The Los Angeles Lakers may be out of the playoffs, but there has been plenty of excitement with the remaining teams.
The Phoenix Suns are on a roll and have the looks of a team that can make a serious championship run after sweeping the Denver Nuggets in the second round. The Suns got off to a good start in the Western Conference Finals, defeating the L.A. Clippers in Game 1 even without Chris Paul as he continues to work his way through the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
Phoenix deserves credit for how they have emerged as a Western Conference powerhouse and it should start with Suns general manager James Jones, who put together a cohesive and well-built roster. James awarded the 2020-21 NBA Executive of the Year Award and LeBron James congratulated his former teammate on Twitter:
YELLING CONGRATS to my brother James “CHAMP” Jones on Executive of the Year!! ????????????????????
— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 20, 2021
James and Jones were long-time teammates, winning three championships together when they played for the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Jones had a reputation for being a knock-down shooter, a crucial skill to have when playing alongside James.
Shooting is at the top of Lakers vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka’s mind this offseason, and if he can find any shooters in the draft or free agency, then the Lakers should be in good shape next year.
Pelinka believes Lakers had championship roster
Even though the Lakers fell short of their goal of raising their 18th banner, Pelinka believes this year’s roster was more than capable of winning it all. “I think that we feel like the roster we had this year was a championship-caliber roster and obviously there were a lot of things that came into the mix that weren’t within our control that kept us from winning a championship,” Pelinka said.
“That has to be the goal every year and the only way to get there is with hard work. So of course we’ll learn from this season and from how the roster was constructed and we’ll apply that wisdom and experiences to what we do going forward.
“But the recipe is gonna be hard work and diving back into the process and really after today and the exit interviews, that work starts. We have an insatiable desire and passion to bring banner No. 18 here and we’re excited about the work we’re gonna commence tomorrow to get that done for our fans and for the organization.”
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