For much of the pre-draft process, Kentucky Wildcats guard Tyler Ulis was widely expected to not only be a first-round pick, but possibly even sneak into the end of the lottery.
Unfortunately, a reported hip issue helped lead to Ulis falling all the way to the 34th pick before the Phoenix Suns scooped him up. The second round can be a scary situation for players as teams can choose how much of the contract to guarantee, if at all.
Thankfully for Ulis, the Suns will not only guarantee the first two years of his deal, but they'll also pay him like a late first-round pick, according to Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic, who notes Ulis may be the team's third point guard if they part ways with Ronnie Price.
Ulis, as a second-round pick, is not guaranteed that, but the Suns will give Ulis the equivalent of a late first-round pick’s contract, which would start at about $1 million and have the same two guaranteed years with two team option years.
The Suns will have to weigh whether Ulis can be a third point guard as a rookie or if the team needs Price’s experience after Eric Bledsoe’s and Brandon Knight’s multiple surgeries.
According to Spotrac, a late first-round contract pays around $1.1-1.5 million annually, which Coro alluded to Ulis getting. The fact Ulis will also get two years of guaranteed money means Ulis is set to make over $3 million in the next two years.
While Ulis likely has a much longer future ahead of him, the fact that he'll be getting at least $3 million is pretty nice. The only question now is how the Suns handle their crowded backcourt that's mainly comprised of former Wildcats. I would venture to say one of Brandon Knight, Eric Bledsoe or Archie Goodwin isn't on the final roster as Phoenix appears likely to deal Knight or Bledsoe.
Whatever happens, Devin Booker's outstanding rookie year has things looking up for the Suns, and having his best friend as a teammate certainly helps.