Just over ten games into the season, Toronto has already moved on from one of their offseason signings, as the team waived center Alex Len.
The Ukrainian big man played in seven games with the Raptors, averaging 2.3 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. With Chris Boucher breaking out and Aron Baynes also on board, he just couldn’t find his way into the rotation.
Phoenix selected him with the fifth pick in the 2013 NBA Draft and he played for the Suns for five seasons until 2018.
You know what that means. He’s coming back to the Valley.
Wait, what? The Suns don’t need to re-sign every former player when they become available?
I mean, yes, his hands are made of stone and he struggles to keep up with guards in pick and roll situations like you would want out of your modern day big man. But he used to be here so he has to return, right? It’s home.
Well, let’s look at what he would bring and mainly, that’s depth at the center position. In that respect, he wouldn’t hurt the team. Actually, he could do quite a bit of good. He brings legit size at seven-foot, 250-pounds.
Also, his career 17.1 TRB% (total rebound percentage) would rank second on this year’s squad behind only Deandre Ayton. Only four teams (Kings, Pacers, Heat and Clippers) have grabbed fewer boards than the Suns so far this season. That is a glaring weakness and he’d provide an instant boost in that area.
Those that are sour on him likely discredit his production because the fan base failed to see much value in him with how bad the team was when he was on board. However, he was far from the only reason those Suns were as horrible as they were and even though he had a rough first few seasons, he was starting to figure it out by the time he left as sometimes big men take a while to stand.
Look at his time with the Hawks in 2018. He averaged 11.1 points and 5.5 rebounds. That’s not half bad. He’s still only 27 years old and is a viable center with the length and ability to play inside effectively.
There are just as many pros and cons that this becomes a tough decision. Yet, with the way the Suns have struggled inside and haven’t been able to establish a solid backup center this season, it wouldn’t be the worst idea.
What say you Suns fans?
Should the Suns bring back Alex Len?
This poll is closed