3 Phoenix Suns Summer League Players Earning Roster Consideration

Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports /
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McKinley Wright IV, Phoenix Suns
McKinley Wright IV, Phoenix Suns. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

McKinley Wright IV could fill the Phoenix Suns backup point guard role

Similar to the last slide, this player carries the skills required to replace a weak link in Phoenix’s rotation—the backup point guard spot, for now occupied by Cameron Payne.

Nobody can hate Payne if you know his story. He worked hard to earn his spot and has enjoyed a variety of nice moments in Phoenix. However, like Crowder, he failed to pick it up when the team needed him most last year.

Payne, now 27, averaged 11 points, three rebounds, and five assists per game during the 2021-22 regular season. Those numbers dipped to four points, two rebounds, and two assists in the playoffs. His shot digressed as well, with him hitting from the field at percent clip and from three at 17 percent. Yikes.

But a possible replacement showed up to Summer League named McKinley Wright IV. A 23 year old, five-foot-eleven guard displayed his ability to lead an offense and put up solid numbers while doing so.

McKinley played in all five Summer League games for the Suns and averaged 24 minutes, eight points, five rebounds, and six assists per game. He also averaged two giveaways per game. Wright IV also ended the year an impressive +8 on the court.

However, his shooting numbers took a sour turn. McKinely shot just 39 percent from the field, 33 percent from deep, and 69 percent from the stripe. But McKinely’s assist numbers should impress Suns fans far more than his shooting splits should discourage. In only 24 minutes, averaging six assists per game is Chris Paul-like.

The Sun’s bench for the 2021-22 season often looked stagnant, but by adding a young playmaker like Wright IV, a shake up might ensue. Phoenix needs to at least think about placing Wright IV in the backup point guard spot to try and keep the ball rolling even when CP3 takes a breather.