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Report: Suns converting Mike James’ two-way contract into one-year minimum deal


during the second half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 6, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Nets defeated the Suns 98-92. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

Christian Petersen

Mike James has been so good on his two-way contract, Suns general manager Ryan McDonough already said Phoenix would give him a standard contract.

The two big questions:

1. Would James sign a multi-year deal?

2. Whom would the Suns drop to make room?

With James completing his 45th and final allowable NBA day on a two-way contract yesterday, we got an answer to No. 1.

Sam Vecenie of The Athletic:

James – who earned $235,008 on his two-way deal – will now be on a new one-year, $580,607 contract with $50,000 guaranteed (already paid with the two-way deal).

He could have signed a new contract with Phoenix. Similar to second-round-pick negotiations, he probably could have gotten more guaranteed by locking into a long-term deal at or near the minimum.

Essentially, James is betting on himself. The 27-year-old will be a free agent next summer, and the Suns can make him restricted by extending a qualifying offer projected to be worth about $1.5 million (minimum salary plus $200,000).

James looks like a borderline second-string/third-string point guard. To maximize his salary, he might need to sign with a bad team that without a better rotation-level backup. Like Phoenix.

The Suns will address James one way or another next summer, but for now, they must clear a roster spot. They already had the maximum 15 players with standard contracts. Waiving Derrick Jones Jr. appears to be the simplest solution, but the athletic 20-year-old has plenty of potential. Does McDonough have something else up his sleeve?