As we reach the final days before free agency officially kicking off, we have new rumors from The Athletic’s Shams Charania. According to Charania, the Phoenix Suns are interested in Cory Joseph and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
Free agent guard Cory Joseph has received interest from several teams seeking point-guard help, including Phoenix, Washington, Sacramento and Chicago, league sources said.
Joseph would arrive as Phoenix’s presumed starting point guard with Tyler Johnson backing him up. Last season for the Pacers as their backup, Joseph averaged 6.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.1 steals in 25.2 minutes.
The Suns obviously seem to be prioritizing defense to go alongside Devin Booker, if they go in the direction of Joseph once free agency begins at 3:00 pm AZ on June 30. Compared to another unrestricted option like Patrick Beverley, Joseph would come at a major discount.
However, does Joseph really move the needle? Personally, no, I don’t think so. It’s an improvement to have a point guard duo featuring Johnson and Joseph, but maybe I’m being too ambitious looking for a big splash move instead.
Forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is expected to receive interest from several teams as an unrestricted free agent — including the Suns, Timberwolves and Rockets, league sources said. Teams view Hollis-Jefferson as a versatile forward, capable of defending all five positions and providing energy in the rotation.
Hollis-Jefferson, the former Arizona Wildcat, wouldn’t be a signing prioritizing shooting but again in a similar direction as Joseph focused towards defense-first. Versatility is a major component to Hollis-Jefferson’s game as well, capable of guarding up to four or five positions during switching situations.
When you see the other teams listed outside of Phoenix, both the Timberwolves and Rockets are cap-strapped. The Suns and a return back to the desert for RHJ seems very much in play with the cap space available.
After averaging 8.9 points and 5.3 rebounds for the Nets, they renounced Hollis-Jefferson’s qualifying offer allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent.
Phoenix is projected to have $14.1 million available to spend, per Cleaning The Glass. That’s enough to fit both Joseph and Hollis-Jefferson comfortably within their space (Joseph will be projected to make likely around $7-8 million per year, Hollis-Jefferson maybe $3-5 million).
Will the Suns go in this direction filling out their remaining space with quality role players such as Joseph and Hollis-Jefferson or instead make a big move for someone like D’Angelo Russell or Malcolm Brogdon?
From here until Sunday, the rumor mill will only be heating up even further so stick to Bright Side for all the latest info.