The Phoenix Suns signed former West Virginia guard Jevon Carter to a three-year 11.5-million-dollar deal on Friday night.
Carter is entering into his third year in the NBA. He was drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies in the second round (32nd overall pick) of the 2018 NBA Draft and made his NBA debut on December 15th of that year, and coincidently it came against NBA All-Star guards James Harden and, now current teammate, Chris Paul.
The former Mountaineer standout set the tone for the rest of his NBA career. Within seconds of checking into the game, he stole the ball from Paul, and Pual immediately fouled Carter to prevent an easy bucket on the other end. Later in the game, Carter picked Harden’s pocket for the steal and the easy lay-in.
Carter finished his NBA debut with 11 points, two steals, and a block to help get the Grizzlies back within striking distance in the fourth quarter after trailing by 21 at halftime.
"He plays his butt off. He's everywhere on the floor. He did an unbelievable job of pressing me and Chris up the floor," Harden said following the game.
Late in the season, Carter grabbed a career-high 32 points in a 132-117 win over the Golden State Warriors.
However, after one season in Memphis, the Grizzlies traded Carter to the Suns.
Carter shot just 30.3% from the field and 33.3% from three-point range during his rookie season, but his numbers increased this past year in Phoenix.
He averaged 8.0 points in the first five games of the season on 40.6% shooting from the field and 47.6% from behind the arc. Then he hit a three-game slump, and Ricky Rubio returned from an injury, and Carter’s minutes and numbers took a big hit.
Carter’s started to get more playing in February and started to play a bigger role for the Suns and averaged 9.5 points in the final four games of the regular season before the NBA shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NBA opted to play an abbreviated remainder of the regular season schedule in Orlando, FL. Teams that would make the trip was positioning themselves for the playoffs, and there was an outside chance for the Suns to make an appearance, despite an abysmal 26-39 record.
The Suns seemingly adapted Carter’s "Treadmill Mentality" that Mountaineer fans came accustomed to during his illustrious four-year career in Morgantown. The Suns were the only team that went undefeated inside the bubble racking up eight straight wins. However, they still missed the playoffs.
Prior to entering the NBA bubble, Carter was averaging 4.6 points and 1.3 assists per game, but inside the bubble, Jevon Carter shot 50% from the field and 55.2% from three-point range averaging 7.0 points, 1.1 steals, 2.4 assists, and 2.5 rebounds in those eight games including a season-high 20-points versus Miami.
Without a doubt, Carter continues to prove that he belongs at the NBA level, and he finally got some validation with the new contract. Hopefully, it’s a sign for things to come for Carter, and he can continue to see more action and become one of the premier defenders in the league.
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