Phoenix Suns Sign Four Players ahead of Training Camp
The Phoenix Suns announced on Sunday they have signed center Gracin Bakumanya, forward Derek Cooke Jr., guard Shaquille Harrison and forward Derrick Jones Jr., bringing the club’s roster to 19 players.
Bakumanya, a 6-11, 220-pound center, went undrafted in 2016 as an international early entry candidate. A native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the 19-year-old played the 2015-16 season with Antibes Espoirs, the training center for Antibes Sharks of LNB Pro A, the top-tier league in France. He averaged 14.3 points and 8.5 rebounds in 30 games with Antibes Espoirs, in addition to playing in two games with Antibes’ Pro A team. At NBA Summer League 2016, Bakumanya saw action in two contests with Houston.
Cooke, a 6-9, 220-pound forward, spent the 2015-16 season with the Suns’ NBA D League affiliate, then the Bakersfield Jam. In 47 games with the Jam, he averaged 4.8 points and 7.0 rebounds, including 3.1 offensive boards which tied for sixth in the league, in 23.4 minutes. Cooke was also a member of the Suns at NBA Summer League 2016, appearing in three games in Las Vegas. Prior to going undrafted in 2015, Cooke played three seasons at the University of Wyoming where he helped the Cowboys to a Mountain West Conference tournament title and NCAA tournament berth in 2014-15. As a senior in 2014-15, he averaged 8.1 points on 72.0 percent shooting and 5.8 rebounds.
Harrison, a 6-4, 185-pound guard, went undrafted this past summer following a successful four-year career at the University of Tulsa. A starter in all 133 games in his four years, he averaged 11.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.8 steals for his career, finishing second in program history with 461 career assists and third with 244 steals. As a senior in 2015-16, Harrison averaged career-highs of 15.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists as he was named the American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Scholar Athlete of the Year. Harrison earned All-AAC Second Team honors in both his junior and senior seasons at Tulsa.
Jones, a 6-7, 190-pound forward, went undrafted in 2016 after playing one season at UNLV. The Runnin’ Rebels’ second-leading scorer in 2015-16, he averaged 11.5 points on 58.9 percent shooting and 4.5 rebounds in 30 games during his freshman season. Jones recorded four double-doubles at UNLV, including a career-high 26 points to go with 10 rebounds against Chaminade at the Maui Invitational. The 19-year-old was named the 2015 Southeastern Pennsylvania Player of the Year following his senior season at Archbishop John Carroll High School in Radnor, Pa.
The Suns will hold their annual Media Day beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 26, on the Annexus Practice Court at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The team will then head to Flagstaff for training camp on the campus of Northern Arizona University. The Suns’ week at NAU will conclude with an open scrimmage at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1, at the J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome.