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Suns and Pacers have a lot of player connections lately

Maybe we should start getting to know players from Indiana.

Philadelphia 76ers v Indiana Pacers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

On Tuesday, it was announced that the Phoenix Suns signed Duane Washington Jr. to a two-way deal.

That got me thinking.

There sure has been a lot of sharing of players between the Suns and Indiana Pacers recently.

Myles Turner and Malcolm Brogdon had been in trade rumors in the past as well.

Tyrese Haliburton, a rising star and current point guard for the Pacers, could (should) have been drafted by the Suns.

TJ McConnell and Bennedict Mathurin played for Arizona on the collegiate level. So there’s links there too.

Let’s dive in on the players with recent history with both teams.

Duane Washington Jr.

Prior to the Suns signing him to a two-way deal, he was let go by the Pacers as they signed DA to an offer sheet which Phoenix quickly matched. Seriously, James Jones is playing chess not checkers.

As a rookie last season, he averaged 20.2 minutes in 48 games for Indiana. While he likely won’t play that much in the valley, it doesn’t hurt to add more shooters. Duane clearly checks that box as he made 2.3 treys at a 44 percent clip for 13 points per in his last 16 games.

He’s a hard worker and that has led to him being well liked by coaches, players and fans. I can see that trend continuing.

Deandre Ayton

Set to be the big addition for the Pacers, the Suns did not hesitate to match that offer sheet and bring him back where he belongs.

While he is at times frustrating, that’s usually because Suns fans know he can do so much more. He showed that in the Finals run where he posted historic numbers along the way. Myself, I’m a big fan of his and possibly next to alone on the boat that still prefers him over Luka Doncic.

Sorry, Pacers fans! Dominayton is still our guy!

Jalen Smith

It’s been an interesting start to a career for Stix. Most didn’t like that he was our draft choice. (While it was a bit early, I was personally happy with the pick.) Then, most of those same people that booed wanted him to play more and were upset that he didn’t and booed trading him.

However, if you like the young man, you gotta be happy for him. He carved a legit role with solid minutes and a new contract.

Albeit a small sample size, Jalen has 53-37-76 shooting splits in 22 games with the Pacers and has averaged 13.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1 block per game.

Torrey Craig

Fasten your seatbelt for the recent his-torrey here. (See what I did there?)

Craig was with the Suns, signed with the Pacers in free agency and then was re-acquired via trade by the Suns. For Jalen Smith.

A little bit of a merry go round, eh?

While I miss Jalen, I’m happy we got TC back. Even if his second stint in Phoenix hasn’t gone as well. We know what he’s brought when needed.

TJ Warren

This goes a little further back but the Suns drafted “Tony Buckets” before he was dealt to Indiana and developed a consistent three-pointer to his repertoire.

He is now with the Nets but this is kind of where the recent history began.

What does this say? Is it merely coincidental? Or should fans of the two teams follow the other’s players more closely?

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