Suns sign guard Saben Lee, waive Duane Washington Jr.
The Phoenix Suns are signing Saben Lee to a two-way contract and waiving Duane Washington Jr. Had G.M. James Jones retained Washington, Phoenix would’ve had to sign Lee for the remainder of the season to keep him.
In January, Lee signed a pair of 1o-day contracts with the team after being waived by the Philadelphia 76ers last year. Of course, two-way contracts are not included on an NBA team’s 15-man roster.
According to a few NBA betting sites, the Suns have 11th-ranked odds to win the championship. Check out which sportsbooks are showing greater odds for the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors.
The Phoenix Suns are signing guard Saben Lee to a two-way NBA deal and waiving Duane Washington Jr., sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Lee earns deal with Suns after strong stint on 10-days. Washington has scoring ability, averaging 8 points in 13 minutes per game this season.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 1, 2023
Through 12 games off the bench this season, Lee is averaging a career-high 6.3 points, along with 1.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. Plus, the third-year guard shooting career bests of 47.9% from the field and 46.2% outside the arc.
On Jan. 19, in the Suns’ 117-112 win over the Brooklyn Nets, the Vanderbilt product recorded a season-high 15 points in 30 minutes of action. In addition to logging three boards, six assists, and one steal, Lee shot 6-of-11 (54.5%) from the floor and drained two 3s.
Suns sign Saben Lee to a two-way contract after inking a pair of 10-day deals, waive Duane Washington Jr.
As for Washington, the second-year guard’s stats are down from last season. He’s averaging 7.9 points, 1.2 rebounds, 2.o assists, and 12.7 minutes through 31 appearances this season with Phoenix.
While Washington was averaging more points than Lee, the 22-year-old undrafted guard saw less playing time. It’s especially unfortunate, considering Washington notched a career-high 26 points against the Memphis Grizzlies in a 125-108 win on Dec. 27.
During his rookie 2021-22 season with the Indiana Pacers, Washington registered 9.9 points, 1.7 boards, 1.8 assists, and 20.2 minutes per game in 48 contests.
#Suns re-sign Saben Lee to two-way, waive Duane Washington Jr., who was on a two-way deal. pic.twitter.com/4VsfCsE2Ca
— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) February 1, 2023
Additionally, Ishmail Wainright occupies the other two-way spot with the Suns. Although two-way players are ineligible for the playoffs, the signees are still valuable assets for NBA teams.
Phoenix needs all the game it can receive right now. Devin Booker (groin), Cameron Payne (foot), Landry Shamet (foot), and Jae Crowder (personal) remain out indefinitely. Not to mention, the Suns are 6-4 in their last 10 games.
Past the halfway mark of the 2022-23 season, the team is 27-25 and ranks seventh overall in the Western Conference standings. Phoenix ranks 20th in scoring, averaging 112.9 points per game. However, they’re allowing the fifth-fewest points per contest (111.5).