2018–19 Phoenix Suns season

The 2018–19 Phoenix Suns season was the 51st season of the franchise in the National Basketball Association (NBA),[1] as well as their 26th season at the Talking Stick Resort Arena. They finished with 19 wins to 63 losses, the franchise's worst regular season record since the inaugural season 1968–69.

2018–19 Phoenix Suns season
Head coachIgor Kokoškov
General managerRyan McDonough (until Oct. 8)
James Jones/Trevor Bukstein (interim)
OwnersRobert Sarver
ArenaTalking Stick Resort Arena
Results
Record19–63 (.232)
PlaceDivision: 5th (Pacific)
Conference: 15th (Western)
Playoff finishDid not qualify

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Local media
TelevisionFox Sports Arizona
RadioKTAR
< 2017–18 2019–20 >

The Suns started the season with a new head coach, signing former assistant coach Igor Kokoškov to a three-year deal on May 2, 2018.[2] After winning the first overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft, the Suns picked Deandre Ayton, a Bahamian center from the University of Arizona. They also gained the draft rights of the tenth overall pick, Mikal Bridges, through a trade involving the Philadelphia 76ers, thus recovering the final pick they received from first trading Steve Nash to the Los Angeles Lakers. During the 2018 NBA free agency period, the Suns also acquired some key players from the Houston Rockets the previous season with Trevor Ariza on July 1 and Ryan Anderson and rookie De'Anthony Melton nearly two months later on August 31. But after failing to sign a starting-caliber point guard during free agency,[3] general manager Ryan McDonough was fired before the regular season began on October 8. He was replaced by former Suns' player James Jones and Trevor Bukstein on an interim basis throughout the season; Jones was eventually named the permanent general manager after the end of the season.

The Suns were the first team eliminated from playoff contention on February 23, missing the playoffs for a franchise-record ninth straight season.

Key datesEdit

Off-seasonEdit

Draft picksEdit

Round Pick Player Position(s) Nationality College / Club
1 1 Deandre Ayton C   Bahamas Arizona
1 10 Mikal Bridges SF   United States Villanova
2 31 Élie Okobo PG   France   Élan Béarnais Pau-Lacq-Orthez
2 59 George King SG   United States Colorado

Entering the draft, the Suns had just two first-round picks and two second-round picks. Their first pick would be their own pick, which became their first ever number one pick in franchise history after 50 seasons. It came as a result of having the second-worst record in franchise history, with only their inaugural season being worse. The Suns were guaranteed just the Miami Heat's first-round pick this year due to a 2015 trade involving the brothers Dragić, with both Zoran and Goran Dragić being traded to Miami in a three-way trade including the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for the rights to John Salmons, Danny Granger, the Heat's first-round pick this year, and Miami's completely unprotected 2021 first-round pick. Near the conclusion of the previous season, the Suns had a chance to also receive the Milwaukee Bucks' first-round pick as well, as that was projected to be included alongside Greg Monroe and a second-round pick in order to offload Eric Bledsoe, who no longer wanted to be with the Suns.[13] However, despite Miami winning more games against Milwaukee that season, the Suns would not gain Milwaukee's first-round pick this season. However, the Suns still retained the 16th pick from the Heat, alongside their 1st pick, up until draft night.

Phoenix was also projected to have the Los Angeles Lakers' first-round pick from the Steve Nash trade of 2012, but the pick was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers to acquire Brandon Knight in 2015. The Suns regained that selection on draft night in exchange for the Miami Heat's first round selections that were previously acquired. In the second round, the Suns traded their own pick to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Troy Daniels and what would be the Charlotte Hornets' second-round pick, although their own pick was kept by Phoenix due to top 55 protections placed on their own second-round pick for the second year in a row. Phoenix also gained the penultimate pick to the draft, the Toronto Raptors' second-round pick this year, after also gaining last year's second-round pick and the rights to Jared Sullinger in exchange for them briefly acquiring P. J. Tucker. In other transactions around their projected second-round picks, the Hornets' second-round pick would be traded to the Orlando Magic in exchange for Elfrid Payton, and the Bucks' second-round pick would go to the Brooklyn Nets (via a separate trade) due to it being inside the top 47.

