Portland Trail Blazers and Phoenix Suns have been associated all offseason. Phoenix was an essential element in the Blazers’ ability to fulfill Damian Lillard’s trade request since their participation made it possible for the Milwaukee Bucks to complete the required parts of the jigsaw. In the end, Dame settled in the Cream City, and Grayson Allen arrived in Phoenix with the aid of the Suns. Oh! As well as switching starting centers, Phoenix also acquired Nassir Little and Keon Johnson as part of the deal.
You would be mistaken if you believed that here was where our paths would diverge.
Ish Wainright, a former Baylor University football player, was released earlier this week by the Suns because they wanted to reduce their roster size. Although the fan base was upset about it—he was one of the Suns with the longest tenure and was well-liked—it was the right business decision for the team to make.
Before their last preseason game on Thursday, Suns head coach Frank Vogel said, “We’re hoping to bring him back,” making a subtle allusion to the possibility that Ish may return if he were to pass waivers. The Suns’ social media crew promptly removed their tweet saying goodbye to Wainright on X after his left.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 21, 2023
All indications were that the Suns will re-sign Ish Wainright, filling the last two-way contract space that Ish had previously held.
Unfortunately, it was not to be. Kevin Knox, the former ninth overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft (selected by the Knicks, not Rip City), was waived by the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday afternoon in favor of signing Ish Wainright, a former player for the Phoenix Suns.
Over the course of his two seasons in the Valley, Wainright played in 105 games and had averages of 3.4 points and 1.8 rebounds in 12.1 minutes. It wasn’t with his 37.8/32.8/76.7 splits that he became well-known. He made his living by adding toughness to a squad consisting of finesse players thanks to his big shoulders.
The Suns decided to remove him because a calf ailment prevented him from playing during the preseason, and they already had 17 non-two-way players on their roster for training camp. Starting the season, the league allows for 15 players. Ish was an easy decision to waive because of his non-guaranteed contract since there was no cost associated with doing so.
On November 21, the Suns will take on the Blazers in downtown Phoenix, where they will face off against Deandre Ayton, Toumain Camara, and recently acquired Ish Wainright.