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Phoenix Suns could launch new G-League team by 2024-25

Suns G-League

Suns G-League
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Suns could launch new G-League team by 2024-25

The Phoenix Suns are progressing towards becoming the final NBA team to launch a new G-League team and could do so as soon as 2024-25, NBA insider Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Wednesday.

“Bringing a G League team to the Valley has been a priority for us, and I am excited that we have begun the process and the wheels are in motion to have a team in Phoenix as early as the 2024-25 season,” Suns owner Mat Ishbia told The Athletic in a statement, according to Charania. “Not only will this allow us to develop young players within our winning culture, but also will serve as an opportunity to expand our reach and connect with even more basketball fans across the region.

“This investment further strengthens our connection with the community and continues to elevate Phoenix as the epicenter of basketball.”

The Suns formerly owned a G-League team called the Northern Arizona Suns, which it purchased in April of 2016. Following the 2019-20 COVID-19 shortened season, the Detroit Pistons purchased the G-League organization away from Phoenix, now known as the Motor City Cruise located in Detroit, Mich.

Previously, the Portland Trail Blazers and Suns were the only NBA organizations without a G-League team before Portland announced in April they would launch a G-League team ahead of the 2023-24 season, which will be called the “Rip City Remix.”

Becoming the final team to own a G-League affiliate is a very good move for the Suns, who are incredibly top-heavy with Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and newly-acquired Bradley Beal. They’re only limited to signing minimum contracts, and it affords them more flexibility to develop younger players on two-way contracts with their G-League squad instead of players getting little-to-no in-game reps at the NBA level.

More importantly, it affords players yet another opportunity to grow as players and people with the hopes of cracking an NBA roster.

The Suns only have one of their three two-way spots filled by Saben Lee, who spent time with the Pistons and Philadelphia 76ers organization before playing 23 games with the Suns last season. Players playing on a two-way contract do not count against the cap and can play a maximum of 50 games with the team, but are not playoff-eligible.

This is a breaking news story. Stay tuned for updates.

***

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