Suns release Mike James after signing standard contract
Mike James’ brief time under the sun in the desert comes to an end Friday. According to Shams Charania of The Vertical, the Phoenix Suns are waiving James a little over two weeks since the team signed him to a one-year contract.
Sources: Phoenix is releasing guard Mike James. He joined the Suns on a two-way deal and was signed for remainder of season after making a strong impact, but now has chance to land elsewhere.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 23, 2017
James has had a mildly surprising start to the season, as he averaged in double figures in October and in November. Before being cut, James was averaging 10.4 points, 3.8 assists, and 2.8 rebounds on 20.9 minutes per game across 32 games played. After the Suns traded Eric Bledsoe to the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this season, James took on a larger role along with Tyler Ulis in running Phoenix’s offense.
James, however, saw his playing time dwindle of late, partly because of Isaiah Canaan’s strong play. Over the Suns’ past five games, James logged in just 13.0 minutes and averaged a mere 4.7 points.
With Devin Booker and Davon Reed also closing in on making their respective return to active duty, James was likely to completely lose his spot in the Suns’ rotation anyway, which perhaps was among the key reasons why Phoenix decided to cut him.
James could find a new home once he clears waivers, though. He’s showed enough this season, especially when given enough playing time, to warrant attention. James’ has per 36 minutes averages of 17.9 points, 6.5 assists, and 4.8 rebounds.