With the top pick of the 2018 NBA Draft, the Suns selected the Bahamian freshman center Deandre Ayton from the nearby University of Arizona. While he was reported to be the #1 pick for weeks before the draft,[14] Ayton competed with a few other players such as former high school teammate Marvin Bagley III, international superstar (and former player of new head coach Igor Kokoškov's) Luka Dončić, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Mohamed Bamba during those weeks. In his sole season playing (and starting) in 35 games for Arizona, Ayton averaged 20.1 points (on .612 overall percentage and .343 three-point percentages), 11.6 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, 1.6 assists, and 0.6 steals under 33.5 minutes per game while also being named a consensus All-American First Team, the Pac-12's Player of the Year, the Pac-12's Freshman of the Year, being a member of the All-Pac-12 First Team, winning the Pac-12 Tournament's Most Outstanding Player Award, and winning the Karl Malone Award for being considered the best power forward of the NCAA, even though he projects more as a center entering the NBA. Ayton became a standout player for the Suns almost immediately entering the season, being an immediate starter for the team and being the only rookie this season a double-double average in their rookie season, averaging 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds throughout the season. He ended the season being a member of the NBA All-Rookie First Team.

With the 16th selection, the Suns picked Texas Tech University's Zhaire Smith, but immediately traded Smith and the Miami Heat's 2021 first round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for the tenth overall pick, junior small forward Mikal Bridges from Villanova University.[15] Bridges was considered a key member for Villanova when they won the NCAA Championship in two of his three seasons. As the starting small forward for all 40 games played the previous season, he averaged 17.7 points (on .514 overall percentage and a .435 three-point percentage), 5.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.1 blocks under 32.2 minutes per game. In addition to being a two-time NCAA Tournament Champion in 2016 and 2018, Bridges also was named a consensus All-American Third Team member, an All-Big East First Team member, a Big East Tournament MVP, and the winner of the Julius Erving Award, all of which were earned in 2018. This would mark the second season in three years where the Suns would have two top ten picks in the draft. The Suns also selected French All-Star point guard Élie Okobo of the Élan Béarnais Pau-Lacq-Orthez from France's LNB Pro A as the 31st pick and shooting guard George King from the University of Colorado Boulder with the 59th pick. Okobo was made part of the regular, 15-man roster, while King became one of the team's two-way contracts that season. Furthermore, they would later trade for (and sign) another second-round pick in USC sophomore point guard De'Anthony Melton, the 46th pick of the NBA Draft, before the season began. Later in the season, the Suns signed Ray Spalding, the 56th pick of the NBA Draft, for the rest of the season, which left them with 6 total draft picks from this draft on the roster by the end of the season.

Free agencyEdit

Before June 26, the only players that were confirmed free agents were Alex Len (unrestricted) and Elfrid Payton (restricted, but the Suns had declared to not use their right of first refusal). Former two-way contract players Alec Peters and Danuel House also had the option to enter free agency or stay for a second year under a two-way contract. House then signed to play for the Houston Rockets in the 2018 NBA Summer League, while Peters stuck with the team during the event. Tyler Ulis was waived from his contract on June 30 for the purpose of extra salary cap space. Two days later, the Suns waived Alan Williams' non-guaranteed deal and the exception rights on the two-way contracts of Alec Peters and Danuel House to create more salary cap space.

Near the start of free agency on July 1, the Suns agreed to terms with former Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza on a one-year deal worth $15,000,000 and signed officially on July 6. Ariza was considered their top free agent priority that season.[16] Also on July 1, Suns' restricted free agent Elfrid Payton signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, his hometown team. On July 7, the Suns' star shooting guard Devin Booker agreed to a five-year maximum contract extension of around $158.3 million to remain with the team. It was the seventh highest valued contract of the NBA at the time of its signing.[17] On July 20, they announced that they had retained both Davon Reed and Shaquille Harrison, and also completed two separate trades. Their first trade involved sending guard/forward Jared Dudley and their top-35 protected 2021 second round pick to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for power forward Darrell Arthur. Not long after the trade for Arthur, the Suns sent $1,000,000 in cash considerations to the Philadelphia 76ers in a trade for power forward/center Richaun Holmes. The next day, Alex Len signed a two-year deal with the Atlanta Hawks. Alec Peters then signed with PBC CSKA Moscow in Russia instead of retaining his two-way contract with the team. On July 25, their other former two-way contract, Danuel House Jr. signed a regular, one-year contract with the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors. Alan Williams later signed a two-way contract with the Brooklyn Nets on September 19, and Tyler Ulis signed a training camp deal with the Golden State Warriors two days later.

On August 3, the Suns announced they had re-signed a point guard from the previous season, Isaiah Canaan. The team later announced his deal was a non-guaranteed training camp deal, but it marked a return to play after his previous season ended with an ankle fracture on January 31, 2018.[18] Before the month of August concluded, the Suns traded both projected starting point guard Brandon Knight and third-year power forward Marquese Chriss to the Houston Rockets in exchange for new starting power forward Ryan Anderson and rookie point guard De'Anthony Melton, who was previously drafted by Houston.[19] In order to make the trade work, Anderson agreed to cut back on his salary for next season to the same amount that Brandon Knight would have been paid; the Suns also sent a $2.6 million traded player exception to the Rockets. Melton signed a rookie deal with the Suns on September 21 after waiting on trying to have a potential point guard trade. On October 15, they waived point guard Shaquille Harrison and power forward Darrell Arthur, with the Suns failing to get a disabled player exception for Arthur's roster spot before season starting rosters had to be finalized.[20] Shooting guard Davon Reed was also waived the following day and replaced by veteran guard Jamal Crawford.[21]

