Suns waive Frank Kaminsky, can elevate Ish Wainright to standard contract

Apr 7, 2022, 2:23 PM | Updated: 3:55 pm
(AP Photo/Matt York)...
(AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

The Phoenix Suns on Thursday waived Frank Kaminsky, likely making way for the team to convert Ish Wainright’s two-way contract into a standard deal that makes him eligible for the playoff roster.

The move comes before a 2 p.m. MST deadline that allows cut players two full days to go through the waiver process before becoming a free agent able to sign with another team by the end of the regular season on Sunday.

Phoenix’s two-way players include Wainright and Iffe Lundberg, the latter of whom is also on a two-way deal but has made only three appearances for the Suns.

Kaminsky appeared in only nine games this year before suffering a stress reaction in his right knee in mid-November. The team announced on Jan. 7 that Kaminsky underwent surgery and was out at least eight weeks, but he had been taking part in some portions of practices of late.

Kaminsky averaged 10.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in the nine games played, which included a 31-point outing on Nov. 10 against the Portland Trail Blazers.

This season was Kaminsky’s third with Phoenix, where he added rotation depth as a ball-moving, floor-spacing center. He was on a one-year deal, and the Suns now move on to add a more switchable wing player to a roster that already includes three centers: Deandre Ayton, JaVale McGee and Bismack Biyombo.

Wainright is a former football player who also played basketball at Baylor. He played pro basketball in Germany and France from 2018-21 before making a push to land on an NBA roster.

The 27-year-old began the 2021-22 season on the Toronto Raptors’ training camp roster, fighting for one of their last spots before being waived in October.

He’s made 44 appearances this season for the Suns, averaging 2.1 points and 1.2 rebounds while shooting 39% from the field.

The 6-foot-6, 250-pound forward has appeared for significant rotation minutes after quickly earning the trust of head coach Monty Williams. He’s given Phoenix a physical, switching-capable wing for smaller units.

Wainright saved his best game for last before the Suns needed to make a decision about promoting him to a standard contract. He scored 20 points to go with eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and four three-point makes on Wednesday in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

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