The Phoenix Suns have been an NBA franchise for 55 years and have been relatively successful. They have 31 winning seasons and 32 playoff appearances. They have made the NBA finals three times but haven’t quite been able to get over the hump of winning an NBA championship.
Despite their success, the franchise has made some mistakes along the way with roster moves that look bad in hindsight. With that being said, here are seven players the Suns gave up on too soon, ranging from rising stars to high-level role players.
7 Players Phoenix Suns gave up on too soon
7. Jevon Carter
While his stats may not jump out at you, Jevon Carter has developed into a solid role player for a championship contender in the Milwaukee Bucks. At 6’1″, 200 lbs, and 27 years old, Carter is a strong point guard who can shoot the three well (42% on 4.2 attempts per game last season) and plays great defense on opposing point guards.
Given Phoenix’s current lack of depth (especially after Chris Paul went down with an injury), the Suns really could’ve used Carter for this year’s playoff run. While Cam Payne played solid last season, he just doesn’t have the size or consistency to be a reliable contributor in the playoffs on both ends of the floor as a backup point guard.
Carter spent his 2nd and 3rd seasons with the Suns, averaging around 14 minutes a game. He shot well from three back then too, but not great from inside the arc, likely leading to the Suns to feel comfortable moving him and the 29th pick for three-point point specialist Landry Shamet.
In hindsight, the Suns could have picked some solid role players with the 29th pick, Herb Jones being the best of the bunch. While Landry Shamet is a great shooter who had his moments in the playoffs this season, Carter, as mentioned before, is also a good shooter but a much better defender than Shamet.
A big reason the Suns had trouble with the Nuggets was being unable to defend Jamal Murray, which Carter, unlike Shamet, could have been an answer for. Given he’s not a star player, it’s easy to say moving on from Carter was no big deal, but after this year’s playoffs, it’s even easier to say the Suns could have really used a player like Jevon Carter.