Pining for the good ol’ days, Suns fans? Well then you’ll have to look beyond this here bit of news.
It’s always interesting to see what happens to former Phoenix Suns after they leave the team, and today’s story will focus on deep bench level players on recent teams. No, this isn’t about Marcin Gortat, Luis Scola, Isaiah Thomas or Goran Dragic leading their respective teams into the playoffs.
This is about guys like Jordan McRae, Tyler Ennis, Miles Plumlee, Chase Budinger and Michael Beasley.
I have no idea how that nickname stuck in my head all these years, but the former double-double threat for a surprising 2013-14 Suns team who was later a throw-in to a deadline trade in February 2015 just got rich.
Brother Mason, a year away from restricted free agency himself, is smiling ear to ear about Miles’ $52 million, four-year deal with the Milwaukee Bucks. In fact, every rotational big man is smiling right now. I mean, if 4 points and 3 rebounds in 13 minutes per game (only 14 starts) gets you $13 million a year, that’s a big reason to smile right?
No matter what the third-string center for the Bucks does the rest of his career, he’s going to get paid big bucks for it.
Good for Miles.
When all the point guards got hurt last year, the Suns ran through a parade of D-Leaguers on 10-day contracts: Phil Pressey (9 games), Lorenzo Brown (8), Jordan McRae (7) and Orlando Johnson (2).
All were cut after their 10-day stint(s), but the self-proclaimed Orange Mamba used the Suns as a springboard to a championship ring.
The Cleveland Cavaliers signed McRae to a 10-day and then for the rest of the season, and he even got some limited run in the playoffs after finishing the season with a 34-point outburst on the final day as the rest of the team rested for the post season.
Cleveland Cavaliers exercise option on G Jordan McRae https://t.co/qDQxTM0qXH— Secret News Bot (@SecretNewsBot3) June 29, 2016
Now he’s signed a two-year league minimum deal with the World Champions. It’s not guaranteed beyond this season, but that’s a million times better than any contract he had going into last year.
After going through those D-League wings and point guards, the Suns inexplicably turned to a former U of A star for a remainder-of-season contract.
Chase Budinger was necessary on the surface, especially after T.J. Warren would miss the rest of the season due to a broken foot. The Suns only remaining real SF was P.J. Tucker, who was spending a lot of time at the four position.
Still, Budinger wasn’t worthy of minutes. He averaged 3 points in 12 minutes per game over 17 to end the season. The Suns came to their sense and declined to pick up his 2017-18 option.
Budinger signed a non-guaranteed deal with the lowlier Brooklyn Nets this week to try to keep his flagging NBA career alive.
SuperCool for T-Dot
The most randomly entertaining NBA trade of the off season, IMO, took place yesterday when the Milwaukee Bucks sent former Suns first round pick Tyler Ennis to the Houston Rockets for former Suns buy-out star Michael Beasley.
Houston has traded Michael Beasley to the Bucks for guard Tyler Ennis, league sources tell @TheVertical.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) September 22, 2016
if you recall, two years before trading Markieff Morris to the Wizards to rid the team of bad juju, the Suns did the same with their buyout of Michael Beasley in summer of 2013.
Now Beasley has momentarily re-established a place in the league - and I mean momentarily - as a shooter for the Rockets and now savior for the Bucks who need a fill in for Top-50 NBA player Kris Middleton. That’s not going to go well for the Bucks.
On the Rockets end, they get a chance to make a career for four-points-per-game Tyler Ennis, but unfortunately for Tyler his new coach is Mike D’Antoni who only plays shooters. Ennis is a career 30% three shooter through two NBA seasons. On the plus side, Pringles won’t care how bad Ennis is at defense. So there’s that.
There you have it, Suns fans.
The four-points-per-game All-Star team.
Any other random Suns news for end-of-bench guys this off season?