Archive for the ‘ Phoenix Suns Blog ’ Category

Phoenix Suns waive Dionte Christmas

The Phoenix Suns have waived guard Dionte Christmas, the team announced today.

In his rookie NBA season of 2013-14, Christmas averaged 2.3 points, 1.2 rebounds and 6.4 minutes in 31 games with the Suns. Christmas also played with the Suns’ entry at NBA Summer League 2014 in Las Vegas earlier this month, averaging 10.6 points and 5.6 rebounds in five games.

Suns re-sign forward P.J. Tucker

Suns re-sign forward P.J. Tucker

The Phoenix Suns have re-signed forward P.J. Tucker to a multiyear contract, the team announced today.

“We are pleased to have been able to reach an agreement with P.J. Tucker on a multiyear contract,” said President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. “His new contract fulfills one of our most important goals for this summer.”

“P.J. is one of the most rugged competitors in the entire league,” said General Manager Ryan McDonough. “We love his passion and his fire. We are happy that he will remain in a Suns uniform for the foreseeable future.”

Tucker started 81 games in his second season with the Suns of 2013-14, posting career-highs of 9.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.4 steals in 30.7 minutes. Tied for the Suns’ team-lead with a career-best 11 double-doubles, Tucker also had career-highs with 38 games of double-digit scoring and 15 games of double-digit rebounds. Recognized for his intensity and versatility on the defensive end, Tucker won the Dan Majerle Hustle Award for the second consecutive season in 2013-14.

Against Oklahoma City on April 6 this past season, Tucker scored a career-high 22 points on 7-of-9 shooting, making a career-high four three-pointers in the Suns’ win. Tucker also became the first Sun since 2007 to have at least 15 points, 15 rebounds and four steals in a game when he scored 16 points along with a career-high 15 rebounds and four steals in a win against Golden State on Feb. 8.

Initially signing with the Suns as a free agent on Aug. 1, 2012, Tucker has established new career-highs in virtually every statistical category in each of his first two seasons with the club, in addition to earning a reputation as one of the league’s toughest defenders.

Prior to joining the Suns, Tucker played professionally in Germany, Puerto Rico, Italy, Greece, Israel and Ukraine, after his rookie NBA season of 2006-07 with the Toronto Raptors. A standout performer at the University of Texas, Tucker played three seasons with the Longhorns, earning consensus Big 12 Player of the Year honors as a junior before entering the 2006 NBA Draft.

Phoenix Suns sign Anthony Tolliver

Phoenix Suns sign Anthony Tolliver

The Phoenix Suns have signed free agent forward Anthony Tolliver to a multiyear contract, the club announced today.

“We are very pleased to welcome Anthony to Phoenix,” said President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. “He has impressed us not only with his play, but with his intelligence and high character.”

“Anthony is a great fit for our style of play,” said General Manager Ryan McDonough. “His shooting, professionalism and leadership will help us as we try to continue to build a strong foundation going forward.”

The 6-8, 240-pound Tolliver is a six-year NBA veteran who shot a career-high 41.3 percent from three-point distance with Charlotte last season. Tolliver averaged 6.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 20.3 minutes in 64 games (nine starts) in his one season with the Bobcats.

A native of Springfield, Mo., Tolliver holds career averages of 6.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, 41.4 percent field goal shooting, 35.2 percent three-point shooting and 78.4 percent free throw shooting in 307 games with San Antonio, Portland, Golden State, Minnesota, Atlanta and Charlotte. Tolliver averaged a career-high 11.7 points and 7.0 rebounds playing primarily with the Warriors in the 2009-10 season, including a career-high 34 points on April 7, 2010, at Minnesota.

A product of Creighton University, Tolliver went undrafted in the 2007 NBA Draft and earned his spot in the league with performances in the NBA D-League, as well as professionally in Germany and Turkey.

Phoenix Suns waive Ish Smith

The Phoenix Suns have waived guard Ish Smith, the team announced today.

“We thank Ish Smith for his contributions to the Suns,” said President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. “He played with an infectious joy. We wish him well.”