On November 4, center Tyson Chandler agreed to a buyout with the Suns, later playing the rest of the season with the Los Angeles Lakers. On November 23, Isaiah Canaan agreed to leave the team via waiver, eventually playing briefly for the Milwaukee Bucks and Minnesota Timberwolves. On December 7, Phoenix signed Northern Arizona Suns guard Jawun Evans as their second two-way contract, though he would be waived on March 23, 2019 to later play for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Three days after that signing, Phoenix signed power forward/center Eric Moreland to a one-year deal, though they would waive him on January 3, 2019, after playing only one game with them, eventually signing with future NBA Finals champions, the Toronto Raptors. A week after that, the Suns agreed to trade their biggest free agent acquisition, Trevor Ariza to the Washington Wizards for small forward Kelly Oubre Jr. and point guard Austin Rivers (who got waived the next day). In January 2019, the Suns started to sign 10-day contracts with various players. They first gave power forward Quincy Acy two 10-day contracts on January 7 and 17 before giving former Lincoln Memorial University power forward Emanuel Terry a 10-day contract on January 27. On the February 6 trade deadline, Phoenix traded away power forward Ryan Anderson to the Miami Heat for guards Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington, with the latter player also being waived the next day. Fourteen days after the trade, the Suns signed former Dallas Mavericks power forward Ray Spalding to a 10-day contract before getting a two-year, partially guaranteed deal on March 3. Finally, on March 22, the Suns signed guard Jimmer Fredette from China to a similar two-year, partially guaranteed deal to return to the NBA for the rest of the season to finish off their season.

Coaching changesEdit

In March 2018, the Suns confirmed they were searching for permanent head coach, although interim head coach Jay Triano was also stated as a candidate.[22] Vice president of basketball operations, James Jones, revealed that as many as 20 potential candidates were looked into between March and May 2018.[23] Some of their potential interests during this coaching search included former Suns and Utah Jazz assistant coach Igor Kokoškov, former Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale, European head coach David Blatt, then-current Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer, former Charlotte Hornets head coach Steve Clifford, former Orlando Magic head coach Frank Vogel, San Antonio Spurs assistant coach James Borrego, former Houston Rockets head coach Kevin McHale, Toronto Raptors assistant coaches Rex Kalamian and Nick Nurse, New Orleans Pelicans associate coach Chris Finch, and former Suns players Jason Kidd and Vinny Del Negro. On May 2, 2018, Triano was relieved of his coaching duties and Kokoškov was announced to sign a three-year contract as Phoenix's new head coach.[24]

On the same day the Suns relieved Jay Triano of his coaching duties, Phoenix also released assistant coach Tyrone Corbin[25] and then most of the old coaching staff, including former Northern Arizona Suns coach Tyrone Ellis. Triano became an associate head coach for the Charlotte Hornets, while Corbin became an assistant coach for the Orlando Magic, and Marlon Garnett joined the Atlanta Hawks' coaching staff.[26] Former Orlando Magic assistant coach Corliss Williamson then joined Kokoškov's coaching staff in Phoenix.[27] Williamson was familiar with Kokoškov as he played when Kokoškov was an assistant coach during the Detroit Pistons' 2003–04 championship season. On June 4, former Milwaukee Bucks interim head coach Joe Prunty became the team's leading assistant head coach. A week later, Jason Staudt, an assistant coach under Kokoškov during his coaching tenure with the Georgia national basketball team, became an assistant coach for Phoenix, while former player Devin Smith became a player development coach.[28] On June 18, the Suns hired former Arizona State University point guard and New Orleans Pelicans assistant coach Jamelle McMillan as an assistant coach. On June 22, the Suns also promoted Northern Arizona Suns head coach Cody Toppert to the director of player development position in Phoenix.[29][30][31] On July 25, assistant coach Bret Burchard, one of the few Suns' coaches retained from the previous season, was named the head coach for the Northern Arizona Suns.[32] Former Northern Arizona Suns' head coach and Phoenix Suns assistant coach Tyrone Ellis also left the Suns organization to become the head coach of the Stockton Kings.[33]

Front office changesEdit

During the preseason on October 8, 2018, owner Robert Sarver made the abrupt decision to fire general manager Ryan McDonough.[34] His decision was reflected upon the lack of a starting-caliber point guard being acquired by that point of the season.[3] As a result, vice president of basketball operations James Jones and assistant general manager Trevor Bukstein were named the interim general managers. Later that same day, the team also fired assistant general manager Pat Connelly, director of scouting Courtney Witte, director of international scouting Emilio Kovačić, and Northern Arizona Suns general manager Louis Lehman.[35]

