The whirlwind of free agent moves the Phoenix Suns have completed over the past two days has slowed, and considering they have filled out the majority of their roster with new faces, the only moves left to make involve players who were a part of the 2022-23 team. Terrence Ross, T.J. Warren, Bismack Biyombo, Torrey Craig, Darius Bazley. All are awaiting new contracts with (assumedly) new teams.
Jock Landale, who had his qualifying offer of $2.2 million pulled moments before free agency, is not on that list.
The moment we witnessed that offer being pulled, it was clear that Phoenix had other plans at the backup five. Predictions became reality as, once 3:00pm AZ time hit on June 30, the Suns signed Portland big Drew Eubanks. It is likely that Phoenix wasn’t interested in playing the RFA game with Landale. Perhaps they didn’t want to wait to tender him an offer only to allow himself to receive other offer sheets from potential suitors, all while missing out on talented replacements.
So that’s what the Suns did. They pulled his offer sheet, signed Eubanks, and like baby kangaroo that has been nursed back to health, set him free into the wild. Or Outback, I should say.
He lasted just over 24 hours on the open market.
Jock Landale signed with the Houston Rockets, and got a nice ‘lil paycheck along the way. Houston, a team that entered free agency with $64 million in cap space and with money burning through their pockets, offered Landale a four year, $32 million deal.
Free agent Jock Landale has agreed to a four-year, $32 million deal with the Houston Rockets, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Agents Sammy Wloszczowski and Michael Lelchitski of @SIGSports negotiated the new contract for Landale.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 1, 2023
Let’s friggin’ go, Jock! Cha. Ching.
Word is that the contract is only guaranteed for the first year, with years 2-4 being non-guaranteed or team options. That makes him extremely tradable in the NBA world, by the way, and feels more like an NFL contract than NBA contract. But even if Jock only makes $8 out of this deal, that’s a HUGE windfall for a kid who didn’t make the NBA until age 26 and made minimum money the last two years.
Landale leaves Phoenix as a favorite for many. Every team needs the guy who comes in off the bench and “effs stuff up”, if you get my drift. That is Landale defined. His pin downs, his hustle running down the floor to create some havoc, his Aussie energy; these will be hard to replace. He gave it his all — on offense — every possession. While he cared on defense, due to his physical limitations, he lacked the ability to be consistently effective.
In his one season with the Suns, the 27-year old averaged 6.6 points and 4.1 rebounds in 14.2 minutes played. He started 4 of his 69 appearances and was a much needed offensive spark plug coming off of the bench for Phoenix.
Come playoff time, when Monty Williams was fumbling through his lineups more than a millennial given the yellow pages and told to find a plumber, Landale took advantage of his opportunities. He played in 7 postseason games, starting the season finale butt whoopin’, and averaged 6.1 points and 4 rebounds on 63% shooting.
Jock will be missed and he is someone that we will watch from afar and appreciate his successes. He will be behind Alperen Sengun, but will most definitely receive playing time in Houston. The Suns are now without an Aussie. Perhaps the Summer League Suns’ Keanu Pinder can fill the void?
Best of luck to Jock Landale with the Rockets.