Initially acquired by the Suns from the Milwaukee Bucks in a trade on Aug. 29, 2013, Smith averaged 3.7 points, 2.6 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 14.4 minutes in 70 games in his one season with the Suns.

isaiah thomas

The Phoenix Suns completed a sign-and-trade deal with the Sacramento Kings that will send guard Isaiah Thomas to Phoenix in exchange for the rights to forward Alex Oriakhi, the club announced today.

“We welcome Isaiah Thomas,” said President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. “His addition to our backcourt makes it one of the deepest and most dynamic in the league. We have enjoyed getting to know him during his visit to Phoenix this week. He will quickly become a fan-favorite.”

“Isaiah is one of the most dynamic scorers and playmakers in the NBA,” said General Manager Ryan McDonough. “I have always admired his competitive spirit and his love for the game. He will be a great fit for our up-tempo attack and he will help solidify what we believe is the best backcourt in the league.”

The 5-9, 185-pound Thomas is a three-year NBA veteran who averaged career-highs of 20.3 points on 45.3 percent shooting, 6.3 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 72 games with the Kings last season. One of just six players in the NBA to average at least 20 points and six assists in 2013-14, Thomas registered a career-high of 38 points on two occasions this past season. Thomas also recorded his first career triple-double with 24 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against Washington on March 18.

A career 44.7 percent shooter from the floor, including 36.0 percent from three-point range, Thomas is an efficient scorer whose 15.3-point career average has come on 11.6 field goal attempts per game. In Thomas’ two games at US Airways Center last season, the guard from Tacoma, Wash., averaged 26.0 points on 57.6 percent shooting, including a 29-point performance in Phoenix on Dec. 13.

The final selection (60th overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft out of the University of Washington, Thomas has posted the fourth highest scoring average of his draft class through three seasons. In 216 career games, all with Sacramento, he has scored in double figures 162 times, including 72 games with 20-plus points and eight games scoring 30-plus points. Thomas has also posted 12 career games with double-digit assists, with each performance also representing a double-double.

A second round pick (57th overall) by the Suns out of the University of Missouri in the 2013 NBA Draft, Oriakhi played internationally and in the NBA D-League this past season. Oriakhi, who had been included on the Suns’ summer league roster, will no longer play with the Suns at NBA Summer League 2014 in Las Vegas.

Here’s ESPN.com reporting that a pretty talented guard is finding a new home:

Isaiah Thomas headed to Suns in sign-and-trade deal

The Sacramento Kings will send restricted free agent Isaiah Thomas to the Phoenix Suns in a sign-and-trade deal after reaching a new four-year, $28 million contract, sources confirmed to ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst.

In return, the Kings will acquire a $7 million trade exception and the rights to forward Alex Oriakhi, the 57th overall pick in 2013.

Yahoo! Sports first reported the deal.

Thomas averaged 20.3 points and 6.3 assists per game last season, both career-highs.

Suns extend qualifying offers to Eric Bledsoe and P.J. Tucker

The Phoenix Suns announced today that the team has extended qualifying offers to guard Eric Bledsoe and forward P.J. Tucker.

Bledsoe appeared in 43 games for the Suns in 2013-14, averaging career-highs of 17.7 points, 5.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 32.9 minutes while also shooting a career-best 47.7 percent from the field. In his first season with the Suns, and fourth in the NBA after being acquired in a trade from the Los Angeles Clippers last July, Bledsoe became just the sixth player in Suns history to average at least 17.0 points, 5.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals, and the first since Charles Barkley in his NBA MVP season of 1992-93.

Tucker started 81 games in his second season with the Suns of 2013-14, posting career-highs of 9.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.4 steals in 30.7 minutes. Tied for the Suns’ team-lead with a career-best 11 double-doubles, Tucker also had career-highs with 38 games of double-digit scoring and 15 games of double-digit rebounds. Recognized for his intensity and versatility on the defensive end, Tucker won the Dan Majerle Hustle Award for the second consecutive season in 2013-14.

