“Bye-Bye Champs” Reigning champ Damion Lee gets 1-year deal with Phoenix Suns

NBA Champion Damion Lee agreed to 1-year deal with Phoenix Suns after hitting free agency in the 2023 pre-season. He is the 5th Warrior player moving away from championship side.

Damion Lee signs with Phoenix suns
Damion Lee signs with Phoenix suns

Golden State Warriors enjoyed a strong finish to the 2022 season. They won their 4th Championship with the core of Klay-Steph-Draymond, with a change in support cast from the previous 3 championship runs. Damion Lee was one of the pieces but was playing his last season with the Champions. The team was not looking to extend the contract further making him an unrestricted free agent at the start of the 2023 season. 29-year-old star wasted no time and agreed to a one-year deal with the Phoenix Suns, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. 

Lee was a rotational player in the talented Warriors roaster, who, as per Steve Kerr’s policy got substantial game time in the regular season. He averaged 7.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 0.6 steals in 63 games, which would be a “low-light” on his capabilities. Lee has spent the last four seasons with the Warriors alongside his brother-in-law, Stephen Curry. 

Damion Lee may be another rotational piece in the Phoenix Suns franchise

Jordan Poole, Damion Lee, Moses Moody
Jordan Poole, Damion Lee, Moses Moody

After missing out on the championship on consecutive seasons, top seed Suns were one of the most talked-about teams in NBA Free Agency so far. The Suns have already lost two players from last season’s franchise record-setting team in center JaVale McGee and guard Aaron Holiday. Phoenix Suns made move in the summer, making Damion Lee their 1st signing this term.  

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The Baltimore-born Damion made his debut with the Atlanta Hawks in 2018, starting 11 games. Lee is married to Steph Curry’s younger sister Sydel. He joined the Warriors and concluded his recent three-year, $4.5 million deal by winning the 2022 NBA title. Lee is 47% from the field, while shooting just above 35% from the range. He could be rotation shooter in talented Suns roaster.

As for the Suns, restricted free-agent big man, Deandre Ayton, remains the biggest question mark this offseason, he would be an important centerpiece in any future trade unless the Suns decide otherwise. His substitute on the court, JaVale McGee reportedly agreed to a three-year, $20.1 million deal with the Mavericks on Thursday, bringing him to Dallas for the second time in eight seasons. Also, guard Holiday reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with Atlanta Hawks on Friday.

There are a host of trade rumors around the Phoenix Suns as on Friday it was reported that the Utah Jazz has expressed interest in a sign and trade for Ayton. It could be an indication of the Jazz could be involved in a deal that helps the Suns land, Kevin Durant. 

The warriors are clearing their rotational stars under Salary cap space. In addition to Damion Lee, Warriors’ F Juan Toscano-Anderson joined Los Angeles Lakers while rising star Gary Payton II signed a 3-years contract with Portland Trailblazers. It will be interesting to see what lies next at the Warriors’ camp to retain their title. They also lost Otto Porter to Toronto Raptors, while Nemanja Bjelica also have found new team to compete with.

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