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James Jones thinks Suns are ‘a ways away,’ preaches consistency


The Phoenix Suns have become one of the worst teams in the league for the past couple of years. After Hall of Famer Steve Nash left the franchise in 2012, their decline began. They haven’t made the playoffs since, and it seems that they’re once again lottery bound in this year’s draft.

This season, Phoenix has only won 11 of their last 58 games, and with less than 24 contests remaining, it’s highly unlikely that they will match their win total from last season, which was 21.

Suns general manager James Jones addressed Phoenix’s future on the Doug & Wolf podcast. He believes that the team is still a work in progress, but also said they have made significant improvements this season and just needs to be more consistent.

“I mean, we’re a ways away. 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; 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.”

Asked by Sidery as to when the Suns are going to become a competitive team again, Jones said that it will still take time.

“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.”

Phoenix has a young, promising core of Devin Booker, Josh Jackson, and last year’s first overall pick, De’Andre Ayton. And while each of them has shown the potential to be a star in the NBA, they obviously need help. With this summer’s free agency expected to feature a lot of talented players, the Suns will have an opportunity to improve their squad so they’ll be able to take the next step next season.

Make the playoffs.