In accordance with the league’s collective bargaining agreement, in order for a team to retain its right of first refusal with respect to a restricted free agent, the team must tender the player a qualifying offer prior to June 30. A restricted free agent may sign an offer sheet with any team, but is subject to a right of first refusal with the team for which the player last played.

Here’s Arizona Sports reporting on the Suns and NBA Draft, which took place last night:

tyler ennis

It would be easy to connect a few dots.

Eric Bledsoe a point guard, and P.J. Tucker, a small forward, are restricted free agents. Forward/Center Channing Frye opted out of his contract earlier in the week and is now an unrestricted free agent.

Thursday night, the Phoenix Suns spent the first two of their three first-round picks on North Carolina State’s T.J. Warren, a small forward, and Syracuse’s Tyler Ennis, a point guard. And with their second-round pick, 50th overall, they added Wisconsin-Green Bay center Alec Brown.

“I guess with free agency you’re not sure what’s going to happen,” Suns GM Ryan McDonough said. “We’re really high on the three free agents we have. We’d like to bring all of them back if we’re able to do that.

“We didn’t draft anybody to be replacements for those guys, let’s put it that way. We drafted these guys because we think they can help solidify our depth and because we want to keep bringing young talent into the pipeline and we think they can be really good players down the road. But our top priority would be to bring back the free agents that we have and add these guys to that group.”

The Phoenix Suns, Bakersfield Jam, and NBA Development League today announced that the Suns have entered into a single-affiliation relationship with the Jam beginning with the 2014-15 season. With the partnership, the Suns become the record 15th NBA franchise to have a one-to-one relationship with an NBA D-League team, solidifying half of the NBA’s 30 teams as singly-affiliated.

Full story: Phoenix Suns and Bakersfield Jam enter single-affiliation relationship

Phoenix’s Goran Dragic, who helped lead the Suns to a 23-win improvement while establishing career highs in scoring and field goal percentage, is the winner of the 2013-14 NBA Most Improved Player Award, the NBA announced today. The annual award is presented to a player who has made a significant improvement from the previous season.

Dragic received 408 of a possible 1,134 points, including 65 first-place votes, from a panel of 126 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Lance Stephenson of the Indiana Pacers (158 points, 13 first-place votes) and Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans (155 points, 16 first-place votes) finished second and third, respectively. Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third place vote received.

Dragic, who entered the 2013-14 campaign with a career scoring average of 9.5 points, averaged a career-best 20.3 points to go with 5.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds, as the Suns finished with a record of 48-34, one game behind the Dallas Mavericks, who claimed the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. He shot a career-best .505 from the field, including a .408 mark from behind the three-point arc. He was the only player in the NBA to shoot at least 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. Dragic started 75 of the 76 games he appeared in, and helped keep the Suns in playoff contention, despite the extended absence of teammate Eric Bledsoe, who was limited to 43 games this season.

The Phoenix Suns are the “best team not to make the playoffs.”

That’s the title first-year coach Jeff Hornacek bestowed on his overachieving squad after it finished a remarkable turnaround season. But despite 48 wins, the Suns are staying home when the real fun begins.

They’ve tied a record of sorts.

In the NBA’s 16-team playoff era, only one other 48-win team didn’t make the postseason — the 2007-08 Golden State Warriors.

It’s a frustrating situation because of the decidedly Western power tilt in the NBA. If Phoenix was in the Eastern Conference, it would be tied for the third-best record with Toronto and Chicago. The Suns won 10 more games than the East’s No. 8 seed, Atlanta.

– Associated Press

Here’s the Arizona Republic reporting on Channing Frye, who has enjoyed a terrific season for the Phoenix Suns. The team came close to making the playoffs this season, but just missed out on spots that went to the Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies:

Channing Frye hopes for contract extension from Suns

Frye has a $6.8 million player option for next season. Only Goran Dragic ($7.5 million) and amnestied Josh Childress ($7.32 million) are on the Suns’ books for more next season, although restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe stands to make more.

Frye would like to negotiate a contract extension after averaging 11.2 points and 5.1 rebounds this season on 43.3 percent shooting, including 37.1 percent on 3s.