RosterEdit

Roster listing
2018–19 Phoenix Suns roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY-MM-DD) From
C 22 Ayton, Deandre   7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) 250 lb (113 kg) 1998–07–23 Arizona
F 35 Bender, Dragan 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) 225 lb (102 kg) 1997–11–17 Croatia
G 1 Booker, Devin   6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 210 lb (95 kg) 1996–10–30 Kentucky
F 25 Bridges, Mikal 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 210 lb (95 kg) 1996–08–30 Villanova
G 11 Crawford, Jamal 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1980–03–20 Michigan
G 30 Daniels, Troy 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 205 lb (93 kg) 1991–07–15 Virginia Commonwealth
G 32 Fredette, Jimmer 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 195 lb (88 kg) 1989–02–25 BYU
F/C 21 Holmes, Richaun   6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 235 lb (107 kg) 1993–10–15 Bowling Green
F 20 Jackson, Josh 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 200 lb (91 kg) 1997–02–10 Kansas
G 16 Johnson, Tyler   6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1992–05–07 Fresno State
F 8 King, George (TW) 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 220 lb (100 kg) 1994–01–15 Colorado
G 14 Melton, De'Anthony 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 200 lb (91 kg) 1998–05–28 Southern California
G 2 Okobo, Élie 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1997–10–23 France
F 3 Oubre, Kelly   6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 205 lb (93 kg) 1995–12–09 Kansas
PF 26 Spalding, Ray 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 215 lb (98 kg) 1997–03-11 Louisville
F 12 Warren, T. J.   6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 215 lb (98 kg) 1993–09–05 North Carolina State
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • (GL) On assignment to G League affiliate
  • (TW) Two-way affiliate player
  •   Injured

Roster
Last transaction: 2019–04–03

SalariesEdit

Player 2018–19 Salary
Tyler Johnson $19,245,370
T.J. Warren $11,750,000
DeAndre Ayton $8,175,840
Josh Jackson $6,041,520
Dragan Bender $4,661,280
Mikal Bridges $3,557,400
Devin Booker $3,314,365
Troy Daniels $3,258,539
Kelly Oubre Jr. $3,208,630
Jamal Crawford $2,393,887
Richuan Holmes $1,600,520
Élie Okobo $1,238,464
De'Anthony Melton $949,000
Jimmer Fredette $198,579
Ray Spalding $184,746
George King $77,250
Total $68,745,390

For this season, the minimum salary for two-way contracts is at $77,250, while the maximum salary is around $385,000, with potential to earn up to $506,215 in certain situations.[36] As a result of the pre-season waiving of Darrell Arthur, Davon Reed, and Shaquille Harrison, both Arthur and Reed had their fully guaranteed respective salaries of $7,464,912 and $1,378,242 retained for the rest of the season (though with Reed later signing a two-way contract with the Indiana Pacers, Phoenix only paid $675,000 instead), while Harrison only received the partial guarantee of $50,000 he acquired earlier in the season. When Tyson Chandler and Isaiah Canaan were bought out and waived on November 3 and 28 respectively, the Suns opened more salary for the remainder of the season. Phoenix also bought out Austin Rivers' contract the day after trading for him on December 18, 2018. Eric Moreland was then waived on January 3, 2019, leaving the Suns with $33 million of dead salary cap space.[37] With the waiving of Wayne Ellington after previously acquiring him on February 6, his $6,270,000 was also added onto the dead salary of the team's season.[38] This left them with the third-highest amount of dead money for the season behind only the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks.[39]

PreseasonEdit

The Suns were one of the six NBA teams announced to take part in a series of preseason contests with the National Basketball League and scheduled to play the New Zealand Breakers in Phoenix.[40] The official pre-season schedule was revealed on August 1 with their first game scheduled for October 1. This preseason period was also without Devin Booker, as he was recovering from pinkie surgery at the time, with the intent on returning before the regular season began. A week after the Suns started the pre-season, during which time they earned a 1–2 record, with their sole victory in a close game against the New Zealand Breakers, team owner Robert Sarver fired general manager Ryan McDonough and replaced them with both James Jones and Trevor Bukstein the morning of their penultimate preseason game against the Golden State Warriors. The team ended the preseason with a 2–3 record.

