Could former Lakers player rebuild career with Suns next season?

The Phoenix Suns will be on the lookout for a steal when they sign players using the minimum this summer, and Cam Reddish could be the answer.
Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers
Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers / Harry How/GettyImages

The Phoenix Suns are going to enter this offseason armed with the veteran's minimum contract to offer free agents and the hopes that it can attract some actual players to fill out the back end of their roster.

There are certainly some players who the franchise should be targeting, but actually managing to get them to sign is another matter entirely. Last summer the Suns could promise free agents the chance to contend for a championship alongside Devin Booker and Kevin Durant. One year and zero playoff games won, and that sales pitch doesn't sound nearly as appealing.

The Suns can also offer the chance for certain players to rebuild their value in The Valley, and Cam Reddish is somebody who could really benefit from this.

Reddish played on a minimum deal for the Los Angeles Lakers last season, and it is almost ironic that he seemed to save his best games for when he came up against the Suns. The thought process for the Lakers in signing him was a sound one, LeBron James is seemingly able to get through to even J.R. Smith, so why not a young player who has struggled to find a home in the league?

Reddish didn't act out or do anything that would suggest the Lakers should cut ties with him, he just didn't do enough to warrant bringing back either. On a roster featuring James and Anthony Davis - and where his frame and ability on both ends of the court was badly needed - Reddish generally played with all the malaise of an individual who would rather be somewhere else.

Defending well was never a skill attributed to Reddish - and again for the most part he doesn't seem overly interested in doing it - but in the moments when he was engaged he showed something. That potential to be even an average defender alone is why the Suns should be offering the still only 24-year-old Reddish a deal this summer.

They can promise him plenty of exposure on nationally televised games, and the chance to get some real minutes on this roster. Grayson Allen and Royce O'Neale are great players to have, but nobody possesses the body and skills that Reddish does. That we've barely seen them is another story, but this is the same franchise that took a punt on Bol Bol and it exceeded expectations.

In fact Bol is exactly the kind of player Reddish can look to as proof that he could revive his career in Phoenix. For one of the worst defenders in the league to actually get minutes under a defensive-minded head coach Frank Vogel was a minor miracle, and new leading man Mike Budenholzer may be even easier to please on that end.

Reddish could give this group 10 points per game in his sleep, but it is on the other end of the court where he really has a chance to reinvent himself. The Suns are a team that gave a meaningful role to the ageing Eric Gordon last season - not that he was initially happy about it - and who tried to solve their depth issues by adding Thaddeus Young and Isaiah Thomas late in the campaign.

Next. Grading the Bradley Beal trade for the Suns one year on. Grading the Bradley Beal trade for the Suns one year on. dark

Surely there's space for a much younger player to come in and learn from the star trio of Booker, Durant and Bradley Beal? Then again, Bol possesses something that Reddish would appear to be missing, and that is a willingness to learn and do whatever it takes to earn some minutes on the court.

The demeanour of Reddish has never had close to the same enthusiasm or desire to fight for a role that Bol and plenty of others have shown, and perhaps he never will. When free agency starts and the Suns very quickly see some of their top targets come off the board however, the prospect of Reddish as their ninth man won't look so bad at all. This is a golden opportunity for player and team.