7:03pm: The Suns have officially announced the waiver claim of Jenkins.
4:14pm: The Suns have claimed John Jenkins off waivers from the Mavericks, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). The team has yet to make a formal announcement, but the move had to have taken place before 4:00pm Central, when Jenkins was set to become a free agent had no team put in a claim. He’s on a three-year minimum-salary contract, and the minimum salary exception only accommodates two-year deals, so Phoenix is using part of the $1.56MM trade exception it created in the Markieff Morris deal last week. It’s a boon for Dallas, which gets to subtract the more than $981K cap hit for Jenkins from this season’s books. The Suns are responsible for that plus his remaining paychecks this year.
Jenkins, who turns 25 next month, goes into Phoenix’s open roster spot, so no corresponding move is necessary. He’ll provide depth on the wing, where the Suns have been thin in the wake of T.J. Warren‘s season-ending broken foot. The Mavericks didn’t give Jenkins much playing time in the regular season, as he’s averaged a career low 9.2 minutes per game, even though he was one of the surprises of the preseason, when he put up 19.7 points in 28.4 minutes a night across seven appearances. Dallas waived Jenkins to make room for David Lee, who came free via buyout from the Celtics.
The Suns have the ability to control Jenkins through 2017/18, since his contract contains non-guaranteed minimum salaries for the next two seasons. He holds promise, having been the 23rd overall pick in 2012, and he’s a passable floor-stretching threat, having hit 35.7% of his 227 3-point attempts over the course of 119 NBA regular season games. Phoenix nonetheless burns the majority of the Morris exception, which declines in value to $578,652, largely unusable except for rookie minimum deals.