Perhaps one of the more surprising stories to come out of the 2017/18 NBA season so far is the play of Suns‘ rookie point guard Mike James.
James is currently averaging 11.4 PPG and 4.0 APG, good enough for top-10 spots in both categories among all rookies. And, according to Scott Bordow of AZCentral.com, James’ play has not been lost on general manager Ryan McDonough, who plans to sign James to a standard NBA contract before he reaches the 45-day NBA limit on his two-way contract on December 6.
Before signing James, however, the Suns will need to create an open roster spot, as they already have 15 players under contract. Bordow opines that in order to do so, the Suns will likely look to move on from one of their three centers – Tyson Chandler, Alex Len, or recently acquired Greg Monroe.
Out of the three, Monroe is probably the likeliest candidate to be moved. He is on an expiring contract and the Suns have already been reported as exploring the trade market for the 27 year-old. Len is also on an expiring contract after signing a qualifying offer in the offseason, but he has the ability to veto trades, and Chandler still has two years and $26.6MM remaining on the contract he signed back in 2015.
If the Suns can’t find a trade within the next couple weeks and need to waive a player to make room for James, Derrick Jones‘ roster spot could be in jeopardy, since he’s the only Sun without a fully guaranteed 2017/18 salary.