Suns bringing back Ish Wainright on 2-way contract, waive Theo Maledon

Mar 4, 2024, 2:52 PM | Updated: 7:40 pm

Ish Wainright Suns...

Ish Wainright #12 of the Phoenix Suns during the second half of NBA game at Footprint Center on November 26, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Ish Wainright is re-joining the Phoenix Suns on a two-way contract following a stint with the Portland Trail Blazers that ended in January.

Earlier on Monday, the Suns also waived guard Theo Maledon. The Suns signed Maledon to a two-way contract in December. The French international made his debut for the Suns on Feb. 8 and played one minute in Phoenix’s 129–115 win over the Utah Jazz. Maledon appeared in just four games for the Suns and averaged 1.3 points.

Wainright, who worked under the Suns’ first-year coaching staff during training camp, was released at the start of the season and claimed off waivers by Portland. He played just seven games for the Trail Blazers this year, and a sprained knee inhibited his production there before he was released.

Wainright appeared in 105 games with two starts for the Suns from 2021-23, playing mostly on two-way contracts before earning his way onto the postseason roster.

In 2022-23, Wainright averaged 4.2 points with 33% shooting from three, along with 2.3 rebounds.

Now back with Phoenix, he adds to the wing depth that took a hit in the Royce O’Neale trade that sent Keita Bates-Diop, Yuta Watanabe and Chimezie Metu away.

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Wainright acts as insurance with backup wing Nassir Little currently battling knee inflammation and Josh Okogie dealing with a hip issue. The Suns on Sunday leaned on trade pickup David Roddy for seven rotation minutes off the bench as the only true wing with Little and Okogie out.

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