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Tyler Ulis is playing for his future in Phoenix, and thriving under pressure

Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

In the first five months of his rookie season with the Phoenix Suns, former Kentucky point guard Tyler Ulis averaged just three points and 1.5 assists per contest. From there, he upped it to nearly 12 points and eight assists in March, and then earned Rookie of the Month honors in April averaging 21 points and seven assists per game.

Many thought the Tyler Ulis-Devin Booker dynamic backcourt was there to stay in Phoenix.

To kick off this season, Ulis saw scoring outings of 11(3), 12, 13 (2), 14, 15, and 17 points through the end of November. He also had nine games of six or fewer points. He had brilliant moments, but inconsistent play continued to limit Ulis from breaking out as the team’s go-to point guard. In late January, Ulis lost his starting job, as the Suns tested the waters with guys such as Elfrid Payton, Mike James, and Shaquille Harrison, among others.

He was in and out of the lineup, including a stretch of DNP-CDs/inactive outings. But the Suns couldn’t find a solid replacement.

Ulis climbed back into the rotation earlier this month, and he has slowly worked his way back to the top. Over his last four games, he has had point totals of 11, 14, 19, and 23 on 53-percent shooting, to go with 21 total assists in that span.

And it has come at a pretty important time.

The Suns reportedly have a club option on Ulis to decide on before June 30 worth $1.5 million, which will likely determine his long-term fate with the franchise. If declined, Ulis would be looking for his NBA future elsewhere.

Phoenix has lost 28 of their last 30 games, and as one of the worst teams in the league, a foundation change is inevitable this offseason. Devin Booker is a future superstar, and they have confidence in Josh Jackson, but beyond that, there are a whole lot of question marks.

Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis have an incredible relationship and the Big Blue Nation is begging the team to keep the dynamic duo together going forward.

Let’s hope Ulis can continue to prove his worth in these last six games of the season to help make that decision easier for the Suns.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

5 Comments for Tyler Ulis is playing for his future in Phoenix, and thriving under pressure

  1. jahanc2uky
    10:07 pm March 30, 2018 Permalink

    What more can Phoniex ask for in a back-up PG? Also, they have confidence in Josh Jackson… shaking my head…

    • maximumscott
      10:42 pm March 30, 2018 Permalink

      I agree. The dude is averaging good numbers with im sure less than avg minutes per game. There is a reason The Suns have lost 28 of 30 games. If they let Ulis go then it is obviously a management issue

  2. BigBlueMeade
    12:43 am March 31, 2018 Permalink

    Ulis will find a home somewhere else if not the Suns

  3. Jiminy Crickets
    8:42 am March 31, 2018 Permalink

    Ulis is a UK legend, but 99% of that was his heart and his fight. It’s hard to maintain that edge in a 83 game season, ESP one where losing is the norm. Ulis never was and never will be a NBA starting PG. but he can and should get really hard looks from other teams as a backup, if Phoenix is to stupid to see how good he is, for what little they pay him

  4. dbookno1
    10:26 am March 31, 2018 Permalink

    If they wanna keep booker then they’ll bring him back