Suns trim guard rotation, release point guard Tyler Ulis
Jun 30, 2018, 1:02 PM | Updated: 7:56 pm
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
The Phoenix Suns have officially released point guard Tyler Ulis, the team announced on Saturday.
Ulis was slated to make a non-guaranteed $1.5 million next season and had a team option of $1.6 million for 2019-20. His contract became guaranteed on Sunday if Phoenix did not release him.
The move may come as little surprise to Suns fans following Thursday’s NBA Draft when the team selected French point guard Elie Okobo at No. 31 overall. The point guard, who worked out for the team during the NBA Draft process, said he has a buyout in his contract and is ready to make the jump to the NBA.
Suns general manager Ryan McDonough also said on Friday the team plans on targeting a point guard in free agency. That would leave the Suns with Brandon Knight, Okobo and a free-agent acquisition on the roster at the floor general spot.
The Suns pushed back the deadline in an attempt to find a trade for the guard, according to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro, but were unable to.
Ulis played in 132 games, making 58 starts for Phoenix. He averaged 7.6 points, 4.1 assists and 1.7 rebounds during his stint with the team. After a standout end to the season in his rookie year, the 34th overall selection in the 2016 NBA Draft had high expectations for his second season and failed to meet them. His shooting percentage dropped from 42.1 percent to 38.8 percent, as he was unable to secure the backup point guard spot heading into this upcoming season. Ulis, though, was coming back from offseason ankle surgery and had to be looking forward to a fresh start in year three.
The Suns have other guarantee dates to highlight. Phoenix pushed back the guaranteed start date to Davon Reed’s $1.3 million contract, and Alan Williams’ $5.5 million is guaranteed on July 6.
Reed has to compete with Devin Booker, Troy Daniels, Josh Jackson, T.J. Warren and Mikal Bridges for minutes on the wing while Williams’ price as a third-string center behind Deandre Ayton and Tyson Chandler could have him on the chopping block.