You having fun yet? NBA free agency is mayhem and if you blink (or take a bathroom break) you might miss a signing. Luckily for you, we here at Bright Side have been glued to our computers, checking our phone, and holding our...breath.
We know the deal. The Suns need depth, but due to their expensive tastes in top-of-the-rotation players, the team entered the day with hopes that veteran minimum deals would be enough to bring in the necessary players to contribute. It’s like having an exquisite steak dinner but your scrapping nickels to get some sides. You’re hoping you can afford that grilled asparagus. And hopefully it tastes good. No A1, please.
The restaurant opened at 3:00pm AZ time and the entrees came out hot and cooked to perfection. The Suns added a 6’8” wing defender in Keita Bates-Diop that could take on the role previously owned by Torrey Craig.
Keita Bates-Diop was really good last season, and pretty good the season before.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) June 30, 2023
Suns free agency has opened up great, considering all they can offer is minimum deals.
The 27-year old Bates-Diop, who averaged 9.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 21.7 minutes played with the San Antonio Spurs last season, agreed to the terms of a two-year deal for $5 million. He started 42 of his 67 games in 2022-23.
Per Pounding the Rock’s Jacob Douglas:
KBD started over half of San Antonio’s games last season and averaged a career high 9.7 points on 39% shooting from three. Bates-Diop played his last three seasons for the Spurs, where he established himself as an NBA level role-player. Now he will get a chance to play a big role for a contender in Phoenix.
He joins Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal as a versatile wing who can guard multiple positions, and knock down perimeter jumpers. He will join another former Spur, Drew Eubanks who also just signed a two-year contract with Phoenix.
San Antonio will miss KBD on and off of the court. This year he was named a finalist for the Bob Lanier Community Assist Award for his advocacy for CPR and AED training. He was a steadying presence for the young team on the court, who wore many different hats for the Silver and Black last season.
Bates-Diop could compete for a starting role with the Suns and would provide the ability to stretch the floor. He is a defensive player who could thrive in Frank Vogel’s scheme and is an effort guy that closes out hard. He possesses versatility and has shades of Josh Okogie. He’s defense will impress, his offense is getting better.
The Ohio State alum has an upside that could be unlocked on a team as talented as Phoenix. More to follow as free agency continues!