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James Jones on Suns’ No. 6 pick: “Not looking to trade it”

Just over 24 from the 2019 NBA Draft.

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Phoenix Suns Introduce 2018 Draft Picks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Your Phoenix Suns are slated to pick sixth in Thursday’s NBA Draft. On Tuesday Suns general manager James Jones indicated that’s exactly what will happen, and advised the media not to expect a trade.

“I’m comfortable staying there,” Jones said. “Not looking to trade it. I think there are more than six good players in this draft.”

“There’s no pressure to ... do something,” the GM of a team that hasn’t been to the playoffs in nearly a decade said. “At the end of the day, if we didn’t believe Devin (Booker) or Deandre (Ayton) were foundation pieces, then we should be desperate and feel like we’ve got to make a move.”

The Suns won 21 games two seasons ago. Out of 82. Worst in the league.

“For us, the moves we have to make have to improve our team,” Jones said. “They can’t set us back. To make a move for the sake to make a move is ridiculous. We’ll try to make moves. We’ll try to be aggressive. We will try to maximize the growth of this team, but we’re not going to compromise it.”

The Suns won 19 games last year. Out of 82. This time, second worst in the league.

James is very pleased, and you should be too, with the hiring of former Sixers assistant Monty Williams as the new Suns head coach.

“We believe he’ll be able to push us forward rapidly, but properly and consistently,” said Jones. “The outcry, I get it. I’ve said before, it’s really the byproduct of the years of frustration and disappointment, but I’m not going to allow the past to propel me or force me to jump. That’s just not how you build a team.”

The Suns have put together five consecutive losing seasons.

So what will the Suns do Thursday in Brooklyn?

“We have multiple positions that we need to fill,” Jones said. “So it’ll be a player that embodies all the things that we talked about: Make quick decisions, plays well in transition, has great positional size, can play with power and force, can shoot, can score on all three levels.”

“(That player) can defend their position and multiple positions,” Jones continued. “Doesn’t have to be an elite individual defender, but a very good team defender. So when you look at the draft, I think there are a bunch of guys who fit that mold.”

But James doesn’t want to be misunderstood. Despite the historic losing going on in Phoenix, and it is spectacular, don’t expect a lot of trade talk.

“A lot of times, the conversations are just teams having dialogue and trying to figure out what you’re looking for,” Jones later said. “Trying to figure out what your roster looks like and if your free agents will be available. Doing background. Due diligence on players, on staff. This perception that you talk to teams all about trades is kind of overblown.”

We’ll find out what the Suns will do Thursday at 7p ET. After that it’s full steam ahead to 23 wins. Buckle up.

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