The Phoenix Suns were one of just three teams in the NBA without at least one player on a two-way deal before the month of August. On August 2, they secured one of the two openings by signing Duane Washington Jr.
The 6-foot-3 scoring guard, who went undrafted in the 2021 NBA Draft, had a strong rookie campaign in Indiana before beginning his second season in the league. He played in 48 games for the Pacers, seven of which he started, and averaged 9.9 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.2 turnovers in 20.2 minutes each game. He also shot 37.7 percent on 4.5 three-pointers.
Washington Jr. hails from a family of NBA players, including his uncle Derek Fisher and father Duane Washington Sr., who played in the NBA for two seasons and approximately a dozen seasons overseas.
Washington Jr.’s renowned background extends beyond his family, though, as he succeeded for three seasons at Ohio State.
The Phoenix Suns General Manager spoke on Duane Washington Jr
In the draft feature, general manager James Jones specifically mentioned Iffe Lundberg when he said that they see players who are acquired outside of the selection when they are still at the initial stages of growing as prospects. He might be thinking the same thing about Washington Jr.
In terms of Washington Jr.’s potential, in my opinion, he can occasionally fill in as a spot player for this contending club this season with the potential to develop into more. This is the kind of guard who can flourish under Chris Paul’s guidance and eventually take on a prominent role.
The only thing that disappoints me about the scenario is that it didn’t happen fast enough for Washington Jr. to go to Vegas with Louis King, Ish Wainright, and the other Summer League players. Wainright is remains unsigned.