Phoenix Suns rebuild: “Bad” moves that weren’t bad at all
After both of those draft trades the Phoenix Suns were hammered by the media for giving up the chance to pick Coby White, the 19-year old point guard who can’t pass, or Jarrett Culver a 20-year old shooting guard who can’t shoot.
Over the next month, the media ripped the Phoenix Suns 2019 draft and the follow-up free agency as they said that the Suns didn’t receive any value or assets in all of their acquisitions, simply giving up players, draft picks and overpaying for free agents. Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report went so far as to rate Jones as the third-worst GM in the NBA only a short five months ago!
Others piled on like East Coaster Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports who once again proved that East Coast writers don’t acknowledge that sports even exist west of the East Coast, giving the Suns GM an “F” for his offseason moves!
ESPN’s Zach Lowe went into his rant in great detail about every move made by General Manager Jones, criticizing them all, and in the end, calling the Phoenix Suns “losers” for their offseason moves.
However, Jones in one statement showed each of those writers and a lot of Suns fans why they were not General Managers in the NBA when he stated on July 18, 2019:
"“I understand everyone has an opinion or idea of what they think we should do, of what value for a player or a position is, or picks,” Jones told Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “That’s rightful criticism. But ultimately I think if they understand what we’re trying to do is build a team — and not collect or hoard assets or maximize individual transactions — and think about a collective return, I think they’d understand the deals that we’ve made were great deals for a team and helped us improve.”"
Last summer I was on record supporting every one of these moves and to me, it would be the next moves that would give James Jones an “A” in his first offseason with the Suns building an actual team with functioning interchangeable parts, and not an “F” as Rohrbach had given his running of the Phoenix Suns.
With the trade of the oft-injured Warren, as well as the trade of the trainwreck that was Josh Jackson a week and a half after the NBA draft, those two moves gave the Phoenix Suns the money to re-sign Oubre and then sign one of the few point guards in the entire NBA that would be a perfect fit for Devin Booker, Ricky Rubio.
So while the local media whined about not going after D’Angelo Russell and paying him $27 million, the Phoenix Suns gave Booker an actual pass first point-guard that shoots the ball 11-times a game, and not the overactive 18-shot a night “point guard” in Russell. The results speak for themselves, Devin’s best season yet, was with Ricky Rubio.
James Jones’ first full year as the GM was an actual success, again not by rearranging the deck chairs of a 19-win team, but by retooling the team from the ground up making them into a 34-win Orlando Bubble favorite as they head into this year’s draft and free agency period with a sound direction to go.