The Phoenix Suns have kept their second two-way slot open all summer. After letting go of Alec Peters, Danuel House, and Shaquille Harrison, a signing from the outside would have to happen eventually.
Well, the shoe finally dropped on Saturday as it was reported by The Athletic’s Michael Scotto that Phoenix secured the rights to former Clippers point guard Jawun Evans.
Jawun Evans, the No. 39 pick of the 2017 draft, will be claimed by the Northern Arizona Suns of the G League, The Athletic has learned. The Suns have the first priority in the waiver process.— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) November 3, 2018
Evans was cut from the Clippers’ roster due to the excess amount of guards already present on their roster, and the writing was even further on the wall after matching New Orleans’ restricted offer sheet for Tyrone Wallace. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Patrick Beverley, Milos Teodosic, and Jerome Robinson all need consistent minutes, and waiving Evans was the easiest way towards accomplishing that.
Evans played in 48 games last season for Los Angeles, averaging 16.4 minutes while only converting 35.2% of his scoring opportunities, but the smarter play would be to analyze his college film from Oklahoma State at a closer glance.
At Oklahoma State, Evans was thrusted into a bigger role following his breakout freshman campaign. During his sophomore season in Stillwater, Evans tallied 19.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 6.8 assists, and 1.8 steals while carrying shooting splits of 43.8/37.9/81.2. The Suns’ new 6’0”, 175-pound point guard carried a high usage rate during college, but he has a steady playmaking hand who could get hot at any time.
Adding Evans to the G League while Elie Okobo and De’Anthony Melton stay on the main roster makes sense for two reasons. One, it allows Okobo and Melton to earn their stripes in Phoenix unless Evans takes their spot if a panic trade is made. Two, Evans is likely an emergency replacement in case Isaiah Canaan’s injury history continues to bite back.
Evans also is the correct swing of the bat from an upside standpoint. Maybe a change in scenery helps bring out more of the Oklahoma State version of Evans than what we’ve seen on the professional level thus far.
Going this route is definitely preferred over what happened last season with Josh Gray and Harrison. The same main roster call-up could be in line for Evans soon, depending on what happens in front of him on the depth chart.
If you’re unfamiliar with Evans, check out his best game in a Clippers uniform plus some college highlights below.