The Phoenix Suns have parted ways with the 5-year pro out of Vanderbilt.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 23, 2021
The 25-year-old Jones was signed to a 2-year, non-guaranteed contract with the Suns this November in hopes of shoring up the center rotation. His contract was set to become fully guaranteed on February 25th (Thursday).
He played in 14 total games averaging just 6.7 minutes per-game.
Jones tallied more fouls and turnovers (25) than points (22) in his 94 total minutes for Phoenix. He never looked comfortable in their system on either side of the floor, even in garbage time so this isn’t a shocker. He never seemed like a James Jones guy from the jump, which is why the signing struck me as odd initially.
At least he got to go out on a strong note with this fun dunk in their blowout win over the Blazers last night.
Frank Kaminsky’s emergence essentially made him expendable and when you factor in Jones’ poor play, the move makes a ton of sense with his deadline approaching.
The Suns are sitting pretty at 20-10 with the 4th best record in the NBA, so this open roster spot should lead to plenty of speculation. This move gives them some needed roster flexibility should the right guy become available via trade, free agency or the buyout market.
Courses of action
1. Keep the roster spot open.
This seems like the most probable short-term solution at the moment. This gives you flexibility to see what’s out there and not commit to anything they may regret should an injury occur down the road.
2. Fill the spot with a buyout candidate OR sign a free agent.
- Blake Griffin (potential buyout)
- DeMarcus Cousins (buyout)
- Dewayne Dedmon (free agent)
- Ersan Ilyasova (free agent)
- JaVale McGee (potential buyout)
- Aron Baynes (potential buyout)
Bright Side’s Sam Cooper will have a more in-depth story tomorrow on potential targets to fill their open roster spot, so be on the lookout for that.