Farewell to Frank the Tank

Frank Kaminsky’s three-season run as a member of the Phoenix Suns ended quietly earlier this month as the veteran seven-footer signed a one-year minimum deal with the Atlanta Hawks.

The development was far from unexpected, as Kaminsky clearly no longer factored into the Suns’ plans either short or long-term. But despite that fact, and despite having appeared in only nine games this past season, the skilled big man earned himself many fans among the faithful Suns.

Reminiscing

Kaminsky joined the Suns as a free agent in July 2019, after having spent four seasons the Charlotte Hornets, the organization that drafted him #9 overall out of the University of Wisconsin in 2015. Kaminsky was something of a legend with the Badgers, earning himself a roomful of personal trophies his senior season including the John Wooden Award and the Associated Press Player of the Year Award. In the 2015 Final Four, Kaminsky scored 20 points to lead Wisconsin over a star-studded Kentucky Wildcats team that featured Karl Anthony Towns and future Suns standout Devin Booker.

That’s gotta be a fun memory for Frank.

Joining the Suns, he initially had a successful 2019 season, playing consistent minutes and logging several 20 point games in the first 25 games of the campaign. But “The Tank” suffered injuries that sidelined him until he could return to play seven games during the Suns’ magical COVID bubble run in Orlando, chipping in 13 points in 12 minutes against the Sixers.

Frank struggled to regain the status he held in the first half of the 2019/2020, season. The Suns waived the second year of his contract, and Kaminsky signed a one-year deal with the Sacramento Kings in November 2020. The Kings waived him just a month later before he’d played in any regular season games, and the Suns reclaimed him . Frank went on to play another meaningful role for the Suns that season, making 13 starts and logging time in four NBA finals games.

Kaminsky re-upped with the Suns on a one-year deal for the 2021/2022 season, and dropped a career-high 31 points off the bench in an early-season win over the Portland Trailblazers.

But that would sadly prove to be the last hurrah for Kaminsky in the Valley, as a November 2021 knee injury ended his season. He had surgery on the knee in January 2022, but didn’t return to action. The Suns waived him in April, and while he could still have rejoined the team, it just didn’t seem likely. He signed with the Hawks on July 11, ending any remaining speculation.

All told, Kaminsky played 95 regular season games as a Sun, making 26 starts. He averaged 8 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. He played in 10 postseason games for the team, averaging 2 points, 1 rebound and 1 assist.

Goodbye, Frank.

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