2018 preseason game log
Total: 2–3 (Home: 1–2; Road: 1–1)
2018–19 season schedule

StandingsEdit

Pacific Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div GP
cGolden State Warriors 57 25 .695 0.0 30–11 27–14 13–3 82
xLos Angeles Clippers 48 34 .585 9.0 26–15 22–19 11–5 82
Sacramento Kings 39 43 .476 18.0 24–17 15–26 4–12 82
Los Angeles Lakers 37 45 .451 20.0 22–19 15–26 9–7 82
Phoenix Suns 19 63 .232 38.0 12–29 7–34 3–13 82


Western Conference
# Team W L PCT GB GP
1 cGolden State Warriors * 57 25 .695 82
2 yDenver Nuggets * 54 28 .659 3.0 82
3 xPortland Trail Blazers 53 29 .646 4.0 82
4 yHouston Rockets * 53 29 .646 4.0 82
5 xUtah Jazz 50 32 .610 7.0 82
6 xOklahoma City Thunder 49 33 .598 8.0 82
7 xSan Antonio Spurs 48 34 .585 9.0 82
8 xLos Angeles Clippers 48 34 .585 9.0 82
9 Sacramento Kings 39 43 .476 18.0 82
10 Los Angeles Lakers 37 45 .451 20.0 82
11 Minnesota Timberwolves 36 46 .439 21.0 82
12 Memphis Grizzlies 33 49 .402 24.0 82
13 New Orleans Pelicans 33 49 .402 24.0 82
14 Dallas Mavericks 33 49 .402 24.0 82
15 Phoenix Suns 19 63 .232 38.0 82

Game logEdit

2018–19 game log
Total: 19–63 (Home: 12–29; Road: 7–34)
2018–19 season schedule
 
The Phoenix Suns (purple) played the Memphis Grizzlies (white) in an NBA game at Phoenix on November 4, 2018, and won 102–100.

Player statisticsEdit

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game
NBA roster statistics
Player GP GS MPG FG% 3FG% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
Quincy Acy 10 0 12.3 .222 .133 .700 2.5 0.8 0.1 0.4 1.7
Ryan Anderson* 15 8 18.5 .317 .206 .786 3.0 1.1 0.2 0.1 3.7
Trevor Ariza* 26 26 34.0 .379 .360 .837 5.6 3.3 1.5 0.3 9.9
Deandre Ayton 71 70 30.7 .585 .000 .746 10.3 1.8 0.9 0.9 16.3
Dragan Bender 46 27 18.0 .447 .218 .593 4.0 1.2 0.4 0.5 5.0
Devin Booker 64 64 35.0 .467 .326 .878 4.1 6.8 0.9 0.2 26.6
Mikal Bridges 82 56 29.5 .430 .335 .805 3.2 2.1 1.6 0.5 8.3
Isaiah Canaan* 19 15 26.5 .395 .347 .750 2.6 3.3 0.6 0.0 7.5
Tyson Chandler* 7 0 12.7 .667 .556 5.6 0.9 0.3 0.1 3.7
Jamal Crawford 64 0 18.9 .397 .332 .845 1.3 3.6 0.5 0.2 7.9
Troy Daniels 51 1 14.9 .411 .381 .783 1.4 0.5 0.5 0.1 6.2
Jawun Evans* 7 0 9.1 .231 .000 1.7 1.4 0.4 0.0 0.9
Jimmer Fredette 6 0 10.8 .276 .000 1.000 1.2 1.3 0.5 0.0 3.7
Richaun Holmes 70 4 16.9 .608 .731 4.7 0.9 0.6 1.1 8.2
Josh Jackson 79 29 25.2 .413 .324 .671 4.4 2.3 0.9 0.7 11.5
Tyler Johnson* 13 12 31.2 .368 .321 .872 4.0 4.2 1.1 0.5 11.1
George King 1 0 6.0 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
De'Anthony Melton 50 31 19.7 .391 .305 .750 2.7 3.2 1.4 0.5 5.0
Eric Moreland* 1 0 5.0 3.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Élie Okobo 53 16 18.1 .393 .295 .787 1.8 2.4 0.6 0.1 5.7
Kelly Oubre Jr.* 40 12 29.5 .453 .325 .761 4.9 1.6 1.4 1.0 16.9
Ray Spalding* 13 3 11.3 .532 .000 .333 3.7 0.4 0.7 0.6 4.2
Emanuel Terry* 2 0 10.0 .667 .500 3.0 0.5 1.5 0.0 4.5
T. J. Warren 43 36 31.6 .486 .428 .815 4.0 1.5 1.2 0.7 18.0

* – Stats with the Suns.

