The Phoenix Suns have signed guard Mike James to a standard NBA contract. James had previously been under a two-way contract with the team.
The Suns have also waived forward Derrick Jones Jr. The team’s roster now stands at 16 players.
James ranks eighth among NBA rookies with 10.5 points per game and fifth with 4.0 assists per game as he has appeared in all 26 of the Suns’ contests this season (10 starts). James scored a career-high 26 points to go with seven assists at Minnesota on November 26. He also scored 20-plus with 24 points and four steals in a win at Brooklyn on October 31. James currently joins Suns Ring of Honor members Kevin Johnson and Alvan Adams as the only rookies in franchise history to average at least 10 points and four assists.
A 27-year-old in his first NBA season, James initially signed with the Suns on July 3, 2017. An athletic guard at 6-1, 190 pounds, he averaged 13.1 points, 3.0 assists and 0.9 steals in 25 Euroleague games with Panathinaikos in 2016-17, helping the team to the Euroleague playoffs where they lost to eventual champion Fenerbahce. He also posted 12.0 points, 2.8 assists and 0.9 steals in 24 Greek A1 League games as the team won both the Greek Basketball League and the Greek Cup. After going undrafted out of Lamar University in 2012, James had a productive pro career with clubs in Croatia, Israel, Italy, Spain and Greece, prior to joining the Suns.
A member of the Suns’ entry at NBA Summer League 2017 in Las Vegas, James also played for the Suns at NBA Summer League in 2015, helping the team to a runner-up finish.
Jones Jr. appeared in 38 games with the Suns over the past two seasons, averaging 4.7 points and 2.2 rebounds in 15.2 minutes.