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Suns reportedly sign Haywood Highsmith to training camp deal

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Highsmith signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Suns, meaning it can be converted to a two-way deal.

Philadelphia 76ers v Miami Heat Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

As the Suns look to lock in the last piece of their roster, they have signed former 76ers wing Haywood Highsmith to a training camp deal, according to Gina Mizell of The Athletic.

Similar to how the Suns have structured their other training camp deals for Tariq Owens and David Kramer, this contract, according to Mizell, is an Exhibit 10 deal. This clause was added at the same time as two-way contracts, and it allows teams to sign players to regular deals before eventually escalating them to two-way status after training camp.

Exhibit 10 contracts allow teams in the Suns’ exact position to be flexible. Young rosters that don’t have 17 obvious candidates for roster spots can use September workouts, training camp and the preseason to see how things shake out before deciding on who gets the two-way deal. That means eyes will be on Owens, Highsmith and Kramer as the Suns convene in Phoenix and begin their season.

Highsmith played just 40 minutes for Philadelphia last year and didn’t do anything to earn a spot on a NBA roster, but is still just 22. The Suns also need more wing depth, especially players who can fill in at the two-guard spot behind Devin Booker. During the 2018-19 G League season, Highsmith shot 34 percent from three on nearly five attempts per game and chipped in as a rebounder and defensive playmaker as well.

My recollection from Summer League is that he plays bigger than his size and would fit the mold of the rest of the Suns’ wing rotation as a guy who can play anywhere from the two through the four. That versatility is something Kramer and Owens don’t have.

It looks like the stage is set for a training camp battle for guaranteed money and that second two-way slot next to Jared Harper, whom the Suns signed right after Summer League. The Suns already have 15 guaranteed contracts for next season, so it’s unlikely they convert any of the three Exhibit 10 players to real NBA contracts unless they really blow the team out of the water.