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Suns’ James Jones Talks Suns Rebuild, Deandre Ayton

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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.”

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Suns Deny Shopping 6th Pick, Josh Jackson, T.J. Warren

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The Phoenix Suns are in desperate need of finding a long-term solution at point guard and have been heavily rumored to be in position to make a move to accomplish that goal.

The Suns have been rumored to be open to dealing the 6th overall pick, as well as forwards T.J. Warren and/or Josh Jackson, but the Suns are denying those reports.

According to The Arizona Republic’s Duane Rankin, the Suns are not shopping any of the aforementioned pieces.

However, with ties to Brooklyn Nets point guard D’Angelo Russell, a need to clear cap space, and rumors that they would like to move up in the draft, it’s hard buying that the Suns aren’t looking to deal assets to make a move this offseason.

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Eastern Conference

Khris Middleton Plans to Re-Sign with Bucks

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The Milwaukee Bucks will likely be keeping one of their core players on the roster for the future.

According to 247Sports’ Mike Fisher, Bucks forward Khris Middleton plans to re-sign with the team.

Middleton scored 18.3 points per game for Milwaukee last season.

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Chicago Bulls

Bulls, Suns Interested in Fourth-Overall Pick

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Darius Garland

The Chicago Bulls and the Phoenix Suns are interested int he 4th overall pick which is now the property of the New Orleans Pelicans following the Anthony Davis trade.

According to Fletcher Mackel of WDSU, both the Suns and the Bulls are interested in the 4th pick so they can select Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland.

Both teams are in need of a point guard, but the Suns have an interesting situation as they may be able to land Brooklyn Nets point guard D’Angelo Russell should Kyrie Irving land in Brooklyn during free agency.

The Suns currently own the 6th overall pick, while the Bulls have the 7th.

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