Archive for the ‘ Phoenix Suns Blog ’ Category

tony mitchell

The Phoenix Suns have traded forward Anthony Tolliver to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for forward Tony Mitchell.

Mitchell, who was drafted 37th overall by the Pistons in the 2013 NBA Draft out of the University of North Texas, has averaged 8.2 points and 7.2 rebounds in six games with the Grand Rapids Drive of the NBA Development League this season. The 6-9, 235-pound forward appeared in 21 games with Detroit last season, averaging 1.0 points and 1.2 rebounds.

anthony tolliver

Tolliver, 29, has played in 24 games for the Suns this season averaging 3.3 points and 1.8 rebounds while shooting 38.7% from three-point range. The six-year NBA veteran owns career averages of 5.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in 331 games (53 starts) with San Antonio (2008-09), Portland (2009), Golden State (2010), Minnesota (2010-12), Atlanta (2012-13), Charlotte (2013-14) and Phoenix (2014). The Springfield, MO product has scored in double-figures 79 times during his career, including 10 games with 20-plus points and two games with 30-plus points. He’s also recorded 20 career games with double-digit rebounds and tallied 16 career double-doubles. A former All-Missouri Valley Conference first team member from Creighton, where he played collegiately, Tolliver has accumulated 10 games of NBA playoff experience with Atlanta (six games in 2012-13) and Charlotte (four games in 2013-14) where he averaged 3.0 points and 1.3 rebounds per game. He’s recorded NBA career highs of 34 points (4/7/10 at Minnesota), 21 rebounds (3/27/10 vs. Dallas) and four blocks (3/27/11 vs. Boston).

The Suns’ roster now stands at 15 players

Here’s Arizona Sports reporting on Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic, who with an adjusted role isn’t doing quite as big things on the basketball court as he did in 2013-14:

Goran Dragic still adjusting to new Suns additions

Dragic’s numbers have dropped from his All-NBA Third Team performance last season, when he averaged 20.3 points on 50.5 percent from the field and 40.8 percent from three-point range.

One of the main reasons for this decrease is Dragic’s new role on the team. With the arrival of Isaiah Thomas, Dragic has spent most of his time at the shooting guard position, while Thomas and Eric Bledsoe split the point guard duties. Dragic said it’s been a difficult transition for him.

“It’s really hard,” Dragic told Burns and Gambo Wednesday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “It’s hard to explain, but for people working in jobs, let’s say they’re working marketing and then they move them to a different position.”

The Phoenix Suns today assigned Tyler Ennis and T.J. Warren to the Bakersfield Jam, the team’s NBA Development League affiliate.

The assignments are the seventh and eighth of the 2014-15 season and the first for both Ennis and Warren.

Phoenix Suns exercise contract options on Archie Goodwin, Alex Len, Miles Plumlee

Suns exercise contract options on Archie Goodwin, Alex Len, Miles Plumlee

The Phoenix Suns have exercised their 2015-16 options on guard Archie Goodwin, center Alex Len and center Miles Plumlee.

According to the Arizona Republic, the contract values for the 2015-16 season are: Alex Len ($3.81M), Miles Plumlee ($2.11M) and Archie Goodwin ($1.16M).

As a rookie with the Suns last season, Goodwin averaged 3.7 points and 10.2 minutes in 52 games. The 29th overall pick in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft, Goodwin scored a career-high 29 points on 11-of-13 shooting in the Suns’ 2013-14 season finale at Sacramento.

Len was selected by the Suns with the fifth overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft and, among NBA rookies to play at least 300 minutes, ranked fifth in rebounds per 48 minutes and sixth in blocks per 48 minutes last season. The native of Ukraine averaged 2.0 points, 2.4 rebounds and 8.6 minutes in 42 appearances, including three starts.

Plumlee enjoyed a breakthrough season in his first with the Suns and second in the NBA in 2013-14, averaging team-highs of 7.8 rebounds and 1.13 blocks in addition to 8.1 points in 80 games (79 starts). Acquired by the Suns in a trade from Indiana prior to last season, Plumlee had a team-high 23 double-digit rebounding games and tied for the team-lead with 11 double-doubles.

Suns waive Earl Barron

Suns waive Earl Barron

Suns waive Earl Barron

The Phoenix Suns have waived center Earl Barron.