Awards and recordsEdit

AwardsEdit

Week/MonthEdit

All-StarEdit

RecordsEdit

  • The Suns scored 19 three-pointers in their 121–100 win over the Dallas Mavericks on October 17, 2018, tying an NBA record for most three-pointers made on a team's opening night game.[44]
  • Devin Booker scored 35 points and 7 assists game in the team's season opener, joining Michael Jordan and LeBron James as the only players 21 and younger to record five or more games with those numbers or greater.[45]
  • Through the first 11 games of the regular season, Deandre Ayton became the first rookie since Terry Cummings to record averages of at least 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. In addition, Ayton recorded the highest number of rebounds for a rookie since Tim Duncan with 119 and the most assists for a rookie center since former Suns center Alvan Adams with 35.[46]
  • On January 24, 2019, Devin Booker became the fifth youngest player in league history to reach over 5,000 points throughout their careers, being behind only LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard.[47]
  • On March 6, 2019, Devin Booker became the youngest player in league history to record 500 three-pointers, breaking a record previously set by D'Angelo Russell earlier this season.[48]
  • Devin Booker was the seventh player in NBA history to record consecutive 50+ points accomplished in games on March 25 and 27.
  • At the season finale, Jamal Crawford at 39 years of age became the oldest player in NBA history to record 50 or more points in a game, breaking a record previously held by Michael Jordan at 38 years old.[49] He also became the highest scoring bench player in a single NBA game, breaking a record previously set by Nick Anderson,[50] as well as became the first player in league history to record 50-point games with four different teams.[51]

Team recordsEdit

  • Devin Booker was the youngest player in franchise history to reach 5,000 career points with the team, breaking through that mark in only his fourth season on January 24, 2019 against the Portland Trail Blazers. However, he was actually the second-fastest player in the franchise to reach that mark at 245, being behind only Walter Davis at 215 games.[52]
  • On March 16, 2019, Devin Booker broke Gail Goodrich's team record for most games where 35+ points, 5+ rebounds, and 5+ assists were recorded for the franchise with 9 total games.[53]
  • On March 25, 2019, Devin Booker broke Connie Hawkins' franchise record of 12 games scoring 35 or more points in a season, earning his thirteenth in a loss to the Utah Jazz where he scored 59 points.
    • He also became the only Suns player to record consecutive 50+ point games on March 27.[54] Furthermore, he also leads all players in franchise history to record 50+ point games with the Suns.[55]
  • On March 27, 2019, Deandre Ayton broke Alvan Adams' franchise record for the most double-doubles recorded in a rookie season.

MilestonesEdit

Team milestonesEdit

  • After finishing their second-worst season in franchise history (at the time), the Suns won their first #1 pick in franchise history.
  • In the season-opening game, Devin Booker overtook Hall of Fame guard Dennis Johnson to become the Suns' 26th best all-time scorer by making a three-pointer at 3:32 near the end of the game in a 121–100 win over the Dallas Mavericks on October 17, 2018. Booker finished the night with 35 points, the highest amount for a Suns player in the team's season opener since Kevin Johnson in 1995. He also placed 9th in the franchise's history for most three-point shots made for the team, besting Goran Dragić’s spot on the team.[citation needed]
  • In the next game, Booker tied former point guard Kyle Macy for the 25th best all-time scorer for the Suns with 25 points scored in a loss to the Denver Nuggets. He later overtook Macy two days later against the Golden State Warriors in the first two minutes of the game. Booker also overtook former point guard Stephon Marbury to become the franchise's 25th best all-time scorer and finished the game with 28 points in a 123–103 loss to the Warriors. Booker then overtook Eric Bledsoe to become the 24th best all-time scorer for the Suns in the next game.
  • On October 24, 2018, Booker became the team’s 8th highest three-point scorer in franchise history, beating out Wesley Person’s time with the franchise.
  • For Deandre Ayton's first 11 games of the regular season, the 35 assists were the highest by a rookie center for any player since former Suns center Alvan Adams.[citation needed]
  • On November 14, 2018, Booker overtook Hall of Fame guard Grant Hill to become the 23rd best all-time scorer for the Suns, scoring 13 points alongside a career-high 12 assists[56] in a 116–96 win over the San Antonio Spurs.[57]
  • On January 24, 2019, Booker became the 18th player in franchise history to reach the 5,000 point barrier with the Suns.

