Overseas, within the G-League, even out in Brooklyn, the Phoenix Suns looked everywhere for options to improve their roster this summer. After previously tossing a 64-win season out of the window, the team’s mad dash to figure out what went wrong and then solve it was more than understandable.
After the offseason’s powder keg went off in early July, the dust settled over the past few weeks to show the Suns boasting the following new additions: Damion Lee, Josh Okogie, and Jock Landale. Phoenix also brought back bigs Deandre Ayton and Bismack Biyombo.
But as Suns GM James Jones did all this by engaging in trade talks and strolling the free agency isles, another area featured some younger, more raw talent, which he just utilized to finish building the 2022-23 roster.
Wainright resembles a more familiar figure for Suns fans. Last year, Wainright played as a small ball five off the bench for Phoenix while also occupying a two-way slot until the team converted his deal into a full contract prior to the playoffs.
In the Summer League this year, Wainright stood out amongst his fellow summer Suns. He averaged 11.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game.
Aside from those numbers, Wainright’s long range shooting at 41.4 percent on 5.8 attempts per game felt most encouraging. With Phoenix envisioning Wainright as a low-block, 3-and-D guy to fit the P.J. Tucker mold, such consistency from deep will likely be the key to him earning a full-time roster spot again this season.
Washington Jr. played a role similar to Wainright’s last year but with the Indiana Pacers, as he joined the team early on via a two-way contract only to be converted fully as the season progressed. Between those deals, he averaged 9.9 points per game. He also shot 37.7 percent from three on a respectable 4.5 attempts per game.
This summer, Washington Jr. suited up for Indiana again and averaged 8.0 points, 2.7 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. He did struggle from an efficiency standpoint though, putting up .346/.222/1.000 shooting splits, but there’s no need to put too much emphasis on those figures since he only played three games.
Although we know what Wainright promises to offer, how Washington Jr.’s arrival might affect this Phoenix Suns squad beyond being a floor spacer remains unknown. But regardless, each NBA team is allowed two two-way slots and the Suns cashed in on both of theirs this week.
Phoenix can still make cuts, trades, all of the above as we march toward the upcoming season’s tipoff. But for now, all their projected roster spots are filled for the first time this summer.