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Phoenix Suns Sign Dionte Christmas

Dionte Christmas turns 27-years-old on Sunday, but received an early birthday present just days before. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard signed a partially guaranteed contract with the Phoenix Suns on Friday.

Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Christmas had solid outings throughout his play in the Las Vegas Summer League with the Suns. He averaged 10.1 points on 46.3% shooting in 20.8 minutes per game.

The former Temple standout who went undrafted in the 2009 NBA Draft has taken his professional career around the world. Christmas signed his first professional contract with the Philadelphia 76ers shortly after the draft but was soon waived. He went overseas and played on teams in Israel, Czech Republic and Greece before coming back to the United States and signing a partially guaranteed deal with the Boston Celtics. Christmas, however, was released just a few months later and went back to Europe to play for teams in Russia and Italy.

Yet, now Christmas is back and is determined to stay in his native country. He can knock down perimeter shots and can take the ball to the hoop. He is simply an offensive talent, yet lacks the necessary skills on the defense end at times to stay on the floor.

By no means is Christmas a shoe-in to make the Suns’ final roster. He is the 17th player currently under contract with the Suns, but does have an advantage over some others because his contract is partially guaranteed. General Manager Ryan McDonough is certainly looking forward to seeing what Christmas can do.

“We’re excited to add Dionte to our roster,” said McDonough. “He was a key contributor for our Las Vegas Summer League team and his scoring ability, leadership and toughness will help us this season.”

matthewhochberg