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Converse Introduces New Basketball Sneaker Featuring Kelly Oubre Jr.

Apr 18, 2019 12:50 AM

Converse introduced a new basketball sneaker called the All-Star Pro BB, with Kelly Oubre Jr. as the face of the relaunched line.

"It's a different vibration when it comes to someone who is trying to reinvent themselves in something that they started. It's not necessarily someone trying to come in and disrupt the game, or someone trying to step onto the scene as newcomers again. We started this," said Oubre Jr. 

Nike acquired Converse in 2003 for $305 million, a purchase largely driven by the popularity of Chuck Taylor's. 270,000 pairs of Chuck Taylor's are sold everyday, totaling 100 million pairs per year. 

Converse used Nike's resources in imagining what an updated Chuck Taylor would look like in 2019.

"We built this shoe through the lens of where the game is evolving - that positionless aspect of basketball. This is geared for players that have a more fluid style of play, and Kelly really evokes that in how he shows up on the court," said Converse VP of footwear Brandis Russell.

Nick DePaula/ESPN

Tags: Kelly Oubre, Jr., Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Suns Promote James Jones To General Manager, Retain Trevor Bukstein

Apr 11, 2019 12:47 PM

The Phoenix Suns have named James Jones as general manager. The club has also added Jeff Bower as senior vice president of basketball operations and retained Trevor Bukstein as assistant general manager.

Jones will oversee all basketball operations for the team with Bower and Bukstein reporting to him.

“James has demonstrated a remarkable ability to manage the day-to-day efforts of our front office while developing strong relationships with our players, coaches and those across our organization and league,” said Suns managing partner Robert Sarver. “Furthermore, he is instilling the same championship culture and standard that he experienced on multiple occasions as a player. I have the utmost confidence in James as the leader of our basketball operations moving forward, and we are aligned in the ultimate goal of one day bringing an NBA championship to Phoenix.”

Jones has spent the last two seasons as the Suns’ vice president of basketball operations, sharing general manager duties with Bukstein this past season where the two collaborated on trades which brought Kelly Oubre Jr. and Tyler Johnson to Phoenix. Since joining the Suns, Jones has lead the evaluation and evolution of team operations, and helped to build a stronger connection between the front office, players and team personnel. Jones joined the Suns’ front office in 2017 following 14 seasons as a player.

A veteran executive with over 30 years of basketball experience at the NBA and collegiate levels, Bower was most recently general manager of the Detroit Pistons from 2014-2018. 

“I’m thrilled to add an individual with Jeff’s experience and basketball acumen to our front office,” said Jones. “Jeff brings a wealth of knowledge in every facet of basketball operations, is of high character and well respected in league circles, and has a proven track record of influencing organizational success. His expertise in creating and executing a plan will be invaluable as we build our team moving forward.”

“Under James’ leadership and with the addition of Jeff, our front office is diverse and complementary in their backgrounds and skillsets, yet entirely aligned in their selfless and hard-working approach,” added Sarver. “I am confident today’s announcement positions us strongly as we strive to shape the next great era of Phoenix Suns basketball.”

“I’m extremely appreciative of Robert and James for the opportunity to join the Suns organization,” said Bower. “We have a talented young team with great potential and a bright future ahead, so I’m anxious to get to work supporting James and the Phoenix Suns in every way I can.”

Bukstein will remain assistant general manager with the Suns, a position he has held since 2013. In his role, Bukstein combines his knowledge in the interpretation and application of the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, salary cap management, trade and contract negotiations and scouting with his proficiency as a talent evaluator.

Prior to becoming assistant general manager, Bukstein spent three seasons as the Suns’ director of basketball administration. He joined the Suns after six years as an athlete representation specialist at Williams and Connolly, LLP, where he assisted the sports law practice with its NBA, WNBA and MLB clients. Bukstein earned his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center following his undergraduate work at the University of Michigan.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

Jeff Bower Agrees To Become Suns' Senior VP Of Basketball Operations

Apr 10, 2019 2:48 PM

Jeff Bower has agreed to become Senior VP of Basketball Operations with the Phoenix Suns.

Bower has previously been general manager of the Detroit Pistons and New Orleans Pelicans.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Tags: Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

Suns Gave Earl Watson Two-Week Termination Notice Before Firing

Apr 8, 2019 8:44 AM

Earl Watson says the Phoenix Suns gave him a two-week termination notice during training camp before the start of the 17-18 season.

Watson was publicly fired by the Suns after their 0-3 start with losses of 48 and 42 points.

“I never addressed why I left the Suns and it wasn’t because of the record,” Watson said. “It was a rebuild and a rebuild was creating a new start and the new start was [star guard] Devin Booker.”

The timing of the move came as a surprise.

“That’s a question you have to ask ownership,” Watson said when asked about the Suns' logic of firing him after the season had just started. “I was given notice in training camp. I was going to be out for sure. I was blown away, obviously. My personal conversation with ownership was very direct and very manly and up front, but I really believe this, that it’s the best thing that happened for both parties.”

Ben Bolch/Los Angeles Times

Tags: Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

Robert Sarver Looking To Hire Jeff Bower For Front-Office Role As Early As Next Week

Apr 6, 2019 11:26 PM

Robert Sarver is reportedly looking to hire Jeff Bower for a front-office position in the Phoenix Suns as early as next week.

Bower's position would allow interim GM James Jones to continue working in his front-office role with the ability to make decisions.

