Less than 24 hours after free agency began, the Phoenix Suns have stayed busy. Not only did they meet with Kelly Oubre Jr. on Sunday, but they signed Ricky Rubio to a three-year, $51 million deal to be their starting point guard. Now, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Phoenix has signed Hornets big man Frank Kaminsky on the dotted line.
Kaminsky, the former Wisconsin Badger, averaged 9.8 points and 4 rebounds while shooting 34.9% on threes during his four seasons in Charlotte.
This past year, Kaminsky struggled to adjust to a role outside the Hornets’ rotation appearing in only 47 games. After unsuccessfully canvasing the league at the trade deadline, Kaminsky’s qualifying offer was rescinded making him an unrestricted free agent.
The two-year deal for Kaminsky qualifies as the Suns’ room exception. Following the Rubio signing for $17 million annually, Phoenix was hard-capped meaning they could only use this exception to add in a player over the veteran’s minimum. Outside of a looming extension for Oubre, no more transactions will be coming from the Suns outside of cap-clearing ones likely to involve former No. 4 overall pick Josh Jackson.
With Kaminsky now aboard, here’s how the Suns’ current rotation looks:
Starters — Ricky Rubio, Devin Booker, Kelly Oubre Jr., Dario Saric, Deandre Ayton
Second Unit — Tyler Johnson / Ty Jerome, Cameron Johnson, Mikal Bridges, Frank Kaminsky, Aron Baynes
Compared to year’s past, that is a huge upgrade. Suns GM James Jones mentioned before how he wanted to bring in multiple veterans above age 25 to balance out the young core. So far, Jones has definitely accomplished that with Saric (25), Baynes (32), Rubio (28) and now Kaminsky (26).
Kaminsky’s role next season will probably be anywhere from 10-20 minutes per game, depending on how head coach Monty Williams utilizes Oubre and Bridges at the forward spots.
Did you know Kaminsky’s Wisconsin squad was the one who dethroned the undefeated Kentucky Wildcats led by Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Trey Lyles and Booker? Now, the two players from the 2015 draft class are reunited in the Valley.