After Tyler Johnson’s expiring contract wasn’t able to help improve the Suns’ bench at the trade deadline, the next step was waiving him earlier this week. With a roster spot in flux, how was Phoenix going to go about finding that piece to help their roster out?
Well, we finally have our answer as The Athletic’s Shams Charania and 98.7 FM’s John Gambadoro both reported Wednesday afternoon the Suns were signing former 76ers stretch big Jonah Bolden to a 10-day contract.
Suns will sign forward Jonah Bolden to a 10-day contract.— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) February 12, 2020
Once more, the Suns have dipped their toes into familiarity. Dario Saric was coached by Monty Williams during a short stint last season in Philadelphia before being traded with Robert Covington for Jimmy Butler. Another former 76er is on the way to the Valley as Bolden spent his entire NBA career there, including one year overseas with Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2017-18 for extra playing time.
Bolden certainly fits the identity Phoenix is trying to create under the watch of GM James Jones and Williams. Not only is their potential as a stretch big who could optimally space the floor, but he could be a long-term depth piece if all goes well. Over the last three years spanning from Maccabi Tel Aviv and Philadelphia, Bolden is shooting 33.4% on three-pointers.
Phoenix’s new piece to their roster has also seen plenty of time with the Sixers’ G-League affiliate the last two years. In 22 appearances, Bolden averaged 13 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 2.9 assists while converting 35.1% on 3s.
Only turning 24 years old at the beginning of last month, there’s a chance to help further mold an upside play like Bolden. And there’s a good chance the former Sixers big could see immediate minutes in Phoenix with their depleted rotation. Injuries to Deandre Ayton (ankle), Aron Baynes (hip), Frank Kaminsky (knee), and Dario Saric (ankle) have the Suns down to Cheick Diallo playing heavy minutes.
Bolden officially signed his contract on Wednesday, per Gambadoro, so his contract will expire February 22. That means only two opportunities to impress Suns management against Golden State and then Toronto after the All-Star break.
Check out some highlights of the Suns’ new signing below. What’s your thoughts on Phoenix rolling the dice on a talent like Bolden?