While all the attention on the Phoenix Suns’ summer league roster has been directed at draft picks of the team like Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis, the player with the most on the line is Troy Williams.
Williams is the type of player summer league is designed to provide the most opportunity for. Ranked as the No. 73 prospect in the 2016 NBA Draft by Draft Express, Williams went undrafted and like many others is showcasing himself for NBA teams in Las Vegas.
Players in Williams’ spot are just looking for that one opportunity, and in the case of the former Indiana Hoosier, that would come after starting forward Marquese Chriss missed the first two games of the Las Vegas Summer League tournament due to illness.
Williams played only 13 minutes per game in the first three contests for the Suns, but since Chriss sat out, the wing has averaged 31 minutes per game in his last two appearances.
Williams seized his chance in particular during Saturday’s game against the Denver Nuggets. He scored 22 points, grabbed six rebounds and also had three steals.
The forward plays with reckless abandon, possessing superior athleticism and speed. That recklessness and some inconsistency are the primary concerns that made teams apprehensive to take a chance on Williams in the second round, but there’s no doubt his appealing talents would draw interest from a number of teams come the summer league.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune’s Tony Jones, that’s already the case.
Williams projects as a role player on the wing with two-way skill, something the Suns seriously lack for the future.
The problem is the Suns may not have a roster opening available. They already have their 15 roster spots taken and while Alan Williams’ contract is not guaranteed, he fills a backup big need.
The question now becomes if the Suns would take Williams over guard John Jenkins, who agreed to extend the deadline on his contract. The team will not need to make a decision on whether his contract becomes guaranteed until October, according to AZCentral’s Paul Coro, giving the Suns more time to evaluate the 15th spot.
At Jenkins’ shooting guard position, the Suns recently signed veteran Leandro Barbosa and also have Archie Goodwin along with two presumed factors in the rotation, Brandon Knight and Devin Booker.
Unlike Jenkins, Williams could spend time at shooting guard as well as small forward and while the small forward position technically has three players already there, Jared Dudley and P.J. Tucker project to play minutes at power forward next season. Youngster T.J. Warren has also spent occasional minutes at power forward in smallball situations.
None of the three provide the youth and two-way potential of Williams, who the Suns would be wise to grab after getting the best look at what he can become.
All of this, of course, comes down to which of those reported teams Williams will choose, and with the aforementioned cramped rotation already, he may look favorably at another team with more opportunities.
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