A seven-year NBA veteran and considered fairly solid as backup who provides bench depth, Barron signed with the Suns on Sept. 26. In six preseason appearances, Barron averaged 3.7 points and 4.3 rebounds in 13.7 minutes.

The Suns’ roster now stands at 15 players.

TJ Warren

Phoenix Suns forward T.J. Warren has sustained a small crack in a bone in his left thumb. He will be treated with a splint and rest. There is no timetable for his return.

Warren, a rookie from North Carolina State, was selected by the Suns with the 14th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. He has averaged 5.0 points and 12.2 minutes in five preseason appearances.

Alex Len suffers fracture in finger

Alex Len suffers fracture in finger

Phoenix Suns center Alex Len is sidelined with a fracture of the right hand fifth finger (pinky). He will be re-evaluated next Wednesday, October 15.

The Suns begin preseason play tomorrow, Oct. 8, against Flamengo of the Brazilian national league at US Airways Center. The game will tip at 7 p.m. and will be televised by FOX Sports Arizona and carried on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

Here’s Arizona Sports reporting on the Phoenix Suns offensive plans, which involve running, and more running.

Phoenix Suns offensive plan: More running

Push the pace.

It is the one phrase that has been spoken the most thus far here at Phoenix Suns training camp.

“We want to play even faster than we did last year,” forward P.J. Tucker said.

Last year, the Suns ranked eighth in the NBA in pace of play, a statistic used to measure the number of possessions per 48 minutes.

“We want to pick that up. We want to be one, two or three,” head coach Jeff Hornacek said. “Really try to get the ball out of bounds and go with it. Put pressure on the other teams. We have a deep team so we feel we can do that. And that’s us pushing these guys to get in that type of shape you need to be to do that.”

It took almost the entire NBA offseason to hammer out, but the Phoenix Suns and talented young guard Eric Bledsoe will stay together.

The Suns and Bledsoe have agreed to a five-year contract, the team announced today.

“I learned long ago that it doesn’t matter how stormy the sea is as long as the ship comes in and today we are thrilled that the ship has come in and Eric will remain a Sun for a long time,” said President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. “He will be an integral part not only of our basketball team, but our Phoenix community.”

“We are thrilled Eric Bledsoe will be in a Phoenix Suns uniform for years to come,” said General Manager Ryan McDonough. “Eric is one the most exciting and dynamic two-way players in the league. He played very well for us on both ends of the floor last season and we feel he is well on his way to establishing himself as one of the elite players in the NBA.”

“Lon, Ryan and the Suns have shown confidence in me, and I am looking to take that responsibility and help our team get better from last year and position ourselves to win an NBA championship,” said Bledsoe. “It’s why I came back to Phoenix. All summer, I knew that I really would be most comfortable coming back to Phoenix because of the great fans, my Suns teammates and our coaches. I am very happy it was able to work out this way.”

Bledsoe appeared in 43 games (40 starts) 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, 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.

Bledsoe registered his first two games with at least 30 points this past season, twice setting his career-high in the final month of the season, scoring 30 points at Portland on April 4, and again at San Antonio on April 11. In that contest against the Spurs, Bledsoe also had 11 rebounds and nine assists to become the first Sun since 1999 to have a game with at least 30 points, ten rebounds and nine assists. Bledsoe recorded a career-high 14 assists in addition to scoring 26 points at Oklahoma City on Nov. 3, in just his third game with the Suns.

Acquired by the Suns from the Los Angeles Clippers in a three-team trade on July 10, 2013, Bledsoe excelled in his first season as a full-time starter, helping the Suns to a 28-15 (.651) record in the 43 games in which he played. Bledsoe notched 17 games with 20-plus points in 2013-14 after entering the season with four such games in his first three seasons combined.

Prior to joining the Suns, Bledsoe played the first three seasons of his professional career with the Clippers. Bledsoe, a native of Birmingham, Ala., played one season at the University of Kentucky before entering the 2010 NBA Draft where he was selected in the first round with the 18th overall pick.

The Suns’ roster stands at 14.

