With Troy Williams signing elsewhere over the weekend, the Phoenix Suns missed an opportunity to sure up the wing rotation with a bouncy individual who impressed greatly during Summer League. Of course, Summer League does always hold the most weight with front offices, but you could tell that there was something there when you watched Williams play. He has a nose for the ball, his athleticism jumped out all over the court, and he was not opposed to making smart off-ball cuts that lead to easy buckets around the rim. As surprising as it was that the Indiana product went undrafted, it should be just as unsurprising that some team snatched him up after his showing in Vegas.
GM Ryan McDonough seemed impressed with Williams when I spoke to him last week, but it is difficult to find enough roster space after you do the math.
This leads me to another Williams, Alan, that impressed in Vegas and has been on the roster bubble for quite some time now. Williams lead all players in Summer League with 11.2 rebounds per game, and his scavenger-like knack for rebounding is matched only by his heart and ability to act as a unifying force for those around him. People love playing alongside Williams, and it shows with every thunderous high-five, or belch after somebody dives on the floor. Those things matter, and will undoubtedly play a big part in whether or not Williams is retained by the front office for the long haul.
Again, McDonough seemed fairly certain that Williams will be on the roster next season after what he showed in Vegas, but I guess we will have to see what McDonough decides to do once September 1 rolls around. (Williams’ contract is non-guaranteed up until September 1.)
Lastly, we have guard John Jenkins, who has a $1.1 million salary that is non-guaranteed up until October 27. The flooded backcourt has to make the writing on the wall a bit bigger for Jenkins, as he will likely be battling against Archie Goodwin for the right to stay on the roster and play any garbage time minutes that may arise. Leandro Barbosa’s return and the drafting of Tyler Ulis have only shrunken the airspace of an already crowded backcourt, and there is likely going to be one (or maybe even two) casualties.
Though Goodwin and Jenkins play similar positions in theory — the two-guard — they both employ different styles while doing so. Goodwin is a slashing dynamo that struggles to shoot and finish around the rim, while Jenkins is more of an undersized gunner that has the capability of shooting flames every now and then. Due to the many other ball-handlers already at the Suns disposal, one would figure that Jenkins is a better fit as a spot-up shooter who can do more damage off-ball from a gravity standpoint alone.
Yet, there is an allegiance to Goodwin that may be too difficult to overcome; he is homegrown, shows flashes every now and then, and is not even 22 years old. (Wrap your head around that fact.)
Jenkins has made it known that he intends to seek out a future in Phoenix, even going as far as pushing back the guarantee date of his contract until late October. The thinking there is that he will impress enough during training camp to earn a roster spot. And maybe he will, even amongst the 2485967 other guards the Suns already employ.
As for now, the likely conclusion is that (Alan) Williams will have his contract guaranteed sometime between now and the September 1 deadline, and the front office will kick on the tires on other small moves that deem to be beneficial.
What do you guys think? Are you upset that (Troy) Williams got away? Would you run it back with Goodwin for another year, keep Jenkins instead, or do neither?