Injuries/personal games missedEdit

Player Duration Reason for missed time Games missed
Start End
Troy Daniels October 19, 2018 October 27, 2018 Failed a concussion protocol 3
Devin Booker October 24, 2018 November 2, 2018 Strained hamstring 3
Isaiah Canaan October 30, 2018 November 2, 2018 Sprained ankle 1
T.J. Warren November 4, 2018 November 6, 2018 Lower back spasms 1
Trevor Ariza November 14, 2018 November 19, 2018 Personal reasons 2
Devin Booker November 30, 2018 December 2, 2018 Left toe injury 1
T.J. Warren November 30, 2018 December 10, 2018 Right ankle injury 5
Devin Booker December 2, 2018 December 15, 2018 Strained left hamstring 6
Richaun Holmes December 31, 2018 January 2, 2019 Flu 1
Devin Booker January 6, 2019 January 15, 2019 Lower back spasms 3
Jamal Crawford January 12, 2019 January 20, 2019 Personal reasons / Sore left knee 4
Richaun Holmes January 20, 2019 January 27, 2019 Right foot sprain 4
Deandre Ayton January 20, 2019 February 2, 2019 Left ankle sprain 6
T.J. Warren January 24, 2019 Did not return Sore right ankle 33
De'Anthony Melton January 25, 2019 February 23, 2019 Right ankle sprain 10
Dragan Bender February 2, 2019 February 8, 2019 Right thumb sprain 3
Devin Booker February 4, 2019 February 10, 2019 Right hamstring tightness 3
Tyler Johnson March 15, 2019 Did not return Sore right knee 13
Richaun Holmes March 16, 2019 March 21, 2019 Strained right quadriceps 2
Kelly Oubre Jr. March 18, 2019 Did not return Strained left thumb 11
Josh Jackson March 22, 2019 March 30, 2019 Sprained right ankle 3
Richaun Holmes March 30, 2019 April 1, 2019 Migraine 1
Deandre Ayton March 30, 2019 Did not return Sprained left ankle 5
Devin Booker April 3, 2019 Did not return Twisted left ankle 3
Richaun Holmes April 3, 2019 Did not return Sprained left ankle 3

TransactionsEdit

TradesEdit

June 21, 2018[58] To Phoenix Suns
Draft rights to Mikal Bridges (#10)
To Philadelphia 76ers
Draft rights to Zhaire Smith (#16)
2021 Miami first-round pick
July 20, 2018[59] To Phoenix Suns
  Darrell Arthur
To Brooklyn Nets
  Jared Dudley
2021 protected second-round pick
July 20, 2018[59] To Phoenix Suns
  Richaun Holmes
To Philadelphia 76ers
Cash considerations
August 31, 2018[60] To Phoenix Suns
  Ryan Anderson
  De'Anthony Melton
To Houston Rockets
  Brandon Knight
  Marquese Chriss
December 17, 2018 To Phoenix Suns
  Kelly Oubre Jr.
  Austin Rivers
To Washington Wizards
  Trevor Ariza
 
February 6, 2019 To Phoenix Suns
  Tyler Johnson
  Wayne Ellington
$1.8 million traded player exception
To Miami Heat
  Ryan Anderson
 

Free agentsEdit

Re-signedEdit

Player Signed Date
Devin Booker Signed 5-year maximum contract extension for $158 million[61] July 7, 2018

AdditionsEdit

Player Signed Former team(s)
Trevor Ariza[62] Signed 1-year deal for $15,000,000 Houston Rockets
Isaiah Canaan[63] Signed 1-year non-guaranteed deal for $1,757,429[a] Phoenix Suns (Previously waived on February 8, 2018)[b]
Jamal Crawford Signed 1-year deal for $2,393,887 Minnesota Timberwolves
Jawun Evans Signed a two-way contract for around $77,250 Los Angeles Clippers / Northern Arizona Suns[c]
Eric Moreland Signed 1-year non-guaranteed deal for $1,080,083[d] Detroit Pistons
Quincy Acy Signed two 10-day contracts worth $213,948[e] Brooklyn Nets
Emanuel Terry Signed a 10-day contract worth $47,370 Sioux Falls Skyforce
Ray Spalding Signed a 10-day contract / 2-year deal worth $1,601,598[f] Dallas Mavericks / Texas Legends[g]
Jimmer Fredette Signed 2-year partially guaranteed deal worth $2,186,698[h]   Shanghai Bilibili Sharks

^ a: Isaiah Canaan would receive $446,803 for his time with the team.
^ a: Isaiah Canaan was previously with the team during the 2017-18 season. However, on January 31, 2018, a gruesome leg injury forced him out of commission for the rest of the season, which lead to his agreed waiver on February 8, though he would train in Phoenix to recover along the way.
^ b: Jawun Evans started out the pre-season with the Los Angeles Clippers before being waived by them on October 15, 2018. He then played with the Northern Arizona Suns on November 7 before signing a two-way contract with Phoenix on December 4.
^ d: Eric Moreland would receive $221,328 for his brief stint with the Suns.
^ e: Quincy Acy originally signed a 10-day contract with the Phoenix Suns on January 7, 2019. However, he received a second 10-day contract on January 17 before not signing him on to a regular contract, giving out a 10-day contract to Emanuel Terry instead.
^ f: Ray Spalding originally signed a 10-day contract worth $47,370 with Phoenix on February 20, 2019. However, despite not playing a single game for Phoenix at that time, Spalding was given a partially guaranteed deal on March 3, allowing him the full salary of $184,746 to finish off the season before potentially receiving $1,416,852 next year if it were agreed upon.
^ g: Ray Spalding previously played in only one game with the Dallas Mavericks (which was coincidentally the season opener against the Suns) before playing with the affiliate Texas Legends for the rest of the season before being waived on January 31, 2019.
^ h: Jimmer Fredette was given a guarantee of $198,579 throughout the rest of the season on March 22, 2019 before having a potential earning of $1,988,119 next year in the event his performances with the Suns went well this year.

