Welcome to our Phoenix Suns Season in Review series where we do individual PLAYER REVIEWS of each man that contributed in the 2021-22 season. We go through the roster to analyze what went right/wrong for them, and what they can do to get better for next season.
Check out all players covered so far here: 2022 Phoenix Suns Player Reviews, including Cameron Johnson, Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and more.
- Position: SG/SF/PG (in a pinch)
- Vitals: 6’4”, 190 lbs, 25 years old
- Stats: 8.3 points per game, 39.4% shooting overall, 1.8 threes on 4.8 attempts per game for 36.8%, 84% free throws, 20.8 minutes per game
Regular Season Recap
Shamet’s start to the season was rather unassuming. He provided the team some range off the bench, but had only one game of 15+ points in October and November (playing in 20 of 21 games) and only five games of 10+ points.
December saw Shamet entering the starting lineup as Devin Booker went out for most of the month with a hamstring injury. But the increased minutes only produced more of the same from Shamet until midway through the month when he had back-to-back games of 16 and 15 points respectively against the Hornets and the Lakers, where he drilled 4 threes in each game.
But as Shamet returned to the bench with Booker returning, Shamet went cold with six straight games of single-digit scoring. He did break his cold streak in the first game of the New Year, with 17 points and 5 threes against the Hornets, but Shamet then missed the next three games due to COVID health and safety protocols.
Upon his return, Shamet once again went cold before breaking out for 17 points and 5 assists against the Timberwolves. But in the following game against the Spurs, Shamet sprained his right ankle and went on to miss the next nine games with this injury.
Shamet returned to action after the All-Star break, and with Chris Paul out with thumb surgery, there was a lot of pressure on Shamet to hit the ground running. This pressure only increased when Devin Booker missed a few games due to COVID health and safety protocols, pushing Shamet back into the starting lineup.
But it was during this stretch that Shamet played his best, including his best competitive performance of the season against the Orlando Magic. Shamet scored 21 points and drilled a season-high 6 threes in 39 minutes to help lead the Suns to a well-contested road victory over the Magic.
Shamet once again struggled when he returned to his reserve role after this game, with another short-lived hot streak in mid-March with games of 14, 21, and 19 points against the Bulls, Kings, and Timberwolves respectively.
As the season winded down and Suns’ coach Monty Williams looked to rest his starters, Shamet received a few starts, including the final game of the regular season, where Shamet broke out for 27 points and 5 assists in a seven-point loss to the Kings. Considering the lack of stakes, with both teams resting several players, it’s hard to consider this performance as actually his best of the season, but the 27 points were a season-high.
Shamet did not play in the Game 1 against the Pelicans, but even when he played, Shamet struggled to make much of an impact in the playoffs. In his 12 games played, Shamet failed to score 10+ in each of them, averaging merely 4.3 points per game in 16 minutes per game, shooting just 39.6% from the field and 34.6% from downtown, averaging less than 1 three per game.
To call Shamet’s playoff performance disappointing would be putting it mildly.
Shamet certainly can be a dead-eye shooter, as he has averaged over 2 threes a game for his career. He is a capable ball-handler and playmaker, which gives Williams the ability to utilize him as a point guard in a pinch, with his size and shooting ability giving him a defensive edge over the Suns’ other backup point guard options.
Shamet must increase his output and be more efficient to justify his salary and playing time.
He came to Phoenix last summer on the back of a 4-year, $42 million contract, and for that money, his regular-season numbers were rather underwhelming, and his playoff numbers were abysmal.
Shamet is about to be paid a serious salary (9.5 million in 2022-23) to be the team’s primary off-the-bench scoring option, and that means averaging over 10 points a game and pushing those shooting numbers closer to 45% from the field and 40% from downtown
What to work on
Outside of his scoring, Shamet should look to improve his abilities to play the point guard position, offensively and defensively, to increase his versatility. With how undersized the Suns’ options are at the point, as the likes of Paul
, Aaron Holiday, and Cam Payne all barely reach 6’, Williams will likely look to further utilize Shamet as a point guard option in the future, especially against teams like the Mavericks with larger point guards.
Including playoffs, this is how I will grade Landry Shamet
Overall grade as an NBA player: C
Relative grade to preseason expectation: F
How would you grade Landry Shamet’s year, including playoffs?
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