Apr 3, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (3) attempts to steal the ball from Phoenix Suns guard Diante Garrett (10) during the third period at the Staples Center. The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Phoenix Suns 126-101. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Suns Summer League Player Grades: Diante Garrett

Garrett had an OK summer league. He didn’t stuff the stat sheet by any stretch of the imagination, but there are two certain statistics that are encouraging to see from a young point guard.

Garrett only averaged 5.7 points per game in his 16.7 minutes per game as the back-up point guard to Kendall Marshall. He was pretty efficient from the field shooting 43 percent from the field, including 33 percent from behind the three-point line.

He only attempted six free throws and only made two of them. For a point guard, his poor (even though it’s a small sample size) free throw percentage is troubling. He only attempted 10 his whole rookie year in the 19 games he played for Phoenix and made only 5 of them. Both in the season and in summer league, those are low free throw percentages for a point guard. Also, the low number of attempted free throws could demonstrate a lack of aggressiveness or that he is the prototypical pass-first point guard.

One stat that is good to see from a young point guard is his assist to turnover ratio. In Garrett’s 117 minutes during summer league, he only had 7 turnovers. He also offset those mistakes with 27 assists. That’s pretty spectacular (despite the sample size) for a player with only one season under his belt.

Garrett also excelled (apart from one bad game) in the plus/minus statistic, which measures the net points scored while the player is on the court.

  • Game 1: +11 (3rd highest on team)
  • Game 2: -10 (worst on team, Marshall was on fire with 13 points and a +14)
  • Game 3: +13 (tied for best on team)
  • Game 4: +20 (best on team by far)
  • Game 5:  +5 (5th best on team behind starters Morrii, Tucker, Goodwin)
  • Game 6: +13 (2nd best on team)
  • Game 7: 0 (best for players in the game for more than 2 minutes in team’s only loss)

These two statistics illustrate what you want in your point guard: the ability to help your team more than hurt it. Generally, Garrett proves his ability to do that by definition of the plus/minus statistic. Also, he does that by specifically helping his teammates (assists) more than he hurts them (turnovers).

A commenter on Sun-N-Gun.com said that the Suns had already renounced Garrett and that surprised me, so I checked into it. I don’t know what the person meant by renounced but here is what I do know. ESPN still has him listed on the Suns roster, but HoopsHype doesn’t have him on the roster probably because the Suns don’t owe him any money right now. HoopsHabit did an article last week discussing whether Garrett could earn a roster spot, showing that recently they didn’t think he hasn’t made the team for sure or not made it for sure. Additionally Garrett’s Twitter bio still says he is a basketball player for the Phoenix Suns. He seems to be in limbo.

To me this means he is back to being one of those camp invites who may or may not receive a contract offer before the season starts. With Dragic and Bledsoe as the starting backcourt (as Suns GM McDonough said on TV) and with Marshall (PG) and Goodwin (SG) backing them up, as it seems like it will turn out, Garrett may be on the outside looking in. In training camp, he could challenge Marshall for the back-up PG duty or could just go elsewhere.

Grade: B-

Explanation: Garrett didn’t really help his case to make the Suns roster, or really hurt it. One telling sign could be that Garrett started for Marshall in the second half of the final summer league game, because Marshall wasn’t playing very well.

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