Phoenix Suns: 2 Players with Rotation Spots in Danger After Free Agency

Phoenxi Suns. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenxi Suns. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
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Phoenix Suns, Landry Shamet
Phoenix Suns, Landry Shamet. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Phoenix Suns Players Under Pressure: Landry Shamet

Just a few days before free agency, the Suns struck a deal to send their first round draft pick (Day’Ron Sharpe) and Jevon Carter to the Brooklyn Nets for Landry Shamet. Immediately after the exchange, Shamet stood as the only ball-handling guard on Phoenix’s roster with Chris Paul and Cameron Payne set to hit the free agent market.

We expected Paul to re-sign with the Suns, which of course he did just 45-minutes into the league-wide fire sale. But Payne’s eventual re-signing also with the Suns felt far more surprising given the renaissance season which he just enjoyed.

A few days after that, the Suns also signed old friend Elfrid Payton, loading up their back court with ball-handlers to serve around Booker. While undoubtedly less offensively skilled, Payton still started 63 games for the playoff-bound New York Knicks last year, adding some merit to his name.

So within just a few days, Shamet went from Phoenix’s only solidified option as a ball-handler, to just one amongst the crowd.

Not only does more competition now exist for Shamet as he tries to carve out minutes, but he also finds himself as the only backcourt member new to the Suns. Although we might like to think this team treats everyone equally, human nature typically makes us all favor those we are familiar with, which puts Shamet at an unavoidable disadvantage when Phoenix’s coaches and front office members evaluate the backcourt.

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It would make zero sense for the Suns to completely shelve Shamet after giving up a first round pick and solid glue piece for him, but the moves which followed his trade do not exactly guarantee an expansive role for him with Phoenix. Having played with four teams across three years now, keep an eye on how he handles it all.