Suns Player Reviews: Jerel McNeal

With the 2014-15 campaign written and closed, Suns.com’s Matt Petersen takes an end-season look at each member of Phoenix’s roster heading into the summer. Key points include what went well, what could be improved, and a notable advanced stat for each player are included, as is their offseason status with the team.

Jerel McNeal

Bio: 6-3, 200 pounds, 27 years old

History with Suns: Called up from Bakersfield Jam on April 1, 2015

2014-15 stats: 6.0 mpg, 1.5 ppg, 50 3FG%

Offseason status: Conditionally under contract with Phoenix

What Went Well

McNeal parlayed a standout D-League season into an NBA contract that (pending this offseason) extends into next year. That's the kind of security most D-League players can only dream of, but it was well-earned. The 6-3 guard averaged 19.2 points, 4.7 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game with Bakersfield this season.

The story is made even sweeter given the personal challenges McNeal has overcome, including the recent loss of his father. Between his sincere desire and his on-court abilities, the Suns may have found a tried-and-true veteran to shore up their backcourt rotation.

What Could Be Improved

McNeal's ball-handling and decision-making played a big part in him earning the last guard spot on the Suns' roster. He could secure it with better outside shooting despite limited NBA playing time.

The potential is there. McNeal shot 36.6 percent from three at Bakersfield this season. If he can nudge his two-point clip (45.9%) closer to 50 percent, he'll give himself a chance to earn a few extra minutes next season.

Notable Advanced Stat: McNeal was solid in catch-and-shoot spots with Phoenix, nailing 50 percent of those attempts in a Suns uniform this season.

Quotable: “I'll probably end up doing Summer League with Phoenix and just use that as another opportunity to show what I can do and go do what the coaching staff asks. I'll do whatever I need to do to stick around.” – Jerel McNeal