The first half of the season has passed. How did each Phoenix Sun do? Let’s grade each player, starting with the two players signed to two way contracts.
This will be a start to a series of posts grading each player on the current Phoenix Suns roster for how they did in the first half of the season. This will only cover the first 41 games (through January 6th) of the Suns season and only what players did while on the Phoenix roster.
Quincy Acy will also not be included as he was not with the team for the first half of the season.
Who are the two players on two way contracts for the Suns?
George King, the 59th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, is signed to one two way deal.
Jawun Evans, the 39th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, is inked to the other.
Neither player has logged much time in a Phoenix Suns uniform. The majority of their playing time thus far has been up in the G League with the Northern Arizona Suns.
At the NBA Draft combine, King had some interesting measurements. What stood out was his near 7-foot wingspan (6’11.5″) and 39 inch vertical. He ranked 7th in lane agility, 14th in the shuttle run and 3rd in max bench reps. He’s quick and he’s strong.
One of the biggest issues for him is he’s a tweener and he’s already 25 years old as he completed all four years at the University of Colorado.
However, with his length, shooting ability and basketball IQ, he was given a chance to become a quality 3-and-D guy.
How has he done so far?
With Phoenix, King grabbed a lone rebound in his only appearance where he logged a mere 6 minutes of playing time.
As stated before, most of his run so far has been with the NAZ team. There, he shot an outstanding 51-49-83 shooting line, made 2.4 treys per game and averaged 15.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3 assists, 0.6 steals and 0.4 blocks with 3.7 turnovers in 33.9 minutes per game.
I initially thought he’d be a player along the lines of a Lance Thomas or P.J.Tucker type. A gritty player that can hit the corner three and provide solid defense. Another Tucker type player would be so helpful on this team. I remain strong on that comparison but he’s got work to do to be ready to take that role in the NBA. Also, the wing rotation is probably the strongest part of this current roster so he doesn’t have a clear line in right now.
He has shown to be a good shooter and can score while he’s provided decent defense even though the stats don’t support that. It will be interesting to watch him develop and see if he can find a spot on this team. Right now, it looks like he may take the Tucker path to the league and either spend a while in the G League or overseas before coming and helping an NBA team.
Grade : C-
Even though he hasn’t found a consistent role on the Phoenix Suns, he was the 59th pick and no one expected him to jump right in. However, he has shown signs in the G League that leave you hopeful for his future.
Evans was signed to the second two way contract after tearing it up in the G League while Isaiah Canaan was making his exit from the team.
His 4 game tear while Canaan was being benched and waived made it an easy decision to give him the other spot as he was someone that could be brought in quick while another point guard was being released.
He’d brought out a torch with a 57-44-76 shooting line, making 1 triple each night and he’d averaged 31.3 points in 34.3 minutes. That’s 125 points in 137 minutes. Mr. Efficient was getting it done. He’d also pulled down 5.3 rebounds, dished out 4.8 assists and swiped 2 steals per game during this stretch.
The team couldn’t pass him up and was smart to bring him before another team did.
He’s a decent rebounder for his size, a decent play maker, tries on the defensive end and can handle the ball. He’d shown improvement on his shot as well.
Phoenix could have used some one that was willing to go all out on the court, provide serious effort and play his butt off for the team and Evans deserved a chance.
However, it wasn’t meant to be. At least, not yet.
In 4 appearances with Phoenix, he only made 2 of 10 shots (20%), missed both triples and scored a total of 4 points in 46 minutes. The Suns likely expected a lot more offense than they got.
He did total 10 rebounds, 8 assists and 2 steals in those 46 minutes showing the all around game was not a fluke but the shooting and scoring just wasn’t there as advertised.
In 5 G League contests since being signed to the two way contract, he’d shot a lowly 41-23-83 line and made just 0.6 triples, showing it wasn’t just the NBA but rather perhaps his shooting was a fluke for that stretch that got him his chance.
In those 5 matches, he did average 7.4 assists and 2.8 steals while only turning the ball over 2.4 times per game.
Grade : D+
I was happy when he originally got awarded the other two way contract but on a team that could have used help at the point guard position, he came empty handed. Elie Okobo is the backup right now but only due to a lack of talent. That’s not a knock on Okobo but he’s not ready yet. Jawun had a chance and he blew it. At this point, I’d see who else should take his spot and give them his two way contract. Though, I’d just as much like to see him prove me wrong and show what I thought he’d bring at first.