The Phoenix Suns have improved this season, but there still isn’t a lot to celebrate in the Valley of the Sun, especially with the injury to superstar Devin Booker.
However, Suns point guard Mike James, and the franchise, made a little history this week, one worth celebrating.
James is the first two-way player to have his deal converted in this manner.
Two-way deals were introduced to the league this season as part of the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement and allow for a combined NBA and G-League affiliate contract.
James, 27, will have exhausted his 45 days on an NBA roster on Thursday. James has averaged 10.5 points and 4.5 assists for the Suns this season and played well in an increased role following the trade of Eric Bledsoe to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Suns’ GM Ryan McDonough Explains Decision to Trade Marquese Chriss, Brandon Knight
Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough has an interesting situation on his hands as the Suns have no established starting point guards on their roster, and after trading away forward Marquese Chriss and Brandon Knight to the Houston Rockets a few weeks ago, McDonough is still shaping the team.
“A big part of it, not only with Marquese but with Brandon as well” McDobough said of the decision to execute the trade, during an appearance on Bickley and Marotta on 98.7 FM.
“With Igor Kokoskov and his staff coming in, they have new philosophies. They have a very high-level offensive system that I think our fans will really enjoy watching because it’s pretty impressive and has proven to be effective over time.
That being said, the pieces have to fit the system and there has to be a role in the system for certain players, and if there’s not a role, we look externally to see if there are players we can bring in to fit the system and play a role better.”
McDonough now has rookies Elie Okobo and De’Anthony Melton, along with veterans Shaquille Harris and Isaiah Canaan on the roster, but explained that the team is still exploring their options.
“We’re very high on Elie Okobo, he’s looked terrific in the pickup games we’ve had so far. [Melton] we thought was one of the better rookies in summer league, and guys like Shaquille Harrison and Isaiah Canaan played very well for us a year ago. We have depth there, I realize we don’t have a lot of experience there. We’re evaluating options. We’re trying to be deliberate and strategic, and just make sure it makes sense — if we are to do a deal — in the short- and long-term.”
Suns’ Devin Booker Out Six Weeks Following Surgery
Booker had fifth metacarpophalangeal joint in his right hand fixed by Dr. Steven Shin in Los Angeles, and he initially injured the hand in March, which put him on the sidelines for the final 12 games of the 2017-2018 season.
Booker’s recovery timeline will likely keep him out of the Suns’ season opener on October 17th.
Suns’ Devin Booker to Miss at Least 4 Weeks with Hand Injury
Phoenix Suns superstar Devin Booker, who recently inked a massive contract extension with the team, will be out for at least four weeks after he undergoes surgery in his shooting hand on Monday, according to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
Booker could potentially miss all of training camp and the majority of the preseason as he recovers.
It’s unclear how Booker suffered the injury, but his Instagram post from his page showed him riding his bike, so many are concluding that he injured himself while riding.
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