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Suns GM James Jones named NBA Executive of the Year in tight vote

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As his Phoenix Suns secured a Game 1 win over the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference finals on Sunday, the NBA announced that general manager James Jones is the league's Executive of the Year. 

Jones won the award in a tight race, earning nine first-place votes and 65 total points. Utah Jazz Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Dennis Lindsey also secured nine first-place votes but finished behind Jones in total voting with 61 points. 

The Suns improved from a 34-39 record and a 10th-place finish last season to 51-21 and the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. After Sunday's win, they're three wins away from a trip to the NBA Finals.

Sep 30, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns general manager James Jones answers questions during Media Day at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
James Jones oversaw several critical acquisitions that led to the Suns' arrival in the Western Conference finals. (Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

Key moves led to big improvement in Phoenix

Jones has worked in the Suns front office since 2017 and made several moves critical to Phoenix's success this season since taking over basketball operations as general manager in 2019. He hired head coach Monty Williams, who finished second in Coach of the Year voting and was named NABC Coach of the Year in a vote of his peers. 

Jones made a pair of key rosters moves last offseason, signing sharp-shooting free agent Jae Crowder and orchestrating the trade for Chris Paul from the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

Prior to joining the Suns' front office, Jones played 14 seasons in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers, Suns, Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers. He won three championships playing alongside LeBron James.

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