James signed a two-way contract over the summer but wound up being a rotation piece after Phoenix decided to trade disgruntled point guard Eric Bledsoe. James will reach the 45-day NBA limit on his contract Wednesday and is expected to sign a standard NBA contract by the deadline. He is averaging 10.8 PPG, 3.0 RPG and 4.2 APG in 22.7 MPG.
However, the Suns are at the roster limit and must make a move before James’ contract can be converted. Small forward Derrick Jones is the most vulnerable member of the 15-man roster, since his contract is not fully guaranteed and he’s only appeared briefly in six games this season.
The team has a logjam at center and could move Greg Monroe, one of the players acquired from the Bucks in the Bledsoe deal. Monroe has an expiring contract and remains a productive player as an interior scorer and rebounder despite defensive limitations. Complicating matters is that Phoenix has three players – guards Brandon Knight and Davon Reed and big man Alan Williams – sidelined by long-term injuries.