Since joining the Phoenix Suns this past offseason, Carter has been a source of energy off the bench all year.
The tenacious defense. The energetic support off the bench. The timely(!) three-pointers. If I were to take the essence of second-year guard Jevon Carter‘s impact to the Phoenix Suns and share it with someone who had absolutely no clue who he was, this is where I would start.
Obviously even that opening doesn’t do it justice for Carter, who joined Phoenix from the Memphis Grizzlies in that offseason trade that saw embattled forward Josh Jackson along with promising guard De’Anthony Melton, a 2020 2nd round pick and a 2021 2nd rounder.
Carter was coming off of a rookie season that saw him average essentially four points, two rebounds, and two assists a game, but on shooting percentages that needed improvement. (26% from two-point range, 33% from beyond the arc. Before his first year in the NBA, Carter made a name for himself in college in West Virginia, where he let his hard work ethic set the tone for him as a player and as a person, as a high character guy who would be the first in the gym and the last out.
How was Carter’s sophomore season in Phoenix? It was a surprisingly solid year.
So how would Carter build upon his rookie season? The same way he had worked all his career, by continuing to come in and make improvements. Carter averaged roughly the same amount of stars (four points, two rebounds, just under two assists a contest) but his per-36 numbers exploded from the previous year (11-4-3).
More notably, his shooting stats improved dramatically, going from 33% three-point shooting becoming the second-best shooter statistically on the Phoenix Suns (a very strong 39% from the great beyond). He also improved upon his two-point conversions, his effective field goal percentage, his rebounding percentage, and his true shooting percentage while also cutting down his turnovers and playing strong end-to-end defense.
Not everything is polished. Both his assists per game and assist percentage decreased, and a lot of that is due to the fact the Carter is deficient in some playmaking ability and definitely needs to work to improve there. His shooting can also improve, more specifically inside the arc, and when attacking the paint, as it is currently rather subpar.
However, with the backup point guard role still for the taking (Elie Okobo and Ty Jerome haven’t exactly….grabbed the position by storm) Jevon Carter has an opportunity from the Phoenix Suns that he will look to take advantage of the same way he always has…by going back to the lab and getting to work.