Phoenix Suns backup point guard Tyler Ulis underwent a minor surgical procedure on his ankle the team announced. The surgery, performed in New York, is expected to sideline Ulis from basketball activities for 12 weeks.
The former Kentucky standout and second-round draft pick had a quality rookie season. As the backup for Eric Bledsoe, Ulis averaged 7.3 points per game along with 3.7 assists in 61 games. He started 15 of the 16 games Bledsoe missed due to injury. The 5-10 Ulis led all rookies with 20.6 points and 6.8 assists per game in the month of April, winning Rookie of the Month honors.
The Suns have several young building blocks on their roster. Devin Booker, Dragan Bender, Marquese Chriss, and Slam Dunk competitor Derrick Jones Jr. represent an athletic core. Ulis figures to be a quality rotational player, but Phoenix may opt to trade Bledsoe and re-acquire more assets as the rebuild continues.
Despite his short stature, Tyler Ulis is still capable of some incredibly playmaking ability. In a March 5th game against the Boston Celtics, Ulis collected a steal in the final seconds and proceeded to nail the game-winning three-pointer. In what was a lost season for the Suns, bright moments like that offer a glimpse into the future for Phoenix.