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Badgers in the NBA: Sam Dekker waived; Frank Kaminsky taking on larger role in Phoenix

While Dekker is looking for a new landing spot, Kaminsky is earning praise from Chris Paul.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Toronto Raptors Photo by Vaughn Ridley/NBAE via Getty Images

This past weekend former Wisconsin Badgers wing Sam Dekker was waived by the Toronto Raptors. The move was made in order to get the Raps underneath the salary cap (excellent explanation here) and it sounded like Dekker was pretty torn up about the whole thing based on his tweet.

Dekker only played 54 seconds in the regular season this year, but these first 10 games (and practices more relevantly) of the season were seen as an extended tryout between he and Isaac Bonga.

“We were real close on it. Sam was awesome. He spent a lot of time with us from the moment, all the way back from when we first looked at him in the sort-of open run situation, and he spent a lot of time working the job. But it’s the tough side of it, man. Tough side. Sorry to see him go,” head coach Nick Nurse said.

It’s unclear where Dekker will go next, but there are a few end of the bench spots that are always rotating through players and he could also go back overseas, although he may not want to be that far away from his pregnant wife, Olivia.

Moving out west, and center Frank Kaminsky is proving to be an extremely valuable piece of the defending Western Conference Champion Phoenix Suns’ rotation. With starting center Deandre Ayton out with a right leg injury, Kaminsky has been playing bigger minutes so far in November.

He has scored in double figures in three of his last four games, all Suns wins btw, dropping 17 against New Orleans, 16 against Atlanta and 10 against Sacramento. He has been shooting the ball efficiently and making plays for others from the center position while still providing rebounding and occasional rim protection. Hell, against the Pelicans he had four steals! Four!!

New Orleans Pelicans v Phoenix Suns Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

Legendary point guard Chris Paul said after the win over the Hawks this weekend that Kaminsky is in the right place “every time” when they are working a two-man game together. He also called him “a point guard’s dream,” which, well, when Paul calls you that it’s the highest form of flattery.

Kaminsky’s role will diminish when Ayton is fully healthy, but he has made himself into an indispensable part of the Phoenix rotation and has proven, in the playoffs last year and the regular season so far this year, that he is ready for whatever the Suns have to throw at him.