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2015-16 Phoenix Suns Report Cards: The Other Guys

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Finally, the report cards for which you've all been waiting. Today, we grade...the other guys.

Remember this guy? He was on the team this year! No, I promise you. He was. Look it up.
Remember this guy? He was on the team this year! No, I promise you. He was. Look it up.
Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

For those of you just now emerging from winter hibernation, it was a rough season for the Phoenix Suns. This was reflected by the ridiculously large number of players that suited up for the team this season: 23 different players were given minutes in a Suns uniform this season, among the most in franchise history.

Now, given the way rosters work, we know all of those guys weren't on the team to end the season. The team ended the season with just 14 players.

Now, Bright Side of the Sun has already provided you with report cards for the 11 players on the roster that received a goodly chunk of minutes on the season: Devin Booker, T.J. Warren, Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight, Alex Len, Ronnie Price, Tyson Chandler, Archie Goodwin, Jon Leuer, Mirza Teletovic and P.J. Tucker.

That leaves 3 guys who were on the roster at the end of the season who have yet to receive their report cards for the year: John Jenkins, Chase Budinger and Alan Williams!

It seems unfair to grade these three guys on the same rubric that the others were graded on, largely because they played so few minutes (287 for Jenkins, 200 for Budinger and just 68 for Williams).

So instead, we're going on a pass/no pass scale.

Let's go!

John Jenkins

Jenkins joined the team in late February, after being cut by the Dallas Mavericks to make room for David Lee.

After joining the team, Jenkins would end up appearing in 22 games, and even started twice (twice!?!?) for the team in late March. Over the 22 games in which he appeared, Jenkins averaged 13 minutes per game, a pretty decent number.

Jenkins came in as a cheap insurance policy and a stopgap while injuries limited other members of the backcourt. Expectations for Jenkins were understandably limited.

Given those limited expectations, Jenkins actually performed relatively well. He averaged 5 points, 2 boards and an assist per game in his 13 minutes, on shooting splits of 47/41/80%. Despite the fact that he only played more than 20 minutes twice on the season, he had 5 games where he scored 9 points or more.

Defense was a bit of a struggle for Jenkins, but I'm willing to cut him some slack on this end, as the defense under Earl Watson was questionable.

All things told, I'm willing to give Jenkins a Pass for the season. He was a reliable end of the bench guy, particularly when compared to Sonny Weems and Archie Goowin, with both of whom he was competing for minutes.

Chase Budinger

For those of you who, in pain and desperation, did not watch the last few weeks of the season, you might have missed Chase Budinger's addition to the team. After Sonny Weems was released in early March, the Suns signed the University of Arizona product, who had begun the season with the Indiana Pacers before being cut to make room for Ty Lawson.

Budinger has been a reclamation project since a pretty devastating series of knee injuries early in his career.

It is pretty unclear what the expectation was for Budinger when the Suns signed him. A large part of me thinks this was a cynical move by the Suns front office to win support from the long-suffering fan base by bringing back a local favorite. This is reinforced by the fact that Alan Williams (a North High alum) was brought in at the same time.

Whatever the expectations, I'm assuming the Suns expected more out of Budinger than they got. Over 17 games, Budinger averaged 3 points, 2 rebounds and an assist in 12 minutes per game. His 3 point shooting, one of the most intriguing aspects of Budinger as a player, was bad, as he shot just 23%, though to be fair to Budinger he shot an absurd rate from 2 for a wing player, 68%.

All in all, Budinger looked a bit slow and a bit out of his league when with the Suns. He did, however, along with John Jenkins provide one of the more exciting plays of the latter part of the season for the Suns, an exciting alley-oop off a fast break.

As much as it pains me to say it as an Arizona alum, it increasingly looks like Budinger probably is not cut out for the NBA. I have to give him a No-Pass for his time with the Suns.

Alan Williams

Finally, the report card for which I'm sure you have all been waiting. Alan Williams played 68 minutes for the Suns this season across 10 games, and the only ones I am basing this grade upon occurred in the final game of the season.

Sure, we could talk about how Big Al was statically the team's best rebounder on a minute-for-minute basis (putting up a TRB% unseen on this franchise since the days Hamed Haddadi stalked the court). Or we could talk about how he was one of only three players on the team to have a positive BPM for the season (the others are Bledsoe and Tucker).

But instead I want to talk about the last game of the season, where Williams was finally given a chance at double digit minutes and came out like a man on a mission. In 22 minutes, Williams put up 14 points, 12 boards, 2 assists, a steal and 3 blocks. He stole the show, and was undeniably the most effective Suns frontcourt player over 6'5.

The focus on this game, while somewhat in jest, is in fact necessary, as otherwise we have little to grade Williams on. Almost 50% of Williams' overall season production came in this game, in just under a third of his total minutes with the team. While the fact that he increased his per-minute production when given more minutes is somewhat encouraging, it leaves us basing any evaluation on a very limited sample.

Williams' signing was a little odd. He had played the lion's share of his minutes in the CBA and NCAA at  the center position, and it wasn't exactly clear why the team needed a third string center at the end of the season. Thus, its not clear what the expectations for Williams as a Suns should have been. Its not entirely clear there were expectations, as it surely seemed as if Earl Watson did not have much faith in the big man, multiple times deciding to give extended minutes to Tyson Chandler late in the season rather than play Williams more than a minute or two a game.

If we're going solely off of the last game, which I think we probably should, Williams gets a definite Pass. He came in when the team asked him to and performed his ass off. It doesn't matter that he was playing against Jeff Ayres and Cole Aldrich (who, coincidentally, held Alex Len to 10 points, 3 boards and an assist). It doesn't matter that it was a garbage-time game for which neither team had much incentive to play. You can only play the minutes you're given, and Williams did that.