Let’s be honest, most Suns fans were grasping at their phones to look up E’Twaun Moore the moment the Suns signed him to a 1-year, $2.3 MM contract. Trying to find highlights and have an opinion on the signing.
To make it easier, The Suns JAM Session Podcast brought Oleh Kosel, editor-in-chief of SB Nations’s Pelicans blog thebirdrights.com to speak about the Suns newest acquisition. This sit down was more than insightful. Oleh couldn’t say enough good things about the hard working, quiet veteran who will be looking to score.
Who does that sound like? T.J. Warren, to me. If you watch the highlights of Moore, there is a lot to like and a lot of Warren in his game. A smaller version, but a player that can score in all areas on the floor.
There were no bribes here, everything that was spoken by Oleh was organic and will definitely get the excitement flowing even more here in the valley.
Q: After playing four seasons with the Pelicans, will you miss him? Why or why not?
Oleh Kosel: I will miss him. He’s a fantastic locker-room guy. He’s one of the quietest but the most professional athlete I have ever come across.
E’twaun always struck me as a guy you want to have on your roster. There were highs to E’twaun’s stay here during his career where you were actually shocked by how good of a player he is. The on the court talent is really there.
If you guys can recall that 2016 NBA free agency? Everybody got handed mass-money and didn’t deserve it... well guess what? Moore got paid $32, $33, $34M for four years, and he was every bit worth that contract.
Q: Were you surprised that he didn’t resign with the Pelicans?
OK: We all expected him to leave. Last year, his role really got minimized.
Alvin Gentry was given a tough position. At first, it was- lets try as many games as we can. So E’twaun saw a consistent role but once that 13 game losing streak hit, it became a lot more about development and he started earning a lot of DNP’s and there were a lot of guys that weren’t to happy with that decision. Even inside the locker room.
When E’twaun was given another chance, you kind of heard basically from the guys (I remember Jrue Holiday being one specifically) saying, “yeah, this is what E’twaun does.” And what he does is provide great scoring. If you need a fourth scorer, he is your guy off your bench.
Coming from the Chicago Bulls, he was just known as kind of a 3 and D guy. Even though he stands 6’4” he has got a length of 6’9” wingspan.
He was thrown in as a starter at small forward and the Pelicans actually did really well. And that 2017-18 season where they made the playoffs and swept the Blazers in the first round, a big reason why was because E’twaun was so solid. You could count on his production to the be that force, where when he catches that ball on the wing, he’s making over 40% of his 3’s.
Q: Did you think Phoenix was the best fit and destination for Moore?
OK: We didn’t here where he most likely to go, we just knew that he wasn’t going to come back to New Orleans.
I just knew that some contender. Almost every team needs shooting, so you knew that he was going to latch on with somebody. Going to Phoenix, wow! I’m telling you. I love what Phoenix has done this off-season.
Q: What is your favorite story of Moore during his time in New Orleans?
OK: He hates negativity.
This is when the Pelicans were not playing well, a stretch when they lose five out of six. So, you have to ask some difficult questions.
What went wrong, you start asking for more details. Well, my friend just ask a couple of questions. Moore responded, “how you always so negative?” The whole locker-room started busting out laughing. If you know E’twaun, there are no negative bones in his body, he doesn’t like the aura, no matter what is going on. He’s just such a good flow positive vibe guy.
Q: Are there any bad things you want us to know about?
OK: Yeah, he is on the wrong side of 30 now and you worry about injury risk.
He was having a real good year after the Pelicans were in the playoffs- 2018. He started off on fire the first few months. I want to say he was averaging 16-points a game, shooting nearly 50% from 3, but then he sustained like a quad bruise, something in his leg and was never right the rest of the year.
You wonder if you really seen the best of E’twaun and how much does he have left in the tank in a good size role.
I feel like he has lost maybe a step over the past couple years.