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.
Tyler Ulis definitely one of the Suns players who is playing for his future. Suns have a club option to be decided on June 30th for roughly $1.5 million.
— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) March 28, 2018
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.