The Phoenix Suns have released point guard Isaiah Canaan, according to Athletic reporter, Shams Charania. The veteran point guard was benched during the start of the Suns’ recent four game road-trip in favor of a starting lineup that features Devin Booker at point guard.
Canaan was able to work himself back from a gruesome leg injury at the end of last season. The Suns were hoping his veteran presence would bring some sort of stability to the position, Canaan was always going to be a stop-gap solution.
His veteran presence showed early on in an opening night win against the Dallas Mavericks. Calling out opposing teams sets in a key part of playing NBA defense and is usually the responsibilities of the veterans. Canaan did a great job of that during his time as a Phoenix Sun.
At the end of the half Canaan is +9 – here he is a calling out a Mavs set – vet presence has hidden value on the court. pic.twitter.com/Umw4QgBrpj
— Suns Film Room (@SunsFilm) October 18, 2018
When Canaan played well, the Suns played well. That was seen as recently as his last game when the Suns made a late run to take the lead against the Pacers. In a home win against the Spurs two weeks ago, Canaan was 5-5 from three scoring 19 points in the contest.
After starting the first 15 of 20 games the Suns decided it was time to make a move and give an opportunity to the younger players on the roster.
The Suns invested a second round pick this summer in French point guard Elie Okobo and made a move for rookie combo guard out of USC, De’Anthony Melton. Okobo started playing point guard later in his career and Melton played in a combo guard role at USC – both are not natural point guards.
An intriguing option for the Suns is Jawun Evans, who has played well for the Northern Arizona Suns. Evans is more of a pure point guard that could be signed as a two-way player. With the Canaan move the Suns have two open roster spots available and one two-way spot.
Feels like Groundhog Day out here…@j3vans1_ with a third straight career-best night! ????
33 pts | 7 rebs | 4 asts | 3 stls pic.twitter.com/bmaLVzkpH2
— Northern AZ Suns (@nazsuns) November 28, 2018
The Suns seem to be set on their new starting lineup. The Booker – Bridges – Ariza – Warren – Ayton starting five has a net rating of +10.1 in 63 minutes of action per stats.nba.com. The key for Coach Kokoskov will be figuring out the rotations and improving the play from his second unit.
Canaan did not produce well enough to stay within the Suns’ rotation. It’s time for the Suns to develop both of the rookie point guards and build a rotation around the point guard position.
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