Phoenix Suns rookie Alec Brown underwent shoulder surgery on Thursday to repair the dislocated shoulder suffered in the final NBA Summer League game, according to multiple reports. Green Bay’s ABC affiliate and News8000.com reported earlier in the week that the Suns’ second-round pick will miss anywhere from two to four months.
It would be more than surprising if this doesn’t seal the slim shot of the 50th overall selection making the Suns’ roster. Brown took a few games to gain comfort in Summer League this year, missing his first 11 shots before showing signs of why Phoenix picked him. His fluidity and shot-blocking ability stood out more than his biggest strength, his shooting. And of course, there were Brown’s expected struggles, defending the paint due to his thin frame and playing inconsistently simply from the speed of the game.
The Suns would have 14 players on their roster if Eric Bledsoe reaches an agreement, so there is one roster spot available with the team’s decision to waive guard Dionte Christmas. Still, Brown’s timetable for a recovery most likely keeps him out of training camp, where he might have been able to fight for a roster spot.
Instead, Brown seems more likely to become the draft-and-stash option he was expected to be.
Brown joined the Summer Suns without anything set in stone, though he said he had a Spanish squad lined up if he didn’t make it on the Phoenix roster this year. It’s unknown how his injury changes that prospective destination, if at all. If a prior plan with a European squad falls through because of the injury, then the Suns could make Brown their first player sent directly to the Bakersfield Jam since the teams’ affiliation began.
Under a new rule this year, NBA teams with rights on players do not need to have their D-League squads re-pick the players in the D-League draft. It’s part of how the Oklahoma City Thunder and first-round pick Josh Huestis have agreed upon a controversial draft-and-stash route.