Phoenix Suns claim former F/C Frank Kaminsky off waivers

Dec 22, 2020, 8:50 AM | Updated: 8:52 am

Frank Kaminsky (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)...

Frank Kaminsky (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The Phoenix Suns have claimed big man Frank Kaminsky off waivers.

The move was first reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania on Monday night.

He was officially on the team’s opening night roster come Tuesday.

This past offseason, the 27-year-old had the second year of his two-year, $10 million contract declined by the Suns ahead of free agency. He was then signed by the Sacramento Kings on a non-guaranteed minimum deal but was waived on Sunday.

Phoenix let go of big man Johnathan Motley on Saturday, opening up one more roster spot. Kaminsky will take that spot and put the Suns’ roster back up to 15 players, plus rookie Ty-Shon Alexander on a two-way contract.

Kaminsky last season had an uneven year for the Suns. He averaged 9.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game, shooting 45.0% from the field and 33.1% at three-point range. Kaminsky struggled with the defensive responsibilities at both the 4 and the 5 and was not shooting at a high enough clip to warrant a fair trade-off.

To be fair to Kaminsky, the Suns’ big man rotation was volatile all year. Deandre Ayton was suspended for 25 games, Aron Baynes was injured and Dario Saric’s role fluctuated. With Kaminsky spending time hurt too, the trio of Ayton, Baynes and Kaminsky only played two games together.

Kaminsky did have his pluses. He had the skill on the ball to be a good 0.5 player in Monty Williams’ offensive system. He was capable of making plays off the dribble and made logical, quick passes, as evidenced by his assist numbers for a big. Kaminsky will come to Phoenix knowing Williams’ philosophies and was well liked by his teammates.

The Suns’ big man rotation beyond Deandre Ayton is potentially also in flux for the start of the season on Wednesday with Dario Saric progressing back from a quad injury. Saric missed the entire preseason, and in his place off the bench were Damian Jones, rookie Jalen Smith and Motley. Jones has had an inconsistent go through four NBA seasons while Smith may need time to adjust to the speed of the NBA game.

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