James Jones was introduced as the Suns’ GM just before the 2018 NBA season to replace an abysmal GM in Ryan McDonough. Here are my grades for the significant moves he has made in his time as general manager.
Kelly Oubre Jr. Trade
Jones’s first significant move was arguably his best move. In exchange for an old Trevor Ariza to the Wizards, Jones received small forward Kelly Oubre Jr. and point guard Austin Rivers. Rivers was waived by the Suns immediately, but Oubre Jr. has blossomed into a great piece for the Suns.
Ryan Anderson/ Tyler Johnson Trade
Jones’s next move was to trade Ryan Anderson to the Miami Heat for Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington. Ellington was waived by the team immediately, but Johnson helped cover the starting point guard job for the Suns for the remainder of the 2018-19 season. Johnson was eventually waived in the 2019-20 season, but he was much more useful to the team than Anderson ever was.
T.J. Warren Trade
Right before the 2019 Draft, Jones traded power forward T.J. Warren and the 32nd pick in the draft to the Indiana Pacers for cash considerations. Unfortunately, this was not a very good trade. Warren is the leading scorer for Indiana and would have been a perfect player alongside Booker this season.
Dario Saric/Cam Johnson Trade
Before the 2019 NBA Draft, Jones also traded the 6th pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the 11th pick (Cameron Johnson) and Dario Saric. Johnson has been a good fit for the Suns, providing a role as a shooter, while Saric has been a solid power forward for the Suns.
Aron Baynes Trade
On the same day, Jones also traded a 2021 first-round pick that originally belonged to the Bucks to the Boston Celtics in exchange for the 24th pick (Ty Jerome) and Aron Baynes. Jerome has been a promising young guard while Baynes has been an excellent backup center this year.
Ricky Rubio Signing
In the 2019 offseason, Jones signed point guard Ricky Rubio to a $51 million contract over 3 years. Although it may have been a slight overpayment, Rubio has truly elevated the Suns this year, providing the playmaking they had been lacking for so long.