Fans should give James Jones a chance…IF he does one thing right

James Jones Phoenix Suns (Photo by Barry GossageNBAE via Getty Images)
James Jones Phoenix Suns (Photo by Barry GossageNBAE via Getty Images) /

Robert Sarver has made James Jones the Phoenix Suns’ full-time General Manager – a decision that many fans are wary of. But he can earn some love if he does one thing right, right away.

For decades the Phoenix Suns were a beacon of stability and success. They did things the right way. They hired the right people. The made the right trades. They sought after and acquired the right free agents.

But now, especially over the last nine years, Robert Sarver has done things in a way that is completely contrary to the franchise’s history, running the organization in a manner that is often cockeyed, ultimately leading to a tremendous lack of success.

And us fans? We can’t do anything about it.

Which is why when it was announced on Thursday April, 11 that James Jones (who truly did nothing to ingratiate himself with fans last season) had officially been hired as the full-time General Manager and that new Vice President of Basketball Operations Jeff Bower will report to Jones directly, many fans were forced to simply shrug and hope for the best.

But before he has a chance to re-shape the roster with the hopes of making it a playoff competitive team quickly, there is a decision (or specific series of decisions) that need to be made quickly, which can actually garner a little support from the fanbase.

In truth, depending on what James Jones does about Head Coach Igor Kokoskov, will make a big difference in what the fanbase thinks of this new organizational direction.

I will come right out and state that I believe that Igor deserves to retain his spot on the bench.

The problems that Igor faced with this roster and thus the losses that accrued, were far from his fault and thus much blame must not be directed to him.

If you watched even a moment of Phoenix Suns basketball this past season, you will know that the starting lineup lacked both a point guard and a power forward. Hence the Suns lacked depth at each position as well, taking away 2/5’s of a traditional roster which head coaches need to be able to work with.

Then again, when does Robert Sarver do anything  traditionally?

Kokoskov of course was brought in for his strong offensive mind and had been called a “point guard whisperer,” who’s greatest offensive success around the world  had been with a strong and competent point guard at the helm.

This fact alone should give Kokoskov a second chance and Jones needs to prove his mettle by acquiring the type of point guard that Igor so desperately needs, then letting him finally build an offense around a well-employed backcourt.

Must Read. The Phoenix Suns have lost the tie-breaker in the NBA Draft Lottery. light

Most importantly, Jones needs make a public pronouncement this week, (or as quickly as one might prudently be able to do), throwing his support behind Kokoskov and his offensive mind, then himself stating that it will be his primary focus to find and acquire a point guard, and that he therefore will not enter the 2019-20 season without a legitimate one in the starting lineup.

Of course the team still needs a power forward, but there is no doubt that shoring up point is the more important job.

OR, if Jones does decide to fire Igor, he too needs to do this in the next week (at most), then follow up with the hiring of a legitimate head coach, one with recent coaching experience; who has a history of success; and someone who fans know and can instantly mention successes.

A potential hire can not  be another first year coach; someone who has only had minimal head coaching experience that Jones and Sarver want to take a flier on simply so that if successful it makes them look like geniuses.

If that head came from either the NBA or College and has coached successfully for a several years (championships are irrelevant to me since there are so many variables), then…okay.

To many, the resolution of the currently tenuous (and in my opinion unnecessary)  situation surrounding Igor Kokoskov needs to be the first thing resolved – and truthfully, can only be the first thing resolved as free agency has yet to begin and Phoenix isn’t likely to make a major trade of any kind until either the draft or free agency has begun, both months away.

Must Read. The Phoenix Suns have lost the lottery tie-breaker to the Cleveland Cavaliers. light

Already with a full year under his belt (the phony “interim” title not withstanding), Phoenix Suns fans are still waiting to see James Jones make a decisive decision that can be taken as a sign that the franchise is finally turning it’s direction around.

Making a quick and resolute decision surrounding Igor Kokoskov, one way or the other, will go a long way for Phoenix Suns fans as they hold out hope that he is finally the man in charge, that they can trust.