James Jones strikes again. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Phoenix Suns have acquired veteran wing Torrey Craig. They will be giving up cash considerations and inserting him into the final spot on their active roster.
This move is a win on the margins, as it’s vital to have big wing defenders in the NBA Playoffs and it’s better to have an insurance policy in place rather than to be scrambling in panic mode should something happen.
According to Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro, the Suns had interest in signing the forward this offseason, but ultimately decided to move on after signing Jae Crowder. He also notes that the trade has nothing to do with Abdel Nader or Cam Johnson’s health and that they view him as a valuable rotation depth piece.
Craig signed a one-year, $1,678,854 million contract with the Milwaukee Bucks this offseason.
He also blocked a shot against Devin Booker last season to essentially save the game in the Mile-High City.
Torrey Craig with the game-clinching block on Devin Booker #MileHighBasketball
— USA TODAY NBA (@usatodaynba) October 26, 2019
Role/Fit in Phoenix
Torrey is known as a hard worker, a defensive stopper and someone that does the little things right… need I say more? He will fit right into the Phoenix Suns culture seamlessly.
He fell out of the rotation for Milwaukee this year, playing just 18 games and averaging 11.2 minutes per game. His PER-36 numbers: 8.1 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.6 SPG, 1.3 BPG. Not much to take from these numbers given the sample size and role.
Craig was a legitimately important rotation piece for the Nuggets the past two seasons, starting in 64 games for one of the best teams in the league during that stretch. While he will not bring the offense you’d like on the perimeter, he is a capable shooter to the point where defenses at least respect him a bit. The calling card is his tenacious defense and hustle though, and I believe he carves out a useful role for the Suns in the regular season.
While I don’t expect him to receive significant minutes consistently, there will be nights when they need him throughout the regular season.
Whenever they need an extra wing defender to bother someone like a LeBron, Kawhi or Luka in a playoff series, Craig will be a luxury to have off the bench.
The Timeline’s Sam Cooper put together a nice thread on Twitter that highlights what he brings to the table.
Wanna see Torrey Craig swatting LeBron in last year's playoffs? pic.twitter.com/TgcYbhm3uC
— Posted in my corner like Langston (@scooperhoops) March 17, 2021
James Jones continues to impress and catch folks off guard, as I’m sure this was a move no one saw coming. Replacing Damian Jones’ spot with Torrey Craig is a win in my book. Depth is king.
Categories: Phoenix Suns