SubtractionsEdit

Player Reason left New team(s)
Danuel House Jr. Two-way contract expired Golden State Warriors / Rio Grande Valley Vipers / Houston Rockets[i]
Tyler Ulis[64] Waived Golden State Warriors / Chicago Bulls / Windy City Bulls[j]
Alan Williams[65] Waived Brooklyn Nets / Long Island Nets[k]
Elfrid Payton[66] Unrestricted free agent New Orleans Pelicans
Jared Dudley Traded Brooklyn Nets
Alec Peters[67] Two-way contract expired   PBC CSKA Moscow
Alex Len[68] Unrestricted free agent Atlanta Hawks
Brandon Knight
Marquese Chriss
Traded Houston Rockets / Cleveland Cavaliers[l]
Darrell Arthur Waived Unknown[m]
Shaquille Harrison Waived Chicago Bulls
Davon Reed Waived Indiana Pacers / Fort Wayne Mad Ants[n]
Tyson Chandler Waived / Bought out contract[o] Los Angeles Lakers
Isaiah Canaan Waived Minnesota Timberwolves / Milwaukee Bucks[p]
Trevor Ariza Traded Washington Wizards
Austin Rivers Waived Houston Rockets
Eric Moreland Waived   Toronto Raptors
Quincy Acy Second 10-day contract expired Texas Legends /   Shenzhen New Century Leopards[q]
Emanuel Terry 10-day contract expired Sioux Falls Skyforce / Miami Heat[r]
Ryan Anderson Traded Miami Heat
Wayne Ellington Waived Detroit Pistons
Jawun Evans Waived two-way contract Oklahoma City Thunder

^ i: Danuel House Jr. originally signed a deal with the Golden State Warriors on September 21, 2018. However, he would not stay with Golden State during the regular season. House then signed with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on a separate deal after being waived by the Warriors before eventually signing a two-way contract with the Houston Rockets, his Summer League team this season, on December 6, 2018 after previously signing during the season with the Rockets. His contract eventually became a one-year deal with Houston on March 13, 2019 after previously disagreeing on two prior three-year deals.
^ j: Similarly, Tyler Ulis also signed a deal with the Golden State Warriors on September 21, 2018. He also would not stay with the Warriors for the regular season, being waived on October 12. However, Ulis signed a two-way contract with the Chicago Bulls days later, splitting time between them and their NBA G League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls, before a hip injury on December 21 forced him to miss the rest of the season, which lead to him being waived six days later.
^ k: Alan Williams initially signed a two-way contract with the Brooklyn Nets on September 24, 2018, but he never played in Brooklyn during that first two-way contract with them. Williams was waived on January 2, 2019, but returned with a second two-way contract nine days later, which is where he’d play a few games with Brooklyn instead of the NBA G League affiliate Long Island Nets.
^ l: Both Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss were initially traded to the Houston Rockets on August 31, 2018 in exchange for Ryan Anderson and rookie De’Anthony Melton. However, both Knight and Chriss were later traded from the Rockets to the Cleveland Cavaliers by the trade deadline on February 7, 2019, where they went alongside a first round pick and a second round pick for a three-way trade also involving the Sacramento Kings.
^ m: As of December 5, 2019, Darrell Arthur has not signed with any team either in the NBA or elsewhere.
^ n: After being waived by the Suns in the pre-season, Davon Reed signed a two-way contract with the Indiana Pacers on October 19, 2018. Throughout the season, he split his playing time between Indiana and their NBA G League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
^ o: On November 4, 2019, Tyson Chandler agreed to waive his rights with the Suns for the rest of the season by having the team buy out his contract.
^ p: After being waived by the Suns, Isaiah Canaan signed two 10-day contracts with the Minnesota Timberwolves on January 30 and February 11, 2019 before signing one 10-day contract with the Milwaukee Bucks on February 25, 2019.
^ q: After Quincy Acy was let go from the team, he played for the Texas Legends from February 24 to March 15, 2019, where he later played for the Shenzhen New Century Leopards for one game before being replaced for the rest of the 2018–19 CBA season.
^ r: After Emanuel Terry’s 10-day contract expired with the Suns, he returned to the Sioux Falls Skyforce on February 8, 2019, with a brief 10-day contract stint with the Miami Heat occurring from February 20 to March 1, 2019 before returning to Sioux Falls for the rest of the season.

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