Suns reportedly will sign undrafted PG Jared Harper to 2-way deal

Jul 17, 2019, 11:44 AM
Jared Harper #8 of the Phoenix Suns drives against Kadeem Allen #0 of the New York Knicks during th...
Jared Harper #8 of the Phoenix Suns drives against Kadeem Allen #0 of the New York Knicks during the 2019 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 7, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Undrafted rookie free agent point guard Jared Harper and the Phoenix Suns have agreed to a two-way contract, reports The Athletic’s Gina Mizell.

Players on two-way deals do not count against the NBA roster maximum of 15 players, but they are limited to 45 days with the NBA team before Phoenix must either sign them to one of the 15 roster spots for the rest of the year or allow them to walk. Phoenix had one more two-way contract it can fill.

The Suns now have a bevy of options at point guard. Free agent addition Ricky Rubio is the clear-cut starter and is likely to be backed up by Tyler Johnson, but both Johnson and rookie first-round pick Ty Jerome can swing between point guard and shooting guard.

Also on the roster is undrafted rookie Jalen Lecque, who was signed to a guaranteed deal, and second-year pros Elie Okobo and Jevon Carter. Carter was acquired in Phoenix’s July 3 trade of Josh Jackson and De’Anthony Melton to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Because of the positional depth and Harper’s two-way status, it is likely he will spend much of his rookie year with the Northern Arizona Suns in Prescott Valley.

The 5-foot-11, 169-pound point guard averaged 15.3 points, 5.8 assists and 1.1 steals while shooting 40% and 37% from three-point range last year for the Tigers.

He entered the draft after his junior season leading Auburn to the NCAA Tournament Final Four.

Harper’s biggest game in the spotlight of the postseason came in the Elite Eight against Kentucky, when he scored 26 points to go with five assists, three steals and two blocks in an overtime victory. The Tigers fell in the Final Four to eventual champion Virginia, which included Jerome, the No. 24 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Harper went undrafted but joined the Suns’ summer league squad, and in four games in Las Vegas, the point guard averaged 10.5 points, 2.5 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals per 21.8 minutes. He shot 38% from the field, flashing an ability to break down opposing defenses off pick-and-rolls and using creativity to finish at the rim despite his small frame.

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