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He's Back! NAZ Suns Re-Acquire Forward Derrick Jones Jr. + Isaiah Canaan

13 December 2017  
All photos by Matt Hinshaw/NAZ Suns


Suns add Jones as a returning player, waive Tidjan Keita

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona Suns announced Tuesday that they have acquired Derrick Jones Jr. as a returning player.

Jones is back with the NAZ Suns where he played 30 total games over the last two seasons on assignment from their NBA affiliate, the Phoenix Suns. The Suns waived Jones on Dec. 7.

Jones was available for tonight’s game against the Santa Cruz Warriors at the Prescott Valley Event Center, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

In a related move, Northern Arizona has waived forward Tidjan Keita. The Suns’ roster is at 13 players. An updated roster is attached.

Jones became a free agent after going unclaimed by an NBA team through the 48-hour waiver period. He then signed into the NBA G League, and because he had played at least 10 games on assignment with the NAZ Suns, they had the first right of refusal in bringing him back.

Jones had been assigned to the Northern Arizona Suns five times this season, averaging 15.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 11 games (seven starts) this year for NAZ.

In his NAZ Suns career, the 20-year-old has averaged 14.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 30.4 minutes per game across 30 contests (24 starts). He was assigned to the NAZ Suns 11 times during his stint with Phoenix.

This year with the NBA club, Jones tallied nine points, four rebounds and four blocks in 33 minutes over six games.

Keita did not make an appearance in a game for Northern Arizona due to a right foot injury.


Suns acquire the five-year NBA veteran from Agua Caliente in exchange for a 2018 first-round pick

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona Suns have traded for five-year NBA veteran guard Isaiah Canaan, the team announced Tuesday.

Northern Arizona made the trade with the Agua Caliente Clippers in exchange for the Suns’ 2018 NBA G League first-round pick.

In a related move, the Suns waived forward Malik Dime.

Canaan was also available for tonight’s game against the Santa Cruz Warriors at the Prescott Valley Event Center, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The 6-foot-even, 200-pound guard was most recently with the Houston Rockets, playing for them in one game this season. He played four minutes for the NBA club against the Philadelphia 76ers, gathering one rebound. He was waived by Houston on Oct. 28. He signed into the NBA G League this week and was claimed by the Agua Caliente Clippers.

Last year, Canaan was a regular rotation player for the Chicago Bulls, playing 39 regular season games. He averaged 4.6 points, 1.3 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 15.2 minutes per game. He also played in three playoff games for the Bulls against the Boston Celtics in the first round, tallying 13 points, two rebounds and three assists in Game 4, 13 points and two rebounds in Game 5, and nine points in Game 6.

Overall, Canaan has played five years in the NBA. He was drafted by the Rockets with the 34th overall pick out of Murray State in the 2013 NBA Draft. After a year-and-a-half stint with Houston, he played the next season-and-a-half with the Philadelphia 76ers from 2014-16, before playing 2016-17 with Chicago. This past preseason, Canaan was with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He played that regular season game back with Houston in October.

The 26-year-old has logged 186 regular season games in the NBA (60 starts), averaging 8.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 20.2 minutes per game. After averaging 12.6 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 22 games for Philadelphia in the latter part of 2014-15, Canaan played 77 games (39 starts) in 2015-16 with the 76ers, where he averaged 11.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists.

Canaan has played two years in the NBA G League, both with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. He appeared in 18 games (17 starts) in 2013-14, where he posted 21.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game. He also played four games with the Vipers in 2014-15 on assignments from Houston.

In his short stint in the NBA G League, Canaan has earned two Performer of the Week awards and was named to the Showcase Honorable Mention Team in 2015.

Dime played in seven games for the NAZ Suns this season, totaling one point, six rebounds and one assist in 30 total minutes. He was acquired by the Suns on Nov. 12. –​