Archive for the ‘ Phoenix Suns Blog ’ Category

Suns trade Eric Bledsoe to Bucks for Greg Monroe

The Phoenix Suns have completed a trade to acquire center/forward Greg Monroe, the rights to a future first-round pick and a 2018 protected second-round pick from the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for guard Eric Bledsoe.

The Suns add Milwaukee’s future first-round pick to a collection of first-rounders that includes all of Phoenix’s own first-round selections, as well as Miami’s 2018 first-round pick (top-seven protected in 2018, unprotected in 2019) and Miami’s 2021 unprotected first-round pick.

Milwaukee’s first-round pick will convey to the Suns in 2018 if in the range of 11-16 overall, in 2019 if in the range of 4-16, in 2020 if in the range of 8-30 and in 2021 will be unprotected if it has not yet been conveyed. The Suns will receive Milwaukee’s second-round pick in 2018 if in the range of 48-60 overall.

“Eric is a dynamic player who brings scoring and toughness to the court while enhancing our young and talented core,” said Bucks General Manager Jon Horst. “We thank Greg for his professionalism, leadership and contribution on the court and in the community during his time in Milwaukee.”

Bledsoe, 27, is in his eighth season in the NBA and holds career averages of 13.1 points, 4.6 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game over 421 games (259 starts) with the Suns and the L.A. Clippers. He averaged more than 20.0 points and 6.0 assists per game in each of the last two seasons with the Suns, including career highs in points (21.1) and assists (6.3) per game during the 2016-17 season. Bledsoe spent the past five seasons (2013-17) with Phoenix and averaged 18.8 points, 6.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds in 33.6 minutes over 224 games (221 starts).

The Kentucky product was selected with the 18th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder, but was traded on draft night to the Clippers where he spent the first three seasons of his career. Bledsoe averaged 6.7 points, 3.0 assists and 2.6 rebounds in 197 games (38 starts) with the Clippers.

Suns trade Eric Bledsoe to Bucks for Greg Monroe

Monroe, in his eighth NBA season, holds career averages of 14.0 points on 51.1 percent shooting, 8.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.1 steals in 543 games. Last season, his second with the Bucks, Monroe finished sixth in voting for NBA Sixth Man of the Year after averaging 11.7 points on 53.4 percent shooting and 6.6 rebounds with his 13 double-doubles ranking fourth in the league among reserves.

The 6-11, 265-pound post player was originally the seventh overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft by Detroit, playing his first five seasons with the Pistons before signing with the Bucks in July 2015. Named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 2011, Monroe finished fifth in voting for Most Improved Player in 2011-12 as he began a run of five consecutive seasons in which he exceeded averages of 15 points and eight rebounds per game.

A native of New Orleans, Monroe starred collegiately for two seasons at Georgetown University prior to entering the NBA Draft. With the Hoyas, Monroe averaged 14.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists for his career, earning First Team All-Big East honors in 2010 and the Big East Rookie of the Year award in 2009.

The Suns’ roster remains at 17 players.

Josh Jackson fined by NBA

Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson has been fined $35,000 for making a menacing gesture on the playing court and directing inappropriate language toward a fan, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 6:10 remaining in the 4th quarter of the Suns’ 130-88 loss to the LA Clippers on Saturday, Oct. 21 at Staples Center.

The Phoenix Suns have relieved Earl Watson of his duties as head coach. Suns associate head coach Jay Triano will take over as interim head coach.

Watson was originally named interim head coach on February 1, 2016, and then was retained as the 17th head coach in franchise history on April 19, 2016. In parts of three seasons as head coach, Watson’s teams compiled a 33-85 (.280) record.

Triano joined the Suns’ staff as associate head coach in the summer of 2016. Triano had previously served as head coach of the Toronto Raptors from 2008-2011, compiling an 87-142 (.380) record as he was the first Canadian-born head coach in NBA history. In addition to his NBA coaching experience that includes six seasons as an assistant coach with the Raptors and four seasons as an assistant with the Portland Trail Blazers, Triano is head coach of the men’s national team for Canada Basketball.

