Bradley Beal trade and 5 other regrettable Suns moves James Jones botched

The Suns wish they could redo these moves.
Phoenix Suns, Bradley Beal
Phoenix Suns, Bradley Beal / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
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The Phoenix Suns were one of the worst teams in the NBA during the 2010s. They went on a ten-year playoff drought from 2011 to 2020 and had the third-fewest vicotries in the league. The Suns were used to winning with Steve Nash and Charles Barkley leading their charge, but it was the return of James Jones that helped them get back to contention.

Jones played 14 years in the NBA, including two next to Nash in Phoenix. He immediately rejoined the organization after retiring in 2017. The three-time champion started as Director of Player Personnel before becoming lead decision-maker in 2018. They went from the bottom to the NBA Finals in three years. Credit Jones for making necessary changes, but things may be unraveling.

The Suns were bounced in the first round of the playoffs and have made rash decisions since owner Mat Ishbia took over. Jones is the team’s general manager, so the moves go on his ledger. The Suns are back in the hunt, but these moves did not go as planned.

6. Trading away Melton

De’Anthony Melton was a second-round draft pick in 2018, and the Suns acquired him before his first NBA game. The 6’2 guard quickly proved to be an impactful option. As a rookie, he averaged 5.0 points, 3.2 assists, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.4 steals in 19.7 minutes per game.

Phoenix won just 19 games, and Jones knew he had to improve their roster. He cut bait on Josh Jackson after it was clear that the fourth overall pick in 2017 would never be a star. The Suns sent Jackson, Melton, and two second-round draft picks to Memphis for Jevon Carter and Kyle Korver. The veteran sharpshooter was quickly waved to sign with a contender leaving just Carter in the Valley of the Sun.

It was clear almost immediately that Melton was better than Carter. Both are undersized guards known for their defense, but Melton offers a bit more on both ends. Carter barely played in Phoenix. He averaged just 3.1 minutes and only appeared in seven playoff games during their run to the NBA Finals in 2021.

Jones misjudged their talent, and it hurt the Suns even more when they traded Carter for another option that failed to work.