for and signing Cameron Johnson, signing Cameron Payne, and more.

But it was trading for Chris Paul last offseason that took the Suns from a “nice young team” to the cusp of the NBA Finals. Bringing in Jae Crowder was another smart touch.

That earned Jones the NBA Executive of the Year Award.

Suns owner Robert Sarver presented Jones the award in front of the fans just before tip-off of Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. Jones had a 13-year NBA career and won three rings as one of LeBron James‘ favorite teammates.

After he retired on the court, he moved into the front office and has worked his way up the ranks on that side, taking over the Suns job in 2019.

Utah’s Dennis Lindsey finished second in very close voting — he had just as many first-place votes as Jones (nine), but Jones had more votes down the board. Sean Marks (Nets) finished third, Leon Rose of the Knicks fourth, and Tim Conley of the Nuggets fifth. The Executive of the Year award is voted on by the 30 GMs around the league.

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Phoenix Suns’ James Jones wins NBA Executive of the Year originally appeared on