Suns exercise options on Devin Booker, Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss

The Phoenix Suns have exercised their 2018-19 options on guard Devin Booker, forward Dragan Bender and forward Marquese Chriss.

Booker led the Suns with 22.1 points per game last season, the third-highest scoring average ever posted by a player 20-years-old-or-younger at season’s end, behind only LeBron James in 2004-05 and Kevin Durant in 2008-09. The 13th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Booker’s 2,774 total points through his first two seasons trail only James, Durant and Carmelo Anthony for the fourth-most ever by an NBA player before his 21st birthday.

Bender averaged 7.2 points and 7.0 rebounds this preseason, after averaging 3.4 points, 2.4 rebounds and 0.51 blocks in 43 appearances as a rookie last season, missing 31 games to a right ankle injury. The 4th overall pick and youngest player in the 2016 NBA Draft, Bender averaged 14.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists for the Suns at NBA Summer League 2017 in Las Vegas, and also played for Croatia’s national team at FIBA EuroBasket 2017 this past summer.

Chriss was named to the 2016-17 NBA All-Rookie Second Team for averaging 9.2 points on 44.9 percent shooting, 4.2 rebounds, 0.85 blocks and 0.82 steals while playing all 82 games. The 8th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Chriss led all rookies in games started (75) and dunks (103), and was one of just two first-year players along with Joel Embiid to rank in the top 10 on the rookie leaderboard in scoring average, rebounds per game, blocks per game and steals per game.

The Suns open their 50th season with the Coca-Cola & Fry’s Food Stores Tip Off on Wednesday, October 18 when the team hosts the Portland Trail Blazers at Talking Stick Resort Arena at 7 p.m. Tickets are still available at Suns.com or by calling 602-379-SUNS.

Suns waive Elijah Millsap

The Phoenix Suns have waived guard Elijah Millsap.

Millsap appeared in four games for the Suns this preseason, totaling 10 points in 24 minutes. He originally signed with the Suns on April 9, playing in the club’s final two games of the 2016-17 season. Millsap averaged 19.7 points for the Northern Arizona Suns in 2016-17, leading the Suns’ G League affiliate in scoring during their inaugural campaign.

The Suns’ roster now stands at 17 players.

Suns waive Tidjan Keita

Suns waive Tidjan Keita

The Phoenix Suns have waived forward Tidjan Keita (pronounced tid-JON kay-EE-tah).

Keita had just signed with the Suns yesterday, October 13. Hopefully he at least got a free t-shirt.

The Suns’ roster now stands at 18 players.

Suns sign Tidjan Keita

The Phoenix Suns have signed forward Tidjan Keita (pronounced tid-JON kay-EE-tah).

Keita, a 6-10, 205-pound forward with a 7-3 wingspan, played for the Toronto Raptors at NBA Summer League 2017 in Las Vegas, appearing in two contests. The 20-year-old went undrafted as an international early entry candidate in the 2017 NBA Draft and participated in a pre-draft workout with the Suns in Phoenix on May 29. Prior to declaring for the 2017 NBA Draft, the native of Paris, France played at Cegep de Thetford in Quebec, Canada.

The Suns’ roster now stands at 19 players.

Suns waive Anthony Bennett and Peter Jok

Suns waive Anthony Bennett and Peter Jok

The Phoenix Suns have waived forward Anthony Bennett and guard/forward Peter Jok.

Bennett and Jok originally signed with the Suns on Sept. 22. Neither player appeared in any of the team’s first three preseason games.

The Suns’ roster now stands at 18 players.

Last night, Phoenix Suns forward T.J. Warren received sutures for a laceration on his head. By NBA policy, he was evaluated for a concussion and was not placed into the concussion protocol.

This afternoon, he was re-evaluated by Team Physician Dr. Tom Fiel in Phoenix and it was confirmed he will not be placed in the concussion protocol.

