After firing Ryan McDonough over five months ago, nothing has happened with the Phoenix Suns’ front office outside of giving the Co-Interim GM tags to James Jones and Trevor Bukstein. Finally, we have an update on who is in the driver’s seat to come onboard, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
ESPN Sources: Phoenix owner Robert Sarver has become focused on the candidacy of former Detroit and New Orleans GM Jeff Bower to assume a high-ranking front office role with Suns. https://t.co/VVqZc9x6nb— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 7, 2019
Owner Robert Sarver and his small team of advisors had been interviewing candidates to join the Suns in a senior advising role in their front office. This means that Jones will likely become the GM, with Bower by his side whenever he needs it for input on decisions.
According to a league source, the Suns spoke with at least eight candidates for this position.
Bower brings ample experience to the table where it’s currently lacking. He was the maestro behind the Blake Griffin trade last season to Detroit before he was ultimately let go alongside Stan Van Gundy last May. The package sent back for the All-Star power forward was Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, plus a 2018 1st and 2019 2nd.
Outside of Detroit, where he helped lead them back from the lottery to a playoff berth, Bower also helped build up the Chris Paul era in New Orleans from 2005-2010. The Hornets had 56 and 49 win campaigns before it fell apart shortly thereafter when Paul was dealt to Los Angeles for Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Minnesota’s unprotected first-round pick.
An interesting twist to end on with this report was how Wojnarowski mentioned Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald sat in on these interviews alongside Sarver and Jones. Fitzgerald also joined the Suns’ entire front office on a trip last month to Evansville, Indiana to watch Ja Morant up-close.
With Jones as the voice, Bower as the advisor and Bukstein as the capologist, that trio will make up the front office under Sarver for the foreseeable future.
Now, we sit back and wait to see what Bower and Co. do during this important summer.