Ishmail Wainright's NBA journey continues in The Valley of the Sun.
On Thursday, Oct. 21, the Phoenix Suns announced that they have signed Wainright to a two-way contract for the season.
Welcome to The Valley, Ish! #ValleyProud pic.twitter.com/l7oxnOhJRi- Phoenix Suns (@Suns) October 22, 2021
As per terms of a two-way contract, Wainright will earn a flat salary of $462,629, which equates to half of the rookie minimum. The 6-foot-5 forward can suit up for a maximum of 50 games with Phoenix and will spend the remainder of his time with the team's G League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns.
Provided his deal is not converted into a standard NBA contract, Wainright will not be eligible to compete in the 2022 NBA Playoffs.
A 27-year-old rookie, Wainright lands with Phoenix after being the final roster cut made by the Toronto Raptors prior to opening night of the 2021-22 season. Undrafted in 2017, Wainright spent three seasons playing professionally in Europe before signing a non-guaranteed deal with the Raptors in August, joining the team in Las Vegas for the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League.
Wainright won the hearts of Raptors Twitter over the summer, sharing how his family serves as his motivation after he turned in an impressive performance in a Summer League win.
"I do it for my kids"- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) August 13, 2021
- @Wainright24 pic.twitter.com/LnajMrb8Dw
"I do it for my kids, to be honest," Wainright told reporters. "I'm trying to smile, I'm trying to have fun and I'm here and I don't wanna go back [overseas]. I'm here to stay."
When he was waived, Wainright shared a sincere message of appreciation for the Raptors organization and the fans, saying "this is just the beginning," in reference to his journey. He was right.
First and foremost I just want to thank the entire front office, coaching staff, down to the trainers and medical staff with the @Raptors for everything. And to the fans, thank yall for the love and support 😁🤙🏽 this is just the beginning!- Ishmail C. Wainright 😁 (@Wainright24) October 18, 2021
After reports of his signing surfaced, Wainright took to Twitter to say he's "blessed to be apart (sic) of the Suns family. Time to work."
Blessed to be apart of the @Suns family.- Ishmail C. Wainright 😁 (@Wainright24) October 21, 2021
Time to work 😁🤙🏽 #ValleyProud
Wainright appeared in three preseason games with the Raptors, averaging 4.3 points and 3.0 rebounds in just under 12 minutes per contest. After limited action in the preseason opener, Wainright closed the preseason by recording six points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals against the Rockets and turning in seven points, four rebounds and one assist against the Wizards in the preseason finale.
With the signing, the Suns have now filled both of their slots for two-way players, the other being forward Chandler Hutchison. Wainright will fall behind Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson and Abdel Nader on Phoenix's depth chart but could find time in the rotation as a strong 3-and-D player.
The Suns are in action on Friday when they travel to the Staples Center to face the Lakers in a playoff rematch (10:00 p.m. ET | 7:00 p.m. PT, TSN2)
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