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Josh Gray Finishes Much Improved Season as Suns’ Leading Scorer

By Jacob Withee | April 3, 2018

Prescott Valley, Ariz. – Joining the Northern Arizona Suns as a local tryout player in 2016, Josh Gray turned in a remarkable campaign his rookie year. He played in all 50 contests, averaged 13.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game and turned in the first triple-double in team history.

It was clear Gray’s ceiling was sky-high entering Year 2.

Gray spoke to reporters at the beginning of the year and opened up on his vision in leading the NAZ Suns to the playoffs. The team fell just short of that goal, but not a lot of blame can go to Gray. In fact, he was third in the league’s Most Improved Played award voting.

He led the Suns in scoring with 19.4 points per game, he led the team in assists with 6.6 per game, and he led the team in steals with 2.4 per game. On the NBA G League’s official league leaderboard, Gray was 18th in scoring, 15th in assists and first in steals.

Gray achieved two triple-doubles this season, the third most in the league. He scored 30-plus points seven times, tied for the sixth most such games in the league. He had a team-high eight double-doubles and he also set a new team-record in scoring by dropping 42 points at Texas on Feb. 23.

Finishing the year as just one of three players in the league to average at least 19.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists, Gray had quite a run after Christmas.

He took the starting point guard spot and did wonders, averaging 22.0 points (47.0 FG%, 41.1 3FG%, 76.6 FT%), 7.3 assists, 6.2 rebounds and 2.8 steals over his next 26 games with the NAZ Suns. In those 26 games, he had seven double-doubles and two triple-doubles.

With that impressive three-point shooting, an elite defense and NBA-ready speed, the Phoenix Suns called up Gray shortly after he was named the NBA G League Player of the Week in January.

The 24-year-old performed well playing on two 10-day contracts, averaging 6.4 points, 2.4 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.6 steals in five games.

As good as Gray was in his rookie year, his sophomore campaign was something special.

2016-17 Category 2017-18
 13.4  Points Per Game 19.4
 44.4  FG Pct 45.4
 35.5  3FG Pct  40.7
 66.4  FT Pct  75.9
 3.6  Rebounds Per Game 4.8
 4.5  Assists Per Game 6.6
1.6  Steals Per Game 2.4
 2  Double-Doubles  8
 1  Triple-Doubles 2
 38  10+ Point Games  39
7  20+ Point Games  22
 1  30+ Point Games  7
 0  40+ Point Games  1
 2  10+ Assist Games 6

All Gray needs is another opportunity, which will assuredly happen over the coming months. Last offseason, Gray participated in the NBA G League Elite Mini-Camp and spent time with the Orlando Magic’s Summer League team. Now that his name is out there and he remains on the rise, it will be one exciting summer for the Louisiana State alum.

 

Check out the best photos of Josh Gray’s 2017-18 season here.