In-Season Tournament

Drew Eubanks says Phoenix Suns want him back next season, has player option

Drew Eubanks says Phoenix Suns want him back next season, has player option

The Phoenix Suns and Drew Eubanks are on the same page regarding his status with the team.

“The full organization wants me back next and I want to be a Phoenix Sun next year,” Eubanks said.

Eubanks has a player option for next season as he has until June 29 to exercise it along with Eric Gordon, Josh Okogie and Damion Lee, who missed the entire 2023-24 season with a knee injury.

“I’m going to make the best decision for my family and I when the time comes,” Eubanks said.

If a player declines the player option, he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Option years can’t have a lower salary than the previous season. Eubanks signed a two-year deal with the first year at $2.3 million with the second year at $2.6 million.

In his first season with the Suns, Eubanks averaged 5.1 points on 60.1% shooting and 4.3 rebounds in 75 games (6 starts) as a backup to Jusuf Nurkic. The Suns had their second-round pick in the 2024 draft they acquired in a trade rescinded by the NBA for having “free agency discussions involving” Eubanks before those discussions were allowed.

Eubanks saw action in Phoenix’s first three playoff games against Minnesota, scoring eight points in Game 2 and nine in Game 3, but the Suns elected to go small in Game 4 and Eubanks didn’t play.

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) celebrates with forward Drew Eubanks (14) against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second quarter during game two of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Target Center in Minneapolis on April 23, 2024.

The third-seeded Timberwolves swept the sixth-seeded Suns, who finished the regular season 49-33.

The Suns announced Thursday the firing of Frank Vogel after one season with him as head coach. On Friday, sources informed The Republic that Mike Budenholzer is being hired to replace Vogel.

The next day, the Suns announced Saturday the hiring of Budenholzer.

Eubanks, Gordon, Okogie and Lee all signed two-year deals last season. Having the third-highest payroll this season and spending over the second tax apron, the Suns needed to sign guys to veteran minimum deals to help fill out the roster as they had limited roster flexibility.

The Suns are projected to have the highest payroll next season in going over the second tax apron again as Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal are due a combined $150 million in 2024-25. The more players they have opt in, the fewer they need to attempt to sign to vet minimums to rebuild the roster.

Have opinions about the current state of the Suns? Reach Suns Insider Duane Rankin at dmrankin@gannett.com or contact him at 480-787-1240. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter, at @DuaneRankin.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Drew Eubanks says Phoenix Suns ‘want’ him back, has player option

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