Timberwolves interested in Eric Bledsoe

Talented guard Eric Bledsoe is still unsigned, which comes as a surprise. But then you factor in his reported quest for a maximum-level NBA contract, and his availability becomes more understandable. Here’s ESPN.com with the latest:

Timberwolves interested in Eric Bledsoe

With just days before the start of training camp, the Minnesota Timberwolves are making a final push to acquire restricted free-agent guard Eric Bledsoe in a sign-and-trade with the Phoenix Suns, sources told ESPN.com.

The Wolves are offering Bledsoe the four-year, $63 million maximum level contract that he has been seeking, sources said, but because of cap restrictions, the only way he can join the team as currently constructed is through a sign-and-trade deal. Bledsoe and the Suns have been in a stalemate all summer after the team offered him a four-year, $48 million deal in July.

This is a renewal of talks that have stretched over the past several months. The teams had discussions involving a Kevin Love trade that would involve Bledsoe but never made serious traction on a deal.

Video: Best Suns plays of 2013-14 season

The Phoenix Suns finished the 2013-14 season with a 48-34 record, just barely missing the playoffs in an incredibly competitive Western conference, but still winning many more games than expected. Enjoy these video highlights of some of their best plays from a still-successful season:

Isaiah Thomas undergoes left wrist surgery

Phoenix Suns guard Isaiah Thomas today underwent a successful arthroscopy of his left wrist, the team has announced. He is expected to participate fully in the team’s training camp. The procedure was performed by Dr. Michelle Carlson at the Hospital for Special Surgeries in New York.

The Suns acquired Thomas from the Sacramento Kings in a sign-and-trade on July 12. A product of the University of Washington, 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. For his career, Thomas holds averages of 15.3 points on 44.7 percent shooting from the field, 36.0 percent from behind the arc and 85.7 percent from the stripe.

P.J. Tucker suspended 3 games after DUI

P.J. Tucker suspended 3 games after DUI

Phoenix Suns’ forward P.J. Tucker has been suspended three games without pay for pleading guilty to driving while under the extreme influence of intoxicating liquor, in violation of the law of the State of Arizona, the NBA announced today.

Tucker’s suspension will begin with the first game of the 2014-15 NBA regular season.

Suns sign first-round draft picks T.J. Warren and Tyler Ennis

The Phoenix Suns have signed 2014 first-round draft picks T.J. Warren (14th overall selection) and Tyler Ennis (18th overall), the team announced today.

All first-round NBA draft picks are guaranteed to receive a contract, assuming they wish to play in the league right away. Therefore, these signings are standard and were expected.

Both Warren and Ennis made their Suns’ debuts as members of Phoenix’s entry at NBA Summer League 2014 in Las Vegas. Warren was named to the All-NBA Summer League Second Team after averaging a team-high 17.8 points on 54.4 percent shooting, while Ennis posted team-highs of 3.2 assists and 1.6 steals in addition to 4.2 points and 4.0 rebounds.

Warren, a 6-foot-8 forward from Durham, N.C., earned Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Player of the Year honors this past season to complete a two-year career at North Carolina State. In his sophomore season, Warren ranked third in the nation with 24.9 points per game while also averaging 7.1 rebounds and shooting an ACC-best 52.5 percent from the field. Named a Second Team AP All-American, Warren also excelled on the defensive end, leading the ACC in steals in conference games.

One of the best scorers in this year’s draft, Warren is a creative shot-maker who can get points in a variety of ways. Warren set a single-season North Carolina State record with 871 points this past season, including a career-high 42 points against Boston College. Warren became just the third player in ACC history to lead the conference in scoring and field goal percentage in the same season, in addition to posting back-to-back games with 40-plus points to join Hall of Famer David Thompson as the only two players to do so in Wolfpack history.

A 6-foot-3, 19-year-old from Brampton, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto, Ennis is considered to be one of the best pure point guards in recent drafts. Ennis played one season at Syracuse, earning All-ACC Second Team honors after averaging 12.9 points and 5.5 assists in 2013-14. Ennis has also shined in international competition, leading Canada with a tournament-high 20.8 points per game at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship.

One of the most clutch players in college basketball as a freshman, Ennis earned a reputation for his late-game heroics, including a buzzer-beater from near half-court in Syracuse’s win at Pittsburgh. Ennis’ poise was also on display with his superb decision-making as he ranked sixth in the nation with a 3.60 assist-to-turnover ratio.

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.

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