Free Agency Grades: Phoenix Suns
47At long last, the Phoenix Suns are no longer the laughing stock of the Western Conference. General manager James Jones has stepped in and the team is rising from the ashes like a true Phoenix.
The Suns certainly turned a few heads with an 8-0 performance in the Orlando Bubble, coming within a hair of the postseason. With Chris Paul at the helm, building off of last year’s momentum should be easy.
Here are the signings the Suns made in free agency:
Dario Saric signs 3 years, $27 million deal
Remember the Saric you saw during the majority of last season? You know, the guy that was in and out of the lineup. Forget about him.
What you saw in Orlando was the Phoenix version of Saric. When he’s used correctly - coming off the bench as a primary offensive weapon against second units, well, look out. Saric may knock on the door for the Sixth Man of the Year award this season.
Saric has been inconsistent at times in Phoenix. But the most productive version of him is a really special player. He perhaps could have fetched more money on the open market - this is a great show of confidence from the Suns.
Point Dario is back! After all the moves that Phoenix made in free agency, they needed to complete their offseason. This was the finishing touch.
Jae Crowder signs 3 years, $29 million deal
CP3 won’t be enough for the Suns to get into the competitive Western Conference Playoffs. The front office needed to really go all in.
Crowder is a savvy forward that is versatile and intense. He will help instill a mentality into the youth that will go a long way towards winning again. Fresh off of a trip to the Finals, he also brings great veteran leadership.
After seeing what other veteran wings signed for this offseason, this is really good value. Crowder chose to come to Phoenix over going to Dallas for more money and that’s got to feel good for the Suns.
Crowder can defend multiple positions, was a key player on the Miami Heat during the NBA Finals last season, and shot ridiculously well from deep in the Bubble. Crowder is ready to bring his toughness to the Valley.
Jevon Carter signs 3 years, $11.5 million deal
Carter is the ultimate 3-and-D guard, who brings grit, grind and hustle off the bench. With the Suns earning so many national TV spots this year, Carter is about to step into the spotlight.
Did you watch Carter (and Cam Payne) during the Bubble? The man is a menace on defense and he is a solid three-point shooter as well. He deserved this deal and in a season or two it could prove an absolute steal.
Think Avery Bradley. Now, put him on steroids. There’s Jevon Carter.
He needs to continue to develop, especially when it comes to playmaking, but this guy is solid and will break whichever player he’s guarding. Not many defenders are willing to pick up their man full court. Carter enjoys it.
Damian Jones signs for 2 years, $3.7 million
Jones is one of the few players on the roster that doesn’t shoot the three but he is efficient in scoring in the paint and has a 7-4 wingspan. Phoenix lost Aron Baynes, so this helps add some center depth.
At about $1.8 million per year, this is a very solid move. Jones is a good rim runner, decent rim protector, and an efficient scorer.
One thing that sticks out to me is that Jones has won two rings but is only 25. Like some of the older players on the roster, he can offer a bit of poise, especially during the postseason.
E’Twaun Moore signs for one year at vet minimum
Adding Moore was a sneaky good move. He’s another player that can shoot the rock and more than hold his own on defense. The backcourt is a little bloated, but there are worse problems to have in the NBA.
Getting E’Twaun for the minimum is a steal. The Moore solid guards, the better. (See what I did there?)
Moore fits the mold of what James Jones is looking for in the rotation and brings some leadership as well. This was a smart addition and with literally no risk at all. That’s how you fill out your bench.
Langston Galloway signs for one year at vet minimum
Same thing with Moore can be said about Galloway. Adding him was another smart move. He’s a 3-and-D guard. The first thing you think of when you hear his name is shooting but he’s not bad on the defensive end either.
This was a good value signing. Since the beginning of last season, the Suns have turned their backup guard rotation from a weakness to a potential strength.
His defense is a bit underrated as he uses his 6-8 wingspan to his advantage. However, shooting is definitely his calling card. Almost 60 percent of his shot attempts last season were catch-and-shoot three-pointers and he netted over 40 percent of them.