Report | Suns to convert Mike James deal to regular contract

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

When the Phoenix Suns signed Mike James to a two-way contract over the summer, they had Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight and Devin Booker in the fold.

With each of these players unavailable or off the roster, the Suns have had to use James more than they planned. As a result, the rookie guard will have his two-way deal converted into a regular NBA contract, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com reports.

This means the Suns are going to have to part ways with one of their active-roster players to get down to 15. Wojnarowski reports the team plans such a move by Thursday morning.

James reached the 45-day limit on his two-way contract — an option for lower-level players whom teams use as G League components and occasional NBA depth — on Wednesday, and the Suns are deciding to make him a more permanent part of their team.

A unique success story, James played in Europe the past five seasons and did not debut as an NBA performer until he was 27. After playing in Greece, Croatia, Israel, Italy and Spain since his days at Lamar University (Texas), James landed in Phoenix and immediately became a contributor.

He’s averaging 10.5 points and four assists per game in 26 contests (10 of which he started), and with Booker out, the 6-foot-1 rookie stands to see more time. The Suns are also without guard Davon Reed, opening the door wider for James. He’s playing in 21.8 minutes per game. He’s scored more than 20 points in a game twice this season, topping out at 26 in a loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves late last month.

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