4:13pm: The Suns have officially announced that Cotton has been waived.
7:51am: The Suns are waiving point guard Bryce Cotton, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). The move will formally take place in advance of the close of business today, just as with the team’s release of Cory Jefferson, writes Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. Today is the last chance that NBA teams have to cut non-guaranteed contracts before they become guaranteed for the rest of the season. Cotton, like Jefferson, is on a one-year, minimum-salary deal that’s non-guaranteed. The Suns, who’ll be left with 13 players, are expected to fill their two openings with players on 10-day contracts, according to Coro, and Charania points out that Cotton and Jefferson are eligible to sign such deals with the Suns.
Cotton joined the Suns on November 25th, after Bledsoe had missed a game with a sore right knee and Brandon Knight was feeling less than 100% about his left ankle, on which he’d undergone surgery in April, Coro notes. Phoenix kept Cotton around even as Bledsoe and Knight became healthy, and when Bledsoe tore the meniscus in his left knee last week, an injury that knocked him out for the season, it seemed Cotton’s chances of remaining on the roster had improved, but it appears the Suns will let him go anyway. Cotton’s release is poised to leave the Suns with just two point guards, at least temporarily.
Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek used Cotton in only three games, and he totaled four points, three assists, five steals and five turnovers in 33 combined minutes. The 23-year-old who went undrafted out of Providence in 2014 was with the Spurs D-League affiliate before signing with the Suns, so he could go back to them, seek an overseas deal or try to find another NBA job. He’ll nonetheless see a prorated portion of his Suns salary worth 44/170ths of the one-year veteran’s minimum, since he has been with Phoenix for 44 days. That’ll come to $218,721, a figure that will stick on Phoenix’s books.
Which player do you think has a better chance to end up back in the NBA, Cotton or Jefferson? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.