Tyler Ulis is just 5-foot-10 and 149 pounds. But Phoenix Suns’ rookie point guard has grabbed some eyeballs during the ongoing Vegas Summer League with his impressive play on both ends of the court.
The Suns don’t have a shortage of point guards. They already have Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight. They also signed veteran guard Leandro Barbosa in free agency. Add to that, sophomore Devin Booker, who predominantly plays at the 2 spot, has exhibited solid playmaking skills since his arrival in Phoenix last years.
How does Tyler Ulis fit with Suns?
With all the guards and playmakers in the mix, how does Ulis fit in?
Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic has reported that the Phoenix front office is very high on Ulis and will ensure that the Kentucky prospect receives solid playing time in his rookie season.
In his first three Summer League games, Ulis registered 19 assists and 14 steals while just committing two turnovers. According the Suns management, they got “a steal” in Ulis who dropped to No. 34 in last month’s draft. Most pre-draft projections had Ulis going in the middle of the first round.
Coro also revealed that Ulis and Booker, both Kentucky standouts, are best friends. “Ulis’ best friend, Devin Booker, was a frustrated onlooker at Ulis’ draft party in Chicago until he realized Ulis’ tumble past four other point guards meant the former Kentucky roommates could be reunited.
Close friends with Devin Booker…
“They played together for the first two NBA Summer League games, but the offense was turned more over to the Suns’ No. 34 pick in the third game, when Ulis showed how he can be simultaneously creative and careful with the ball,” added the Arizona Republic report.
It’s not unfathomable that Booker and Ulis become the permanent backcourt in the future. They have already displayed great chemistry playing together and the Suns coaching staff is taking notice.
Nate Bjorkgren, coach of Phoenix’s summer league team, has been most impressed with Ulis’ efficiency and ability to limit turnovers. “All the traffic that he goes through. He’s getting trapped. He’s getting pressured. Just for him to continue to probe and get into that paint is impressive. He’ll get guys on his hip. He’ll get guys trailing and doubling and he continues to make the right play.”
Last month, there were several reports of Phoenix looking to trade Eric Bledsoe. By doing that, they can ensure a lot more playing time for the promising Tyler Ulis.