Landry Shamet recalled wearing Phoenix Suns starting point guard Chris Paul’s signature shoes and jersey as a middle schooler. Now, the Suns’ recently-acquired backup guard will be playing alongside Paul, who he called his “idol.”
“I think that, more than anything, is really cool,” Shamet said in an interview with Dan Bickley and Vince Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM on Wednesday.
Shamet, who was acquired by the Suns from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Jevon Carter and the draft rights to Day’Ron Sharpe, the No. 29 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, was one of Phoenix’s best additions this offseason. He will give the Suns shooting and a pesky defensive ability behind Paul and starting shooting guard Devin Booker, something the team lacked during its latest run to the NBA Finals.
Shamet said in his radio interview he is excited to play alongside two players who were picked with him in the 2018 NBA Draft, starting center Deandre Ayton (No. 1 overall) and starting forward Mikal Bridges (No. 10), and with Phoenix coach Monty Williams, who coached him as an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2018-19.
“He was kind of mentor not only just on the court, but in life in general,” Shamet said, “transitioning into the NBA and that lifestyle.”
Shamet added he is looking forward to playing within the Suns’ offensive system, in which he observed “the ball is moving freely” and “everybody’s empowered to make decisions, make plays quickly.” Shamet was part of a Nets offense that was the most efficient offense in NBA history last season, according to Stathead, and credited his AAU team, the KC Pumas, for helping him try to “make the right reads” and “smart, easy plays.”
That mentality should help Shamet fit in with Phoenix’s “point-five” offensive system, in which players look to dribble, shoot or pass within half a second. Here’s a deeper dive into Shamet’s fit.
Shamet’s potential fit
Shamet has described himself as a simple player, and that has been evident dating back to when he was observed on a national stage at Wichita State.
He is not a player who will create his own shot at an effective rate, but he is a very effective offensive option with how he can be used in sets. Shamet is comfortable taking shots off screens and in catch-and-shoot positions, being utilized in multiple veer and weak-side actions below.
The Suns use plenty of dribble hand-off sets and quick rotations in their offense, so Shamet should be able to fit in effectively. Pair him with Paul and backup point guard Cameron Payne, and he should be especially ready to shoot when defenses collapse on them.
Shamet is also a physical on-ball defender, something the Suns should be able to take advantage of. He likes to play tight against opposing offensive players and won’t back down on switches or situations in which he is forced to guard another position. That works well for Phoenix, which relies on multiple efforts defensively to force teams into contested looks from the perimeter to the paint.
Last season, Shamet averaged 9.3 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists for the Nets in 61 regular-season games. You can find highlights of his performances below.