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James Jones retires, joins Suns as VP of basketball operations

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“Champ” retires as he joins the Suns front office

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Minnesota Timberwolves Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

After seven straight trips to the NBA Finals and three championships, James Jones is finally riding off into the sunset.

The ex-Cleveland Cavaliers forward has accepted a position with the Phoenix Suns as Vice President of Basketball Operation and will be working alongside newly extended general manager Ryan McDonough.

The news was announced in a statement by the Phoenix Suns organization:

James has a wealth of experiences that will greatly benefit our organization. He is a three-time NBA Champion and has been one of the top executives with the National Basketball Players Association over the past few years. We welcome ‘Champ’ and his family to our Phoenix Suns family

Jones has been one of the most respected voices in the Cavs locker room over the last few years and LeBron James has called him his favorite teammate ever. While it’s unclear if he and the Cavs ever had any discussions about a role like this, with front office in flux, it may not have hurt to appoint him to a position with the team.

Either way, the player affectionately known as ‘Champ’ will not be back with the Cavs next season in any capacity. Jones shot 39.1 percent from three in his time with the team, which seems remarkable as I cannot remember a single miss. Who, if anyone, will replace his voice in the locker room next reason remains to be seen. Additionally, the team’s 15th roster spot that could have gone to Jones - and may not be filled at all - now has one less candidate.

Let the LeBron to Phoenix rumors begin!