Phoenix Suns general manager James Jones isn’t under an illusions in his approach to the team’s rebuild, which has been taking it’s toll on both fans and players.
Jones says that the team is still a ways away from being a competitive force in the league.
“I mean, we’re a ways away” Jones said, during an appearance on the Doug & Wolf podcast.
“Consistency is a problem for us and you have to expect that “under 21”. But, we’ve made strides when we play hard and we compete. [When] we’re flying around, we’re disruptive, and we’re pretty good. When we don’t, when we slow the game, and you force us to read concepts and make plays and react to the game we struggle mightily.
Our young guys are figuring out you need to bring it or you get embarrassed.”
Jones knows that the road is tough, but points out it’s a road that they have to continue to take.
“Well, we can’t keep waiting and saying it’ll take time. We know it will take time. That’s just the nature of this business. A player has to grow into it.
But, our focus has to remain on forcing our guys to take strides and grow exponentially. We just have to push them.
We have to continue to raise the bar to see if these guys can get there. I can’t give you a definitive timeline but I can tell you that our focus right now going forward, in free agency, and the draft is to add players that will allow us to play, and not rely on the production of young guys.”
Jones also knows about the debate that still goes on regarding their decision to take center Deandre Ayton first overall over Dallas Mavericcks superstar Luca Doncic.
“Of course, of course” Jones said when asked if he would make the same decision if given a chance to do it again.
“We’re not looking at today, we’re looking at what Deandre will become. It’s not what he can become, it’s what he will become, because we’re in there with him every day.
We know that he wants to be great. He’s still figuring out why he’s successful. Things that he does he just does them naturally. But we won’t find a guy with his size, athleticism, touch and feel in this league very often. I think of some of the greats. We talked earlier about Hakeem Olajuwon, who I think is a great comp.”
Suns Prefer Ja Morant Over Zion Williamson
The Phoenix Suns could end up with the 1st overall pick for the second consecutive year, depending on how the ping pong balls drop, but landing the #1 overall pick doesn’t mean they are locked in on Duke phenom Zion Williamson.
According to The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie, the Suns actually prefer Murray State point guard Ja Morant, who had an impressive breakout year in 2018-2019, over Williamson.
Morant became the first player in school history to be named a first-team Associated Press All-American.
Point guard is the biggest position of need for the rebuilding Suns, but passing on Zion could mean passing on a bonafide superstar to pair with Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker.
The thought of a frontcourt featuring Williamson and Ayton would instantly elevate the Suns.
Thunder’s Billy Donovan defends Paul George for End of Game Dunk
Oklahoma City Thunder forward, and MVP candidate, Paul George ruffled the feathers of the Portland Trail Blazers for opting to dunk the ball as opposed to dribbling out the clock in their Game 3 victory.
While George made no friends with the Blazers, who visibly took issue with the dunk, Thunder head coach Billy Donovan had no issue with what took place.
“My feeling was they probably shot a shot,” Donovan said, according to Ben Golliver of the Washington Post. “Paul kind of went in and dunked it. Both teams played the game all the way out.”
George declined to comment on the dunk in the post-game presser.
Celtics’ Brad Stevens Praises Kyrie Irving
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens heaped some incredible praise on Irving for his impressive performance.
Kyrie gets the highest Stevens praise: The 'joke.'— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) April 20, 2019
"The little floating shot he hit was just a joke. He’s ridiculous."
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