The Phoenix Suns made some roster moves on Saturday, waiving training camp attendees Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Saben Lee and Adonis Arms. The trio were among a host of players to be waived across the league, with every team finalizing their opening night roster.
The Suns have 14 fully contracted players to go with Ish Wainright and Duane Washington Jr. on two-way deals. The franchise appears comfortable with where they’re at, but the open spot does provide future flexibility.
The Phoenix Suns have one remaining roster spot heading into the regular season — could it be filled by a recently waived player across the NBA?
Here are five players who could fit at the Suns given the team’s current needs.
5. Derrick Favors
This is more about the reputation of the player rather than team fit. Favors has had a long and successful career to date, and at just 31 years of age, there’s reason to believe he’s got something left in the tank.
Favors played in Oklahoma City last season, before being dealt to the Houston Rockets and immediately parting ways with the organization. He averaged 5.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in 16.7 minutes across the 2021-22 season. Could he bypass Bismack Biyombo and Jock Landale to become the Suns backup center? Maybe, but with those alternative options, is there really any point?
4. Stanley Johnson
Johnson’s career is again at the crossroads, just months after looking secure at the Los Angeles Lakers. He was included in the deal for Patrick Beverley, however the Jazz have now decided there’s no room for him in Utah.
The 26-year-old averaged 6.7 points and 3.2 rebounds in his 22.8 minutes per game last season, with his net rating higher than notable teammates LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook. Given Jae Crowder’s absence from the team, Johnson wouldn’t be the worst option as depth at the four.
3. Quinndary Weatherspoon
Perhaps the least notable of these five players, yet still one of the best options available. If the NBA was solely about defense, Weatherspoon would be in the league without a doubt. Unfortunately he’s yet to develop his three-point shot to a sufficient level, though his athleticism does allow him to finish well at the rim.
The 26-year-old won a championship with the Golden State Warriors as a two-way player last season, and was set to maintain that position in 2022-23. Warrior fans were shocked to learn of Weatherspoon’s recent departure, which was partly due to the two-way signing of former Sun Ty Jerome. While he’s in the same vein as Josh Okogie and Torrey Craig, he may actually be the best mid-to-long term prospect of that trio.
2. Maurice Harkless
Harkless was recently waived by the Rockets, with the future of the 29-year-old now uncertain. He averaged 18.6 minutes with the Sacramento Kings last season, recording 4.6 points and 2.4 rebounds per game.
Harkless’ production has deteriorated in recent seasons, having once been a major contributor to some Portland playoff teams. Perhaps he deserves one more opportunity at a winning organisation, and with Crowder away from the team, he’d have the potential to fill some power-forward minutes for the Suns.
1. Kemba Walker
Walker is the biggest name now on the waiver wire, but that doesn’t necessarily make him the best. Injuries have cost the 32-year-old his explosiveness, and the deficiencies on defense simply won’t make up for just an average offensive player. For Phoenix though, whose point-guard issues have been well document over the offseason, Walker’s maybe the only player they’d consider for the 15th roster spot.
None of these players are particularly worthy of being added to the Suns roster, even if, at their best, they could be considered slight upgrades on a couple of current players. However, they may be worth monitoring if Phoenix hit unforeseen circumstances and need some reinforcements throughout the season.