Even though the basketball is usually not even close to the quality you see at the NBA level, the NBA Summer League is still a place where hopeful prospects and forgotten players can attempt to make a name for themselves in front of dozens of NBA executives and coaches. In 2012, Dionte Christmas impressed the Boston Celtics enough to earn himself a partially-guaranteed contract. He was waived right before the regular season began. This year, Christmas managed to impress the Phoenix Suns during his time in Las Vegas with their summer squad.
While there is no guarantee he'll make the roster this time, the Suns have signed Christmas to a non-guaranteed deal two weeks before training camp begins. This will likely give Christmas all of training camp and the preseason to continue to build on the play he showed the Suns during their run through the first Las Vegas Summer League tournament in which the Suns made it to the championship game before losing to the Golden State Warriors. From the Suns:
The Phoenix Suns today signed guard Dionte Christmas, who averaged 10.1 points for the Suns' Las Vegas Summer League entry this summer.
“We're excited to add Dionte to our roster,” said Suns General Manager Ryan 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.”
Christmas has bounced around leagues all over the world in pursuit of his dream of playing in the NBA. While he's seen time in the preseason, making that final roster and finding a way onto the court for some regular season action is obviously the goal. Christmas has played in Israel, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Russia, Italy, and Greece since spending four years at Temple University.
In seven games with the Suns' summer league team, Christmas averaged 10.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in 20.8 minutes while making 46.3 percent of his shots. In 2009, he was invited to training camp with the Philadelphia 76ers but waived in the preseason.