Phoenix Suns: 3 Players to Watch in the NBA Summer League

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Phoenix Suns, Jalen Smith
Phoenix Suns, Jalen Smith Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports /

Phoenix Suns Summer League Players to Watch: Jalen Smith

Even though the Suns spent a first round pick on Jalen Smith last year, they kept him shelved for nearly the entire 2020-21 season. He appeared in just 27 contests, averaging 5.3 minutes per game while doing so. But like Alexander, the Summer League comes as a fantastic opportunity for him to show off everything he still brings to the table.

Through three games, Smith averages a team-high 16.0 points and 12.7 rebounds per game for the Suns. But even as a walking double-double, Smith’s skillset allows him to extend outside the confines of your typical big man.

Averaging 6.0 triples per game and hitting them at a 38.8 percent rate, Smith stretches the floor incredibly well. With the less-impressive Frank Kaminsky as the only other rostered center for the Suns that possess a decent jump shot, Smith’s shooting abilities might allow him to find more minutes during the 2021-22 season.

Discipline and assertiveness on the court remain the only things currently standing between Smith and accomplishing that goal though. He still appears as a very raw product, and one that makes mistakes a bit too often for a focus-driven coach like Monty Williams.