Drew Eubanks, Phoenix Suns agree to terms on new contract

Jun 30, 2023, 3:16 PM | Updated: Jul 4, 2023, 2:26 pm

Drew Eubanks...

Cameron Payne #15 of the Phoenix Suns shoots against Drew Eubanks #24 of the Portland Trail Blazers during the first quarter at Moda Center on October 21, 2022 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns agreed to a two-year contract with free agent Drew Eubanks to bolster their frontcourt, the team announced Tuesday.

The deal includes a player option for the second season, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

“The additions of Keita (Bates-Diop), Drew, Chimezie (Metu) and Yuta (Wantanabe) bolster our depth and each of them will help us in our pursuit of winning a championship,” Suns general manager James Jones said in a press release.

“Each of these players possess unique skillsets that complement the rest of our roster and make us a more dynamic team.”

Eubanks is a 6-foot-9 big who played 78 games last season for the Portland Trail Blazers with 28 starts.

He averaged 6.6 points per game, 5.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.

Eubanks joined an injury-plagued Blazers team via trade in 2021-22 and scored 14.5 points per game with 8.5 rebounds in 22 contests.

The Oregon State product does not shoot often from deep but is 15-for-44 in his career (34.1%).

Eubanks is 26 years old and entered the league in 2018-19 with the San Antonio Spurs.

The Suns began the free agency period on Friday with nine players under contract: Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, Kevin Durant, Deandre Ayton, Cam Payne, Jordan Goodwin, Ish Wainright, Isaiah Todd and Toumani Camara.

Due mostly to the max contracts owed to Beal, Booker, Durant and Ayton, Phoenix was restricted in how it could spend money.

While the Suns could re-sign free agents like center Jock Landale (unrestricted) and Torrey Craig (unrestricted) to larger-than-minimum deals, the team being over the second tax apron only left them veteran minimum deals to hand out to outside free agents.

With four max players all expected to start, the roster-building begins with who takes over the fifth starting spot.

Point guard Cam Payne, whose contract became fully guaranteed on Thursday, is among the candidates after Phoenix dealt Chris Paul away as the main money piece to acquire Beal earlier this month.

“Cam Payne will get a look, we’ll see what other free agents that we will sign and those answers will play out in camp,” first-year Suns head coach Frank Vogel told reporters on Thursday.

“From a roster perspective, we’ll have a ton of qualified great players that can fill that fifth spot,” Suns president of baskteball operations and GM James Jones added. “But luckily for me, I don’t make those decisions. The players decide through competition and coach has to make that tough choice.”

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