Former Phoenix Suns wing Darius Bazley signs deal with Brooklyn Nets

Former Phoenix Suns wing Darius Bazley signs deal with Brooklyn Nets

It was inevitable. We saw it coming. The Phoenix Suns, who traded Dario Saric for Darius Bazley in the middle of the season, did not make a qualifying offer to the 23-year old wing during free agency.

That offer would have been worth $6.2 million, which was too much for the organization to spend on him.

So, he became a free agent.

Bazley and the Suns had a brief relationship. He was young and athletic, capable of spectacular dunks and defensive plays, but he didn’t fit the needs of the organization.

His trade was more about getting rid of Saric’s salary than getting someone who could help a team with title hopes.

Some fans still thought that his athletic skills alone would earn him more minutes.

Does he have potential? Sure. But c’mon. Why do people always want the 14th guy on the bench to play more? There are only so many minutes in a game and you can’t convince me that playing Bazley more would have changed any playoff series. Or you can. And I’ll smile, nod, and walk away thinking that your brain looks like those scrambled eggs on those anti-drug ads.

His final numbers with Phoenix: 7 games played, 4 points per game, 2.3 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.7 blocks, and shooting splits of 48 FG%, 25 3PT%, and 40 FT%. Case closed.

More than two weeks after free agency started, Darius Bazley signed with the Brooklyn Nets, where he has another chance to fight for starting minutes.

Bazley is a talented player. He was picked 23rd overall in the 2019 NBA Draft and, in his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder, started 118 of his 228 games. The 6’8” wing can really soar, and he does most of his damage near the basket. His career averages as a starter, however, are 40.3/29.5/69.7.

Bazley needed to go somewhere where he could keep growing. Brooklyn is that place.

He didn’t make sense in Phoenix, and given the size of his qualifying offer — which equals three veteran minimum deals — the Suns decided to let him go.

He joins former Suns Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson on a team that the Phoenix fans still cheer for.

We wish Darius all the best as his career goes on. We’re excited to see some slam dunks and alley oops from Mikal Bridges’ passes.

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