Archive for the ‘ Phoenix Suns Blog ’ Category

Spurs win 2015 summer league championship

Spurs win 2015 summer league championship

Here’s the Arizona Republic reporting on the Spurs and Suns, who Monday in Las Vegas battled for the 2015 summer league championship:

The Suns’ Summer League rotation of hot scoring hands turned to rookie free agent Mike James on Monday night, but even his 32-point game was not enough to bring the league tournament’s championship trophy to Phoenix.

James scored 23 second-half points, but San Antonio overcame an early 10-point hole to down the Suns 93-90 at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

The Suns ended the 24-team tournament with their sloppiest game. They committed 18 turnovers and had three players – T.J. Warren, Archie Goodwin and Devin Booker – foul out as the Summer League’s first female head coach, Becky Hammon, led the Spurs (6-1) to a win with two roster players – league MVP Kyle Anderson and championship-game MVP Jonathan Simmons.

James, an explosive 6-foot-1 point guard, hit 10 of 18 shots with 3-of-6 shooting from the 3-point line and 9-for-11 free throw shooting. He also had eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and five turnovers.

Watch T.J. Warren of the Phoenix Suns do big things at summer league in Vegas:

suns sign Mirza Teletovic

The Phoenix Suns have signed forward Mirza Teletovic (pronounced MEER-za Tel-LET-O-Vich), guard/forward Sonny Weems and guard Ronnie Price.

“We have followed Mirza Teletovic’s career for a long time and we are excited to have him wear a Suns uniform,” said General Manager Ryan McDonough. “Mirza is one of the best shooting big men in the world and we think his skill set will be a great fit for our style of play.”

“Sonny Weems has been one of the best players outside of the NBA over the past few years,” added McDonough. “We’ve seen him dominate high-level competition at both ends of the floor and we think his versatility and experience help solidify our wing rotation.”

“The Suns are pleased to welcome Ronnie Price and his family back to Phoenix,” said President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. “As we know, Ronnie is the consummate professional and a great teammate.”

The 6-9, 242-pound Teletovic is a three-year NBA veteran who owns career averages of 7.0 points and 3.4 rebounds in 165 career games. Teletovic has played all three NBA seasons with the Brooklyn Nets and had his best statistical campaign in 2014-15 when he averaged a career-high 8.5 points, a career-best 4.9 rebounds and a career-high 1.2 assists in 40 games before being diagnosed with bilateral pulmonary embolous (multiple blood clots in the lungs) on Jan. 23. He was cleared to resume all basketball-related activities on April 17.

The native of Bosnia is a career 40.1 percent shooter from the floor, including 36.2 percent from three-point range, whose 7.0-point career average has come on 6.3 field goal attempts per game.

Prior to joining the Nets on July 16, 2012, Teletovic played six of his 10 professional seasons overseas with Caja Laboral Baskonia (2006-12) of the Spanish ACB League. With Caja Laboral Baskonia, he won the 2007-08 and 2009-10 Spanish National Championship and averaged 12.4 points (45.1 FG%, 40.5 3FG%), 4.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.0 blocks in 120 Euroleague games.

Weems, a native of West Memphis, Ark., has been a standout the past three seasons with CSKA Moscow of the Euroleague and Russia’s top national league, the VTB United League. An All-Euroleague First Team selection in 2013-14, Weems averaged 13.0 points (44.6 FG%, 36.9 3FG%, 78.7 FT%), 3.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 0.9 steals and 28.1 minutes in 83 Euroleague games over his three seasons with CSKA. Weems also played 83 VTB United League games with CSKA, averaging 11.2 points (45.7 FG%, 41.4 3FG%, 71.1 FT%), 2.9 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 0.8 steals in 24.8 minutes.

The athletic 6-6, 205-pound wing is a three-year NBA veteran who last played with the Toronto Raptors during the 2010-11 season when he averaged a career-high 9.2 points on 44.4 percent shooting in 59 games (28 starts). The 29-year-old also played with the Raptors in 2009-10 after spending his rookie season with the Denver Nuggets in 2008-09. For his NBA career, Weems has averaged 7.7 points on 47.4 percent shooting, 2.5 rebounds and 20.3 minutes in 140 games (47 starts).

A second-round selection (39th overall) by the Chicago Bulls in the 2008 NBA Draft, Weems earned All-SEC First Team honors as a senior at the University of Arkansas in 2007-08 after averaging a team-best 15.0 points for the Razorbacks.

The 6-2, 190-pound Price is a 10-year NBA veteran who owns career averages of 3.6 points, 1.7 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 468 games. The 32-year-old guard previously signed with the Suns on Dec. 13, 2011 and averaged 3.6 points, 1.9 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 36 games. In total, he has played for six NBA teams, the Sacramento Kings (2005-07), Utah Jazz (2007-11), Suns (2011-12), Portland Trail Blazers (2012-13), Orlando Magic (2013-14) and most recently with the Los Angeles Lakers (2014-15). Price’s best statistical season came in 2014-15 with the Lakers when he averaged a career-high 5.1 points, career-best 3.8 assists and a career-high tying 1.6 rebounds in 43 games.

Undrafted out of college, Price was a four-year performer at Utah Valley State College (now Utah Valley University) and the first player to enter the NBA directly from that school, the second in the league overall (Travis Hansen, 2003-04).

The Suns have waived guard Jerel McNeal. McNeal played in six games with the Suns in 2014-15, totaling nine points in 36 minutes after initially signing with the team on April 1.

Suns re-sign Brandon Knight to big contract

The Phoenix Suns have re-signed guard Brandon Knight to a multi-year contract, the team announced today.

According to multiple reports from earlier in July, it is a five-year, $70 million deal.

“We are delighted to have reached a multi-year agreement with Brandon,” said President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. “He will be an integral member of our team on the court and will enhance our culture with his leadership and professionalism.”

Knight appeared in 63 games last season, including 11 games with the Suns after being acquired from the Milwaukee Bucks on Feb. 19, posting 17.0 points per game with his shooting marks of 42.2 percent from the field, 38.9 percent from three-point range and 87.4 percent from the free-throw line each representing career bests. He also averaged career-highs of 5.2 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.4 steals. At just 23 years of age, Knight was the second-youngest qualified player in the NBA to average at least 15 points and five assists in 2014-15 with only Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving being younger.

Finishing in the top-30 on the league leaderboard in scoring average, assists per game, steals per game, three-point percentage and free-throw percentage, Knight joined Golden State’s Stephen Curry, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul and Irving as the only four players to rank in the top-30 in each category in 2014-15. Knight scored 20-plus points on 25 occasions last season, including a season-high 34 points vs. Charlotte on Dec. 23 while with Milwaukee and 28 points in a Suns win at Orlando on March 4.

A four-year NBA veteran, the 6-3 guard with a 6-7 wingspan holds career averages of 15.2 points (41.7 FG%, 36.5 3FG%, 79.6 FT%), 4.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 32.4 minutes in 276 games (265 starts) with Detroit (2011-13), Milwaukee (2013-15) and the Suns. