Five days after the Phoenix Suns waived Derrick Jones Jr., opening a roster spot to sign Mike James for the rest of the season, their G League affiliate in Prescott Valley signed the second-year forward.
NBA teams passed on adding Jones off waivers, allowing the Suns to retain their undrafted project out of UNLV.
On Tuesday, the NAZ Suns also traded a 2018 G League first-round pick to acquire point guard Isaiah Canaan, who has NBA experience in each of his five pro seasons.
After playing in 66 games as a rookie, Jones Jr. averaged 1.5 points and 0.7 rebounds in six appearances for Phoenix and on a nonguaranteed contract didn’t receive many opportunities playing behind Devin Booker, T.J. Warren and Josh Jackson. In 11 G League games this year, he is averaging 15.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per outing.
Canaan, a second-round pick in 2013, has played for Houston (two stints), Philadelphia and Chicago.
The 6-foot, 201-pound point guard’s best season came in 2014-15, when he averaged 12.6 points and 3.1 assists in 22 games with a Sixers team that won 18 games. The next year, he averaged 11 points and 1.8 assists in 77 games (39 starts) with a 10-win Philadelphia squad.
The two moves on Tuesday gives Phoenix options moving forward. While the Suns’ roster is currently full with 15 players and the two-way contracts of rookie Alec Peters and recently-signed wing Danuel House, Jones and Canaan could give the Suns depth if the team opens up roster spots via trade.