PHOENIX SUNS

Post-draft free agent guard targets for Suns include Joseph, Ellington

Jun 21, 2019, 1:55 PM | Updated: Jun 24, 2019, 3:11 pm
(Getty Images)...
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

After an active and eventful 2019 NBA Draft for the Phoenix Suns, the team is focused on a handful of names to target in free agency.

While looking into a few power forwards, the Suns are highlighting some guards.

Those names include point guard Cory Joseph, shooting guard Wayne Ellington and shooting guard Rodney McGruder, per 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro.

Joseph, 27, has eight years of NBA experience between the San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers. Joseph played in all 82 games for the Pacers in his two previous seasons for them, averaging 7.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game while shooting 41.8% from the field and 33.8% at 3-point range.

While the Suns are still considering previously reported targets at point guard like Patrick Beverley, Ricky Rubio and Darren Collison, Joseph is thought to be at the top of the Suns’ list.

The Canadian has been a reserve most of his career, starting 95 of his 528 total career appearances in the NBA. Joseph, along with teammate Collison, is an unrestricted free agent.

Ellington is an ex-Sun after being involved in the Tyler Johnson for Ryan Anderson trade at the deadline with the Miami Heat. The Suns let Ellington go and he signed for the rest of the season with Detroit, where he posted 12.0 points per game and shot 37.3% from deep on 7.8 attempts a game.

The 31-year-old unrestricted free agent has been on eight different teams since being drafted 28th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2009.

McGruder was a great find by the Heat front office who started 112 games for Erik Spoelstra over three seasons, providing energy and defense at the guard spot. Not known as an offensive contributor, McGruder has averaged 6.7 points per game on 41.4% shooting over his three-year career. The 27-year-old was waived by the Heat in April and claimed by the Los Angeles Clippers, who have the choice of extending a qualifying offer on McGruder by June 29 to make him a restricted free agent.

At guard, the Suns are still missing a starting point guard but filled up a spot in the draft through Virginia’s Ty Jerome in an agreed-upon deal with Boston. They also reportedly signed point guard Jalen Lecque to a four-year deal, which doesn’t bode well for De’Anthony Melton or Elie Okobo. Johnson and Devin Booker currently project as the starting backcourt.

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