“I want to talk to the Suns and make sure we’re both on the same page about what I want,” Frye said. “I’d love to stay here. It’s up to them and their future and what they want to do. I love wearing this uniform. I think I take a little more pride in it than everyone else because I’m from here.

“It’s looking for the future and if I could get something longer. I got kids and I want to be somewhere. I’ve been here for five years already so it wouldn’t be bad to kind of not be worried about being traded or buying a house.”

Friday night in Phoenix, the Suns hosted the Knicks. During halftime, a fan at the game hit a halfcourt shot to win $77,777. Check out the video:

Knicks get blown out by Suns, 112-88

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on the Knicks, who despite their 30-43 record still have a shot at making the playoffs:

In the immortal words of Phil Jackson, “just awful.”

That phrase, uttered by Jackson following the Knicks’ dreadful performance against the Lakers Tuesday night, applies to just about everything Mike Woodson’s team did on Friday night. From Raymond Felton’s defense to the Knicks’ idea of being in a playoff race, Mike Woodson’s team continues to make a compelling case for why it doesn’t deserve a postseason berth.

“We weren’t ready for them,” Carmelo Anthony said following the Suns’ 112-88 victory. “We weren’t prepared for them and they ran us out of the gym. We didn’t fight. We didn’t have it and they had it in all aspects of the game.”

The Knicks (30-43) have now lost three of their last four and are now two full games behind the Atlanta Hawks with nine games remaining starting with Sunday against Golden State.

“If you ask me, I think we can win all nine games,” said Amar’e Stoudemire, trying to sound optimistic.

Here’s Archie Goodwin of the Phoenix Suns discussing his first season in the league:

Video: Quick interview with Goran Dragic

Here’s a quick chat with Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic, on the TV show “Inside Stuff.”

Here’s Gerald Green of the Phoenix Suns scoring 41 points in a win vs the Oklahoma City Thunder:

Goran Dragic scores 40

Goran Dragic almost didn’t play Friday night.

On a bad ankle, with his Phoenix team needing to end a three-game skid, he decided to give it a try.

The result was a career-high 40-point performance in 42 minutes, leading the Suns past the New Orleans Pelicans 116-104.

“I think everybody knows about Goran Dragic now,” Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said, “or they should.”

A game-time decision because of a sore right ankle that had kept him out of Wednesday’s loss at Utah, Dragic played all but the last 10 seconds of the second half in the first 40-point game for a Phoenix player since Amar’e Stoudemire’s 44 on March 19, 2010.

– Associated Press

The Phoenix Suns have signed forward Shavlik Randolph for the remainder of the season and waived center Slava Kravtsov, the team announced today.

The 6-10, 240-pound Randolph is a six-year NBA veteran who has appeared in 111 career games (seven starts) with Philadelphia, Portland, Miami and Boston. Randolph, who competed collegiately at Duke, played with Philadelphia for three seasons from 2005-08, with Portland in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons and with Miami in 2009-10, as well. Most recently in the NBA, Randolph appeared in 16 games for Boston last season, in addition to seeing action in one playoff contest. Earlier this season, Randolph spent time with the Foshan Long Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association. Between his NBA appearances with the Heat and the Celtics, Randolph played professionally in China and Puerto Rico.

He will be available for tomorrow night’s game vs. Atlanta.

Kravtsov, in his second NBA season, appeared in 20 games for the Suns this season, averaging 1.0 points and 0.9 rebounds in 3.0 minutes.

The Suns continue a four-game home stand on Sunday night as they host the Hawks with tip-off scheduled for 6:00 p.m. (Phoenix time). The game will be televised on FOX Sports Arizona, and carried on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

The Suns’ roster still stands at 15.

P.J. Tucker fined by NBA for flopping

P.J. Tucker fined by NBA for flopping

The Phoenix Suns’ P.J. Tucker has been fined $5,000 by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-flopping rules for the second time this season.

The incident occurred with 1:38 remaining in the fourth quarter of Phoenix’s 112-107 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at Pepsi Center.

To view the play, click on this link.

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