His status is day-to-day.

Suns sign T.J. Warren to contract extension

The Phoenix Suns have signed forward T.J. Warren to a multiyear contract extension.

“We are excited about extending T.J.’s contract,” said General Manager Ryan McDonough. “T.J. has improved every year and we think he has the potential to continue to grow as he just begins to approach his prime. We view T.J. as an important part of our young core going forward and we are glad that we were able to reach an agreement on this extension.”

Per the Arizona Republic, “the contract, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, is worth $50 million over four years. McDonough said the deal will start in the 2018-2019 season.”

Warren, a 6-8, 215-pound forward, is entering his fourth NBA season and averaged career highs of 14.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 31.0 minutes in 66 games (59 starts) in 2016-17. The 24-year-old also shot 49.5 percent from the field, placing 28th on the NBA leaderboard. One of the league’s most efficient scorers, Warren averaged 17.6 points on 56.0 percent shooting following last season’s All-Star break as he and LeBron James were the only wings, and two of just six players overall, to average at least 15 points and shoot at least 55 percent during the season’s second half.

Originally the Suns’ selection with the 14th overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft, Warren holds career averages of 11.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 0.9 steals and 24.4 minutes in 153 games, all with Phoenix. With a career field goal mark of 50.2 percent, he is one of just two players from the 2014 NBA Draft class (Nikola Jokic) to be averaging double-digits scoring while making at last half of his field goal attempts.

A native of Durham, North Carolina, Warren starred collegiately for two seasons at North Carolina State University. In his final season with the Wolfpack in 2013-14, he earned ACC Player of the Year honors and set a single-season school record with 871 points, breaking the 39-year-old record previously held by Hall of Famer David Thompson.

Suns forward/center Alan Williams out six months

Phoenix Suns forward/center Alan Williams today underwent a meniscus repair of his right knee. The procedure was performed by Head Team Physician Dr. Tom Carter in Phoenix. Williams is expected to return to full basketball activity in approximately six months.

The Suns’ 2016-17 Majerle Hustle Award winner, Williams averaged 11.4 points and 9.1 rebounds with 12 double-doubles in 24 games after the All-Star break last season. He led the Suns with 15 double-doubles overall and ranked third in the NBA with 15 double-doubles off the bench. Playing in his second NBA season, the 24-year-old averaged career-bests of 7.4 points and 6.2 rebounds in 47 total games. A Phoenix native, Williams initially joined the Suns in March 2016 and re-signed to a multiyear contract with the team on July 26, 2017.

Suns re-sign Alex Len

Suns re-sign Alex Len

Center Alex Len is once again a member of the Phoenix Suns.

According to the Arizona Republic, the team signed Len to a one-year, $4.2 million qualifying offer.

Len, a 7-1, 250-pound center, has played his first four professional seasons with the Suns, increasing his per-36-minute averages in points and rebounds in each season of his career. In 2016-17, Len played 77 games (34 starts), averaging 8.0 points on 49.7 percent shooting, 6.6 rebounds and a team-high 1.27 blocks, which ranked 17th on the NBA leaderboard. In his 34 starts, Len averaged 9.3 points on 51.9 percent shooting, 7.8 rebounds and 1.47 blocks in 23.0 minutes.

Originally selected by the Suns with the fifth overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Len holds career averages of 6.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.06 blocks and 19.8 minutes in 266 games (127 starts). Through four seasons, the 24-year-old already ranks 12th in Suns franchise history with 283 blocked shots. Len averaged career-highs of 9.0 points and 7.6 rebounds 78 appearances in 2015-16, as he is one of only four seven-footers to appear in at least 77 games in each of the past two seasons, along with Karl-Anthony Towns, Robin Lopez and Steven Adams.

A native of Antratsit, Ukraine, Len played two seasons at the University of Maryland before declaring as an early entry candidate for the 2013 NBA Draft.

