Former West Virginia basketball player Jevon Carter, who earned the love and admiration of the entire state, who led the Mountaineers to three Sweet 16 appearances while finishing his career as the all-time WVU career steal leader (330), the single-season WVU steal leader (112), the single-season WVU assist leader (246) and a four-time Big 12 All-Defensive team member, should absolutely be a key player for the Phoenix Suns in the NBA this season.
Carter was traded last year from the Memphis Grizzlies after his rookie season and the new opportunity in Phoenix looks extremely promising. The Suns signed veteran free agent Ricky Rubio in the offseason, but it seemed like Carter would be the clear energy backup point guard off the bench.
To begin the season, Carter played like West Virginians know he’s capable of. Phoenix Suns Head Coach Monty Williams was very complimentary of Carter and started to refer to him as “the bulldog.” Williams had a 10 man rotation and Carter was very much a key part of the rotation.
According to Williams, “Yeah, he’s a gamer. You know he makes big shots without Deandre Ayton and some of the lineups we had out there, it’s hard to call plays. He is playing off the ball which he doesn’t do sometimes or a lot. For him to come off and takes the shots, for me it’s a biggie, but he makes them and he’s not afraid of them. For me, he is a guy that I can rely on in those moments, he is not afraid of taking big shots.”
This appears to have changed. Carter went through a very difficult 4-game stretch where he only averaged 0.5 points in 13 minutes a game. He went 0-6 from three point range during this stretch as well. Following this stretch, Williams’ 10-man rotation was trimmed to 9 and Carter is no longer a consistent part of the Suns’ rotation.
Guards Tyler Johnson and Ty Jerome have gotten most of the minutes behind Ricky Rubio and Carter has had little opportunity to play. Carter played only 7 minutes in 3 games (sitting out entirel for 2 games) before finally getting 10 minutes of play in the Suns’ December 2nd win against the Charlotte Hornets. Carter made the most of his opportunity, scoring 6 points on 2-3 shooting from three point range in his limited time.
Jevon Carter with a pair of 3's☄ in the 2nd quarter of the bench #suns #RisePHX #nba pic.twitter.com/ex5u9HRq1n
— GlendaleCardinals (@YotesGlendale) December 3, 2019
Jevon Carter brings so much to a team – lockdown defense, effort, heart, selfless, team-first play – and it’s disappointing that he isn’t getting the playing time that he’s earned. Carter is a warrior, though, and he will never, ever give up. He will keep grinding and keep earning his way on the court.