Phoenix Suns making G League announcement at Tempe’s Mullett Arena

May 21, 2024, 11:45 AM | Updated: 1:43 pm

Suns G League...

Suns guard Ty Jerome makes his debut with the Northern Arizona Suns on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at the Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott Valley, Arizona. (Matt Hinshaw/NAZ Suns)

(Matt Hinshaw/NAZ Suns)

The Phoenix Suns will be making an announcement regarding their new G League franchise on Wednesday morning at Mullett Arena in Tempe.

In mid-February, Phoenix announced it had acquired the right to own and operate a G League team, which would be debuting in the upcoming season.

Mullett Arena is home to Arizona State hockey and was previously a temporary Valley location for the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes the last two seasons before the franchise relocated to Salt Lake City.

The Suns originally had a G League franchise in the Northern Arizona Suns before selling it to the Detroit Pistons in 2021, a move new owner Mat Ishbia wanted to rectify as soon as possible after purchasing the Suns and Phoenix Mercury in 2023. The NAZ Suns spent four seasons in Prescott Valley before the move.

A G League franchise will allow Phoenix to have a secondary base of talent to evaluate beyond its NBA roster. There have been a handful of success stories with players making it from the G League to a NBA roster and holding a spot from there, including former NAZ Sun Derrick Jones Jr. He joined the Miami Heat back in the 2017-18 season and is now a starter for the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals.

The Suns will also have more flexibility with the three players on their roster via two-way contracts. The function of these contracts is to let those players go back and forth between the two rosters while on a NBA contract, but since Phoenix did not have its own franchise in close proximity and under its own system, it rarely utilized this ability since selling its G League team under former owner Robert Sarver in 2021. Two-way contract signings will now have the opportunity for more game-time to improve instead of relying on practices and scrimmages.

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Phoenix Suns making G League announcement at Tempe’s Mullett Arena