James Jones retires, joins Suns front office

James Jones played for five NBA teams over his 14-year career and was part of three championship squads.

Jones announced his retirement on Wednesday and will join the Suns as the team’s new vice president of basketball operations. Jones earned the nickname “Champ” while helping the Heat win NBA titles in 2012 and 2013. He joined the Cavaliers in 2014 and helped Cleveland win the NBA Finals in 2016 as the Cavs reached the Finals in three straight seasons.

Jones was a second-round pick of the Pacers in 2003 and played for the Suns from 2005-07. Suns owner Robert Sarver said during Wednesday’s introductory press conference that Jones is “intimately familiar with what it takes to win a championship.”

The Spurs adding Irving would be dangerous, but it seems unlikely the Cavs would be willing to send their star player to one of the strongest teams in the league. And if Irving’s reasoning for getting out of Cleveland is that he wants to be the focal point, then why would he go to San Antonio? He’d be overshadowed by Kawhi Leonard.

And similar to the Heat, what could San Antonio give Cleveland to make the trade worth it? Leonard is out of the question, and most of the other players are great because they buy into Popovich’s system. Irving to the Spurs just seems unlikely for a number of reasons.

This is probably the most intriguing destination. It’d be awkward for Jeff Teague, who just signed with Minnesota in the offseason, so he’d probably be involved in the trade somehow. But adding Irving to a roster that already has Jimmy Butler, Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns is an exciting thought.

But, it’d be difficult to make this trade happen without giving up one of those three. Even if it doesn’t happen, the fact Minnesota is even considered by Irving is a big move for the franchise. Instead of being an afterthought, players actually want to play for the Timberwolves. dolphins_002

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