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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4. Re-signing Ayton

Ryan McDonough was the GM when the Suns drafted Deandre Ayton with the number one overall pick over Luka Doncic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Trae Young, and Jalen Brunson, but he was fired months later. Jones was named interim GM on Oct. 8 and was in the first chair before Ayton played his first game.

Fans saw his potential during the 2021 playoffs, but cracks were starting to show the following year. Ayton played just 17.5 minutes in Game 7 of their second-round playoff loss against the Mavericks and was virtually benched for the second half. Tensions were rising between the young big man and former head coach Monty Williams. There was also the Suns forcing him into restricted free agency instead of working out an extension.  

It did not stop Jones and the Suns from matching a four-year $133 million offer sheet in 2022 that Ayton received from the Pacers. It was a monster deal, but waiting further drove a wedge between the former number-one overall pick and the organization.

Things quickly came unglued. His energy and effort fluctuated and his rim protection dipped. Ayton’s numbers slipped further in the playoffs, and the Suns ultimately traded him to get Jusuf Nurkic. They were lucky Grayson Allen was thrown into that trade or it too would have gone down as a disastrous move by James Jones.

Drafting Ayton was their first mistake, but giving him a massive contract ranked right up there with the biggest blunders in recent Suns history.

Jones blew a key draft pick of his own just after the bubble.