The Suns’ roster now stands at 20

Grizzlies trade Troy Daniels to Suns

The Phoenix Suns have acquired guard Troy Daniels and a 2018 second-round pick from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for a conditional Suns’ 2018 second-round pick.

Daniels, a 6-4, 205-pound guard, is a four-year NBA veteran who has played 162 games with Houston, Minnesota, Charlotte and, most recently, Memphis. In 2016-17, Daniels averaged 8.2 points while shooting 38.9 percent from three-point range in career-highs of 17.7 minutes and 67 games with the Grizzlies. The 26-year-old scored in double figures 23 times last season, including a career-high 31 points against the Lakers on December 3.

Holding a career three-point mark of 40.6 percent, Daniels has averaged 6.2 points, 1.2 rebounds and 13.2 minutes over his four-year NBA career. Since he entered the league in 2013-14, his 40.6 percent mark from three-point range is 10th-best in the league among those with at least 250 makes. Undrafted in 2013, Daniels began his pro career with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA G League before signing with the Rockets late in the 2013-14 season and becoming a member of their rotation in the 2014 playoffs. He split time between Houston, Minnesota and Charlotte in 2014-15 and played the 2015-16 season with the Hornets before being dealt to the Grizzlies in July 2016.

A native of Roanoke, Virginia, Daniels played collegiately at Virginia Commonwealth University and was a member of the Rams’ 2011 Final Four team. As a senior in 2012-13, Daniels averaged a career-high 12.3 points and set a single-season school record with 124 three-point makes.

Suns sign Anthony Bennett and Peter Jok

The Phoenix Suns have signed forward Anthony Bennett and forward/guard Peter Jok (pronounced JOCK).

Until we hear otherwise, we will assume the deals are non-guaranteed training camp contracts.

Bennett, a 6-8, 235-pound forward, is a four-year NBA veteran who was the first overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft. Bennett has played in 151 games with Cleveland, Minnesota, Toronto and Brooklyn over his career, averaging 4.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 12.6 minutes. Bennett began the 2016-17 season with the Nets and averaged 5.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 11.5 minutes over 23 games, then completed the season with Fenerbahce of the Turkish Basketball Super League where he was a member of the first Turkish team to win the EuroLeague championship. A native of Toronto, Ontario, the 24-year-old has played for the Canadian Senior Men’s National Team, helping Canada to a silver medal finish at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto and a bronze medal finish at the 2015 FIBA Americas Tournament in Mexico City.

Jok, a 6-6, 205-pound wing, joins the Suns following a successful four-year career at the University of Iowa. As a senior in 2016-17, Jok led the Big Ten in scoring with 19.9 points per game and earned All-Big Ten First Team honors while setting a Hawkeyes single-season record by shooting 91.1 percent from the free throw line. Against Memphis in his senior season, Jok scored a career-high 42 points, the most scored by an Iowa player in 40 years as he made a career-high eight three-pointers in the contest. A native of Sudan, he left Iowa as the Hawkeyes’ career free throw percentage leader (88.1 percent), fourth in career three-point makes (216) and 15th in career scoring (1,508). The 23-year-old played with the New Orleans Pelicans at NBA Summer League 2017 in Las Vegas, averaging 9.0 points and 1.0 steals in three appearances.

Suns sign second round pick Alec Peters

The Phoenix Suns have signed forward Alec Peters, the team’s selection with the 54th overall pick in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft.

Peters, a prolific three-point shooter at 6-9 and 232 pounds, was named the Horizon League Player of the Year as a senior following a four-year career where he became Valparaiso’s all-time leader in scoring (2,348), rebounding (997), field goals made (790), free throws made (479) and games started (134). In 2016-17, the skillful forward was the only player in Division I to rank in the top 20 nationally in both scoring and rebounding as he led his conference with 23.0 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.

For his career, Peters averaged 17.5 points in 134 games for the Crusaders and his 2,348 total points are third most in Horizon League history. Named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team as a senior, the 22-year-old was also a three-time All-Horizon Academic Team member. A native of Washington, Illinois, Peters was a first-team all-state selection in each of his final two seasons at Washington High School.

Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight today underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee. The procedure was performed by Head Team Physician Dr. Tom Carter in Phoenix. Knight will remain out for the 2017-18 season.

For his career, Knight holds averages of 15.2 points, 4.3 assists and 3.3 rebounds in 382 games with Detroit, Milwaukee and the Suns. Knight averaged 11.0 points, 2.4 assists and 2.2 rebounds over 54 appearances in 2016-17, his sixth NBA season and third with the Suns after initially being acquired by the team in February of 2015.

Phoenix Suns guard Davon Reed yesterday underwent a meniscus repair of his left knee. The procedure was performed by Head Team Physician Dr. Tom Carter at Gateway Surgery Center in Phoenix.

Reed is expected to return to full basketball activity in approximately four to six months.

The team’s selection with the 32nd overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Reed averaged 14.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.2 steals while appearing in all six of the Suns’ games at NBA Summer League 2017 in Las Vegas. Reed completed a four-year career at the University of Miami in 2017 by earning ACC All-Defensive Team and All-ACC Third Team honors, in addition to the ACC’s Skip Prosser Award, presented annually to the conference’s top scholar-athlete in men’s basketball.

Suns hire Jeff Fish as director of performance and head strength and conditioning coach

The Phoenix Suns have named Jeff Fish as director of performance and head strength and conditioning coach. Fish brings to the Suns’ athletic training staff over 25 years of experience as a performance director and strength and conditioning coach in professional and collegiate sports.

In his role, he will be responsible for strength and conditioning, player performance, nutrition and applied sports science, and will work closely with Senior Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance Aaron Nelson and his staff on injury prevention, rehabilitation and rest/recovery.

Fish joins the Suns after most recently operating his own Atlanta-based performance training company, Jeff Fish Performance, and has also served as a performance consultant with the Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders. Prior to that, Fish spent five years (2008-13) as director of athletic performance with the Atlanta Falcons, the first person to hold that title for any NFL team, as the Falcons had the winningest five-season stretch in franchise history, winning two NFC South division titles and making four playoff appearances. During his time with the Falcons, Fish began the implementation of movement efficiency assessments at the NFL Combine.

In addition to the Falcons, Fish holds NFL experience of four seasons as head strength and conditioning coach with the Oakland Raiders (2004-07) and three seasons as assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Kansas City Chiefs (1998-2000). Fish has also held positions with Division I collegiate programs, serving as director of strength and conditioning at the University of Missouri (2001-04), head strength and conditioning coach at the University of Tulsa (1995-98) and Kent State University (1993-95), and strength and conditioning assistant at Clemson University (1991-93).

A graduate of Western Carolina University where he was a wide receiver on the football team, Fish also holds a Master’s in Physical Education and Exercise Science from Western Michigan University where he was a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach. The Ithaca, New York native is a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), certified strength and conditioning coach (SCCC) and licensed massage therapist (LMT).

Brandon Knight out for year with knee injury

Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight has sustained a torn ACL in his left knee and will undergo surgery, it was determined following an examination with Head Team Physician Dr. Tom Carter. The injury occurred last week while Knight was playing in his native South Florida. A timetable for his return will be determined at a later date, though he is expected to miss the 2017-18 season.

For his career, Knight holds averages of 15.2 points, 4.3 assists and 3.3 rebounds in 382 games with Detroit, Milwaukee and the Suns. Knight averaged 11.0 points, 2.4 assists and 2.2 rebounds over 54 appearances in 2016-17, his sixth NBA season and third with the Suns after initially being acquired by the team in February of 2015.

Suns hire James Jones as VP of Basketball Operations

The Phoenix Suns announced today they have agreed to a multiyear contract extension with General Manager Ryan McDonough and added former Suns forward and 14-year NBA veteran James Jones as Vice President of Basketball Operations. Jones will report to McDonough and work alongside him to oversee all basketball-related matters for the Suns, including the draft, free agency and trades.

