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Suns add Louis King to Summer League squad

For the second year in a row, the Suns made no picks and signed no undrafted free agents

UC Irvine v Oregon Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images

Despite James Jones telling me to my face via ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz to not get my hopes up about the draft strategy of his Phoenix Suns, I was floored yet again.

For the second year in a row, the Suns made no picks and signed no undrafted free agents, and I’m quite upset about it, being the draft nerd that I am, scouting over a hundred prospects each year only for the Suns to not sign a single one in two years in a row now.

However, in referencing Wednesday’s ESPN story, Jones provided some clarity following Thursday’s draft that put me at ease quite a bit.

“Nah, man, we have every player that’s in the draft processed on our board,” Jones said with a smile and laugh when asked if the board winds up with somewhere around 20 players or less on it. “When you get down to it, if you look at the combination of fit, skill set, talent, need — you typically get down somewhere about 10 guys who you know are really high-level fits. After that, you’re talking about degrees of fit and how much time, how much energy, how many opportunities guys will need to assimilate and kind of get acclimated to how you play.

“So you just prioritize and you put them in tiers. But I think when you go into tonight, you have all of those players but you truly know there are about eight to ten guys that you can say are truly Suns players that from day one will come in and not have very many issues getting accustomed to or getting integrated to what you do.”

This description of the Suns’ draft process sounds a lot closer to the way I digest the draft, especially as Brandon (Zona Hoops) and I came up with our best fits for the team. Certainly, it’s a much better process than what the ESPN story made it sound like with just “5-7” players on the draft board.

As the dust around the draft settled and it seemed like the Suns would have a totally silent day, a report came regarding their Summer League roster:

King is a 23-year old wing out of the University of Oregon. At his draft combine in 2019, he measured in at 6-foot-8 with a 7-foot wingspan; his weight was most recently listed at 205 pounds.

The top-25 high school recruit played just one season at Oregon before going undrafted in the 2019 draft. He’d go on to play each season since then in the G League between three different programs: Grand Rapids Gold, Westchester Knicks, and Stockton Kings. He’s also played 26 games in the NBA across the Detroit Pistons and Sacramento Kings.

King profiles as an athletic wing with a strong shot from deep. His three-point numbers impress at each stop in his career:

  • 38.6% on 4.9 attempts per game (31 games) in his lone season at Oregon
  • 40.0% on 5.0 attempts per game (35 games) over his last two G League seasons
  • 45.2% on 6.2 attempts per game (5 games) during the 2021 Summer League

Time will tell whether he deserves a shot at the NBA squad, but for now, I’m just happy that there’s someone under the age of 24 that’s getting a chance in Phoenix.

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