Newly signed Suns guard Saben Lee wants to prove himself in the NBA

Jan 13, 2023, 2:27 PM
Saben Lee #38 of the Detroit Pistons looks on before the game against the Charlotte Hornets at Litt...
Saben Lee #38 of the Detroit Pistons looks on before the game against the Charlotte Hornets at Little Caesars Arena on February 11, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns guard Saben Lee just signed a 10-day contract on Wednesday, and after stints with the Detroit Pistons, Raptors 905 of the G League and Philadelphia 76ers, all he is looking for is another opportunity to showcase himself with the hope of finding a home.

Lee is an Arizona local who grew up in Phoenix and went to Corona del Sol High School in Tempe where he was named First Team All-State his junior and senior year before committing to Vanderbilt for his three-year colligate career.

“Growing up in Arizona, going to Suns games with my dad and just being from Phoenix, that definitely hits home for me,” Lee told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Thursday. “Playing in the NBA is a dream of mine but obviously playing for the home team is special for sure.”

In his Suns debut on Wednesday against the Denver Nuggets, Lee put up eight points, four assists and three rebounds in 15 minutes en route to a 126-97 Nuggets win. With Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Cam Payne and Landry Shamet all injured, the Suns are in desperate need for bodies at guard.

Since getting selected 38th overall in the 2020 NBA Draft, Lee has bounced around looking for minutes wherever he can. He has played in 87 games over his three years in the league, averaging 5.6 points per game on 43.8% shooting, 3.3 assists and 2.1 rebounds.

“It’s kind of what I signed up for. Just trying to make it into the NBA … it’s a tough league,” Lee said. “Just being able to adapt to different situations, it kind of allows you to move around a lot. Just being able to perform in different situations and different scenarios.”

“I definitely want to make it work out. The NBA is a dream of mine … just to stick in the league and find a home somewhere. Just continue to grind it out until that happens.”

Lee said he has been in the league long enough to know not to get too high or too low. Throughout this past offseason and into this season, he is trying to work on his three-point shot and compete on both ends of the floor in a positive manner.

“He can defend, picks up 94 feet and can push the pace,” Suns general manager James Jones told Burns & Gambo on Wednesday. “He’s a guy that can get paint touches and puts pressure on the defense and getting us into some early offense.”

“We just felt like we needed someone that could get us out in transition and get us some easy baskets and someone that could put pressure on opposing teams and help us manufacture some steals and turnovers.”

Over the next few days, Lee said he wants to do whatever the coaching staff needs him to do and show that he can apply whichever schemes he is put into.

“I’m grateful for any opportunity and especially here with this coaching staff and this group of guys,” Lee said. “It makes it really, really easy to be honest. It’s a great, great team and great organization and great coaching staff. Just the people here that makes it really easy and welcoming and obviously that helps a lot I would say.”

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