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Suns extend GM Ryan McDonough, hire James Jones for front office

PHOENIX -- Suns owner Robert Sarver has extended the contract of general manager Ryan McDonough through the 2019-20 season and hired longtime NBA player James Jones as vice president of basketball operations.

Jones will report directly to McDonough in the new position.

James Jones has retired and joined the Suns as their new vice president of basketball operations. AP Photo/Matt Slocum
"I would like to thank Robert and his partners for extending my agreement with this great franchise," McDonough said in a statement. "We have laid the foundation for what we hope will become the next championship caliber Suns team. There is still a lot of work to be done to reach our ultimate goal of bringing a championship to Phoenix so we are thrilled to add James Jones to our staff."

McDonough is entering his fifth season as general manager and is the architect of an exceedingly young roster built with draft picks.

Sarver says he's not a patient man but has decided he must show patience for this young core to develop and eventually compete with the top teams in the Western Conference.

Jones played the past 14 seasons in the NBA -- two with the Suns -- and was part of three championship teams -- two in Miami and one in Cleveland.

"Congratulations to James Jones on what has been one of the most successful NBA careers a player can have," Cavs owner Dan Gilbert said in a statement. "Being widely known as one of the best teammates ever is possibly the greatest tribute a player could receive and he has earned that reputation with hard work, incredible consistency, dependability, strong character and trust.

"He is a champion and role model on the court, in the locker room, in the community and as a mentor and friend to many across the NBA."

Jones has appeared in the last seven NBA Finals. He also was the secretary-treasurer for the NBA Players Association.

"James has a wealth of experiences that will greatly benefit our organization," McDonough said in the statement. "He is a three-time NBA champion and has been one of the top executives with the National Basketball Players Association over the past few years. We welcome 'Champ' and his family to our Phoenix Suns family."

Jones said he was returning "home" with the Suns.

"It seemed like the perfect spot to invest my energy," he told reporters.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/20105605/phoenix-suns-extend-gm-ryan-mcdonough-hire-james-jones-vp

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