Bower was most recently the general manager of the Detroit Pistons.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Tags: Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Tyler Johnson Out For Season With Right Knee Surgery

Apr 4, 2019 5:02 PM

Tyler Johnson underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his right knee. He will be out for the remainder of the season.

The Suns acquired Johnson from the Heat at the trade deadline.

Johnson has averaged 11.1 points, 4.2 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 13 games.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Tyler Johnson, Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA Injury

Devin Booker Leaves Game With Left Ankle Injury, X-Rays Negative

Apr 4, 2019 1:52 AM

Devin Booker left the Phoenix Suns' 118-97 loss to the Utah Jazz in the first quarter with an ankle injury. X-rays on the ankle were negative.

Booker landed awkwardly after receiving a high entry pass and had to be assisted off the floor.

Booker was averaging 36.2 points in his last 11 games.

Tags: Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA Injury

Deandre Ayton Leaves Game With Sprained Ankle

Mar 31, 2019 12:26 PM

Deandre Ayton sprained his left ankle in the 3rd quarter of the Phoenix Suns' 120-115 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. Ayton did not return to the game.

The Suns provided no updates following the game.

Ayton is averaging 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds in his rookie season.

Tags: Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA Injury

Suns Waive Jawun Evans From Two-Way Contract

Mar 25, 2019 9:31 AM

The Phoenix Suns have waived guard Jawun Evans.

Evans initially signed a two-way contract with the Suns on Dec. 7 and appeared in seven games with the team. He played in 32 games with the Suns’ NBA G League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns, averaging 15.1 points and 5.8 assists.

The Suns’ roster now stands at 16 players.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Jawun Evans, Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Kelly Oubre Jr. Out For Season With Thumb Surgery

Mar 21, 2019 5:46 PM

Kelly Oubre Jr. will be out for the remainder of the season due to a thumb injury.

Oubre will undergo a minor procedure on his thumb and face a four to six week recovery.

Oubre will be a restricted free agent this offseason.

Oubre is averaging a career-best 15.2 points a game this season.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Tags: Kelly Oubre, Jr., Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA Injury

Kevin McHale, Jim Paxson Emerge As Early Candidates For Suns' GM Job
Kevin McHale and Jim Paxson have prior general manager experience.

Marc Stein/New York Times

Jimmer Fredette Agrees To Sign Two-Year Deal With Suns
Jimmer Fredette last played in the NBA during the 15-16 season.

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Kelly Oubre Prefers To Re-Sign With Suns
Kelly Oubre will be a restricted free agent this offseason.

Kellan Olson/Arizona Sports 98.7

Suns' Trade With Celtics For Terry Rozier Fell Apart Over Pick Protections
The Celtics demanded an unprotected first round pick in exchange for Terry Rozier.

Kevin O'Connor/The Ringer

James Jones Explains Suns' Unconventional Co-GM Structure With Trevor Bukstein
James Jones says the division of labor in the Suns' front office is well-defined.

Kevin Arnovitz/ESPN

Ryan McDonough's Inability To Find Point Guard For Suns Was 'Final Straw'
The Suns traded away Eric Bledsoe at the beginning of the 17-18 season and were unable to replace him over the offseason.

Kevin Arnovitz/ESPN

Suns Sign Ray Spalding For Remainder Of Season
Ray Spalding has not yet appeared in a game with the Suns.

RealGM Staff Report

Josh Jackson Fined By Suns For Not Showing Up To Fan Event
Josh Jackson said he had some “family issues” to address at the time of the event.

Duane Rankin/Arizona Republic

Suns Begin Interviewing Candidates For GM Job
The Suns have employed James Jones and Trevor Bukstein as co-interim general managers since firing Ryan McDonough.

John Gambadoro/98.7 FM

Suns Sign Ray Spalding To 10-Day Contract
Ray Spalding was previously on the Mavericks.

Gina Mizell/The Athletic

Suns Agree To Acquire Tyler Johnson, Wayne Ellington From Heat For Ryan Anderson
Tyler Johnson has one season remaining on his contract at $19.3 million.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

LaVar Ball Prefers Lonzo Ball End Up With Suns Over Pelicans
Lonzo Ball has been in trade talks involving Anthony Davis.

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Devin Booker Fined $25,000 For Altercation With Gorgui Dieng
Devin Booker and Gorgui Dieng were ejected with the incident.

RealGM Staff Report

Phoenix City Council Approves $230M Renovation Of Suns' Arena
The deal has been controversial with the city of Phoenix paying $150 million from its Sports Facilities Fund.

Jessica Boehm/Arizona Republic

Devin Booker, Gorgui Dieng Ejected, Attempt To Fight In Hallway
As Gorgui Dieng was leaving the court, he motioned Devin Booker to meet him in the hallway.

Duane Rankin/Arizona Republic

Quincy Acy Signs Second 10-Day Contract With Suns
Acy has played just 33 minutes with the Suns this season.

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Mavericks Discussing Dennis Smith Jr. Trade With Suns, Magic
The Mavericks have escalated trade discussions centered on Dennis Smith Jr.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Quincy Acy Expected To Sign 10-Day Contract With Phoenix Suns
Acy averaged 5.9 points and 3.7 rebounds for the Nets last season.

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Suns Waive Eric Moreland
Eric Moreland signed with the Suns on Dec. 10 and appeared in one game.

RealGM Staff Report

Igor Kokoskov Had Minimal Input On Suns Picking Ayton Over Doncic
Igor Kokoskov coached Luka Doncic with the Slovenian national team.

Tim MacMahon/ESPN