The Phoenix Suns have signed guard Mike James, an NBA rookie who has stood out playing professionally in Europe the past five seasons, most recently with Panathinaikos of the Greek Basketball League.
James, an athletic guard at 6-1, 190 pounds, averaged 13.1 points, 3.0 assists and 0.9 steals in 25 Euroleague games with Panathinaikos in 2016-17, helping the team to the Euroleague playoffs where they lost to eventual champion Fenerbahce. He also posted 12.0 points, 2.8 assists and 0.9 steals in 24 Greek A1 League games as the team won both the Greek Basketball League and the Greek Cup. Since going undrafted out of Lamar University in 2012, James has had a successful professional career in Europe, playing with clubs in Croatia, Israel, Italy and Spain, in addition to Greece.
A member of the Suns’ entry at NBA Summer League 2017 in Las Vegas, James also played for the Suns at NBA Summer League in 2015, helping the team to a runner-up finish. He averaged 12.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists in seven games in 2015, including a 32-point performance in the championship against San Antonio, the highest-scoring game by any player at NBA Summer League 2015 in Las Vegas.
While at Lamar, James earned All-Southland First Team honors as a senior in 2011-12 and set a school record with a 52-point game which tied for the highest-scoring game by a Division I player in the 2010-11 NCAA season. The Portland, Oregon native began his collegiate career at Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher, Arizona, posting the fourth-highest scoring average in NJCAA Division I in 2009-10 by averaging 26.0 points.