Time is running out for Alex Len, as the fourth-year player still hasn’t signed his qualifying offer sheet worth $4.2 million that the Phoenix Suns have laid on the table. He would be wise to sign it, and move on with his offseason.
Alex Len, like many players this offseason, was searching for a big money offer from a team. As a restricted free agent, Len was hoping that he would be one of the lucky players to get an enormous offer, with the elevated salary cap that has seen players get grossly overpaid in recent years (Timofey Mozgov getting $48 million, Joe Ingles getting $50 million guaranteed, need I go on?).
It has been interesting to me seeing how Len has dealt with his offseason. I get it: He sees a ton of players inking pen to paper for huge deals, and it being a potential payday for him, he wanted to test the waters.
However, I have always thought that it would have been wiser for him to grind harder than he has ever before in the weight room and on the court, and send out some feelers under the radar on what his stock would go for this offseason.
Now, Len, still being on the short list of players needing to finalize contract situations for this year, has somewhat of a spotlight on him. His career has been underwhelming so far in the NBA, and the longer it takes to reach an agreement with the Phoenix Suns, the more time people have to take a deeper dive on him, thus seeing his pedestrian numbers since turning pro.
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Len is entering the “put up or shut up” stages of his young career. Being a top five pick out of college who’s shown signs of versatility on the floor, Len is likely pushing hard for a contract more lucrative than the one-year, $4.2 million qualifying offer that seems like his last available option with how fast the market dried up.
However, it would be wise of him to sign this deal and work his tail off this season as he bets on himself. He needs to show people that he either is in fact worth a multi-year, big money deal, or further show his true colors of being just an average NBA player.
On a young team like the Suns, where they are not going to be throwing a big contract to just anybody, so Len needs to prove himself once and for all. With all the talk surrounding the young Suns and “The Timeline” that many are buying into, Len has never been apart of the conversation. Devin Booker, Marquese Chriss, Josh Jackson and Dragan Bender are the core to this team, and that fact has Suns fans excited.
Len needs to showcase himself that he truly fits in with where this team is going in 2017-18, and that he can be the franchise big that they hoped for when they drafted him. Because if it is another year of mediocrity, it will be the last for Len in Phoenix.