It isn’t clear what direction the Phoenix Suns are attempting to head in for 2013-2014, but they’ve added a young piece to their roster in the form of Dionte Christmas.
According to various reports, the Suns have inked Christmas to a contract after a strong showing with their summer league club. Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic has the details, and indicates that Christmas’s contract is a “multi-year deal with a small guarantee on the first season”. This should come as no surprise, as it is certainly team-friendly to hand out such a deal, and the upside is large if the player “pops” in the new situation.
Christmas is a 26-year-old journeyman at this stage, as he went undrafted out of Temple in 2008-2009. He is a versatile player who performed well as a scorer in the summer (more than 10 points per game for Phoenix’s squad), and frankly the wing “logjam” in Phoenix is filled with mediocre options.
It is important to point out that Christmas inking this deal does not guarantee him a roster spot. Because of the small guarantee in the deal for year #1 and the Suns currently carrying 17 players, someone is getting cut with a guarantee in the 1st year, and it could very well be Christmas.
In the grand scheme, this is a minor move, but I like Christmas quite a bit, and Phoenix needs to be in the business of taking high-upside gambles at this point in their roster development.