By Jordan Viener – Recently I’ve been hearing some variation of the question “what is going on with Alex Len?” Many Terp fans know his contract expired at the end of last season, yet we’ve heard little to no news on the situation. So after quite a bit of research here is what I have:
His NBA career so far
Alex Len was selected as the 5th pick in the abysmal 2013 draft. He was injured for nearly half his rookie season and struggled immensely while on the floor, averaging only 2 points and 2 rebounds per game.
He improved significantly is his sophomore season, playing in 69 games and starting 44 as the Suns continued to rebuild. His points and rebounds per game both improved to 6 each and his PER (Player Efficiency Rating) made a huge leap to 13.5 (the static is designed so that the league average is always 15).
Alex continued his improvement through his 3rd season with the Suns. He posted career highs in games played (78) and games started (46). He also posted career highs in several per game categories including points, rebounds and assists.
Last season was Alex’s last under his rookie contract. He dropped in nearly every statistical category and many thought his time with the Suns has come to an end.
What is his contract situation right now?
Alex’s rookie scale contract with the Suns expired at the end of last season. Many (including myself) expected the rebuilding Suns to decline their qualifying option (the right to make him a restricted free agent) and release him, however the Suns extended a 1 year/4.16 million dollar offer to Len. If he receives no other offer, which seems like the case right now, then Suns have him for the aforementioned terms.
While this may seem like a low amount we need to consider the fact that the NBA is in a summer of low spending, the salary cap had a enormous rise last season and his self correcting this summer. We also need to consider Nerlens Noel, the best center in this years free agency market has yet to receive another offer in his own restricted free agency and he is a much better player than Alex Len.
If (when) he resigns with the Suns what then?
If he resigns on a one year contract as expected then he is going to need to player very well to earn significant rotation time. He will be entering his 5th NBA season and the Suns have seemingly moved on. They have several younger, “higher upside” bigs
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