“I would like to thank [Managing Partner] Robert [Sarver] and his partners for extending my agreement with this great franchise,” said McDonough. “We have laid the foundation for what we hope will become the next championship caliber Suns team. There is still a lot of work to be done to reach our ultimate goal of bringing a championship to Phoenix so we are thrilled to add James Jones to our staff.”

“James has a wealth of experiences that will greatly benefit our organization. He is a three-time NBA Champion and has been one of the top executives with the National Basketball Players Association over the past few years. We welcome ‘Champ’ and his family to our Phoenix Suns family.”

McDonough, entering his fifth season as the team’s general manager, has overseen the Suns assemble some of the game’s brightest young stars with five first-round picks made in his tenure currently on the roster. Included in this group are Devin Booker, who became just the sixth player to ever score at least 70 points in a game and has totaled the fourth-most points in NBA history before turning 21 years old, Josh Jackson, the fourth overall pick in 2017 named All-NBA Summer League First Team while making his professional debut in Las Vegas this month, and T.J. Warren, one of the league’s most efficient scoring wings. The team’s 2016 draft haul has already shown its promise with the versatile Marquese Chriss earning NBA All-Rookie Second Team honors and floor general Tyler Ulis winning Western Conference Rookie of the Month for April, while Dragan Bender has flashed the all-around skill that made him the fourth overall selection.

In addition to his success on draft night, McDonough has orchestrated the acquisitions of one of basketball’s top point guards in Eric Bledsoe, as well as veteran leaders Tyson Chandler, one of the league’s best rebounders, and Jared Dudley, one of the league’s most consistent three-point shooters. The Suns also possess a collection of upcoming first-round draft picks acquired under McDonough’s watch.

Named runner-up for NBA Executive of the Year in 2014 after overseeing the league’s biggest turnaround in 2013-14, McDonough initially joined the Suns as general manager on May 7, 2013. He came to Phoenix following 10 seasons in several levels of basketball operations with the Boston Celtics, serving as assistant general manager for the final three and helping the team to an NBA title in 2008. Throughout his career with two of the NBA’s most historic franchises, McDonough has utilized a tireless work ethic to hone an expertise in player evaluation.

Jones played two seasons with the Suns and they were two of the most successful in franchise history as he was a member of the 2005-06 team that won 54 games and advanced to the Western Conference Finals, as well as the 2006-07 team that won 61 games and advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals. He contributed to two Pacific Division titles in his two seasons in Phoenix, averaging 7.8 points and 2.8 rebounds in 151 regular-season games with the team while shooting 38.2 percent from behind the arc.

Formerly the Secretary-Treasurer for the National Basketball Players Association, Jones comes to the Suns after most recently appearing in 48 regular-season and eight playoff games for the Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016-17. In each of his final seven seasons as a player, Jones reached the NBA Finals to join his teammate for all seven LeBron James and six Boston Celtics Hall of Famers from the 1950s and 1960s as the only players in NBA history to do so in at least seven consecutive seasons. Jones is a three-time NBA Champion, winning rings with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013, and with the Cavaliers in 2016.

Overall, Jones averaged 5.2 points and 1.8 rebounds in 15.7 minutes while shooting 40.1 percent from three-point range in 709 career regular-season games over 14 seasons with five NBA teams. He never played for a team that finished below .500 and only once missed the playoffs as he appeared in 148 career playoff games, averaging 3.7 points and 1.6 rebounds in 13.4 minutes for his postseason career.

In addition to his two seasons with the Suns, Jones played two seasons with the Indiana Pacers (2003-05), one season with the Portland Trail Blazers (2007-08), six seasons with the Heat (2008-14) and three seasons with the Cavaliers (2014-17). A native of Miami, Jones is a member of the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame as he starred collegiately for the Hurricanes before being selected by the Pacers with the 49th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. He and his wife, Destiny, have three children.

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