Inside the Suns - Topics: Drafting Bronny James, second chance players, using two-way contracts (2024)

Welcome to ‘Inside the Suns’, your weekly deep down analysis of the current Phoenix Suns team.

Each week the Fantable - a round table of Bright Siders - give their takes on the Suns’ latest issues and news.

Fantable Questions of the Week

Q1 - How likely do you believe the Suns drafting Bronny James is?

GuarGuar: I think it is EXTREMELY unlikely we use our pick on Bronny James this year. The only way we would do that is if we had full confirmation from LeBron that he would come here on a vet minimum if we took Bronny. Outside of that, I can’t imagine us using our pick on him. He doesn’t solve any of our issues and is a borderline NBA prospect at best.

Brrrberry: I’d put the odds at about 90% that the Lakers take Bronny at 17. That’s if Pelicans don’t choose to use the Lakers pick this year. The fact they don’t own the rights to that pick reduce those 90% chance I’d say about 25%. So 65% would be my odds for Bronny going to Lakers at 17 and the other 35% is Bronny going to Phoenix at 22. The Suns are not taking Bronny at 22 unless it’s a package deal with Lebron coming along at the minimum. Because that’d have to be communicated clearly through back channels I’d say the likelihood of it all happening is about 20-25%. I’m hoping it happens!

If we keep the pick I’m still hoping for Jamal Shead PG from Houston at 22. He’s the one PG in this draft that I think has the grit to carve out a role and be ready to hang with pros as a rook. The other two interesting PG who could be there at 22 are Kolek and Carrrington. Ultimately I’d be happy with any of those 3 guys.

Rod: Unless the Suns can somehow get themselves a 2nd round pick in the draft, I just don’t see it happening. Using the 22nd pick on him would be a waste as I don’t believe LBJ would come to Phoenix on a vet minimum contract just to play with his son. Even if he did, would adding a 40-year old LeBron on the Suns for probably one season be worth it? The best answer to that I can come up with is just “maybe” but only if it somehow led to the Suns winning a championship because it would only leave the team in even worse shape following 2024-25.

Q2 - Of the players the Suns traded away at midseason (Bates-Diop, Goodwin, Metu, Watanabe), are there any that you wouldn’t mind seeing get a 2nd chance with the Suns on another vet minimum contract this fall?

GuarGuar: I wouldn’t mind seeing Metu get a 2nd chance with the squad. He is capable of being a solid rotation piece with his length and shooting. That being said I really don’t want to bring any of these previous guys back. There’s a reason we traded them off at the deadline.

Brrrberry: I’d prefer to never see any of those guys in a Suns uniform ever again. I suppose I wouldn’t be mad at Goodwin as a 13-15th man but none of those guys have what it takes to be top 9 rotation guys on a contender and really that’s about the only type of player I’m interested in, whether it’s someone who can be that immediately or a player that could get there in the future. Best of luck to all of them, Eric Gordon and Eubanks too.

Rod: Of the four I would only consider bringing back Metu. After looking at all of the post-Suns stats for the four, he was the only one whose numbers didn’t fall. They didn’t really improve either but he looked good enough at times with the Suns last season that I wouldn’t mind giving another vet minimum contract to basically be the Suns’ 3rd string PF/C... if they can’t find someone better to fill that spot in the roster.

Goodwin’s raw stats improved a bit but that was with increased minutes with Memphis (over twice his per game average in Phoenix) and his FG shooting percentage actually went down (with a tiny increase in 3-pt percentage, up from 28.8% to 31.1%). He had a few good games there but wasn’t consistent enough to warrant a 2nd chance IMO. Yuta also got some run in Memphis but didn’t perform any better there than with the Suns. The last thing I heard about him was that he said he was returning to Japan to play there next season. KBD really didn’t get much of a chance to play in Brooklyn but didn’t seem to make much an impact when he did get on the court there.

Q3 - Do you think the Suns should start using their two-way slots for younger, potentially higher ceiling players than the relatively older more experienced players (22, 24, 24 & 29 last season) that they have been signing?

GuarGuar: With our lack of picks going forward I do think it would be wiser to use our last few rotation spots on young boom or bust potential players. We are going to have to find a way to get some youth over these next few years without having draft picks. Using the two-way slots for that is a great idea and strategy we should begin to employ going forward.

Brrrberry: I’m not sure whether I’d put a ton of stock into age for those 2 way slots. Undrafted guys who end up making a name in the league are likely more common amongst 4 year college players than younger guys who either left too early or whatever the case may be. My hope is the organization is putting a lot of resources into scouting the entire globe as the influx of talent outside the US is at an all time high and seemingly growing richer by the year. We need to be tapped all the way into the pipelines these young guys from overseas are coming from and on the other side of it potentially bringing over pros that are doing well overseas, find ourselves another PJ Tucker sorta thing.

Rod: They’ve got to. Giving the two-ways to older, slightly more experienced players is just a weak safety net/break glass in case of injury emergency move that hasn’t really worked out very well. Now that they have a G League team again, getting younger players with at least potential higher ceilings should be who they go after and if injuries force them into service with the regular team, so be it and you just live with the consequences. The Suns have got to start looking more toward the future and try to find some young players that they could actually develop into productive rotation pieces over time.

I will be very disappointed in the Suns’ front office if they don’t sign several players to Exhibit 10 contracts instead of using up all of their two-ways before training camp begins (Exhibit 10 contracts can be converted into two-ways or standard NBA contracts or offer a bonus for playing on the team’s G League affiliate if they are waived).

As always, many thanks to our Fantable members for all their extra effort this week!

Last Week’s poll results

Last week’s question was, “Do you believe Saben Lee or Udoka Azubuike should be brought back on vet minimum contracts in 2024-25?

07.0% - Yes to both of them.

12.3% - Only Saben Lee.

14.3% - Only Udoka Azubuike..

66.4% - No to both of them.

A total of 301 votes were cast.

Suns Trivia

At 7’3” Bol Bol is the tallest player to ever suit up for the Suns but who was the shortest player in Suns history? Many might guess it was 5’9” Tyler Ulis whom the Suns selected with the 34th pick in the 2016 draft or Yuta Tabuse (also 5’9”) who had the distinction of being the first Japanese-born player in NBA history back when he signed as a free agent with the Suns back in 2004. If you guessed either of those two, you would be wrong as the shortest player to ever wear the purple and orange was Greg Grant. At just 5’7”, Grant came to the Suns as the 52nd pick in the 1989 draft and played the point relatively well as Kevin Johnson’s primary backup during the 1989-90 season, most notably as a high energy, pesky defender. But as with Ulis and Tabuse, Grant’s stint with the Suns was a relatively short one as he was not offered a new contract for the following season and spent the rest of his 6-year NBA career as a journeyman playing for five different teams.

Curiously, the 2nd round pick that was used to select Grant originally belonged to the Lakers and came to the Suns as part of the 1985 trade that sent Maurice Lucas to LA. In 1987, that pick was traded by the Suns to Cleveland for James Bailey (who spent only one season in Phoenix before going overseas to play for the rest of his career) and then traded back to the Suns in 1988 as part of the multi-player trade with Cleveland that sent Larry Nance Sr. to Cleveland in exchange for Kevin Johnson.

This week’s poll is...

Poll

Do you believe that the decision to bring back David Fizdale as part of Budenholzer’s coaching staff was made at least in part to help the Suns re-sign Bol Bol?

  • 63%
    Yes.

    (159 votes)

  • 36%
    No.

    (91 votes)

250 votes total Vote Now

Inside the Suns - Topics: Drafting Bronny James, second chance players, using two-way contracts (2024)
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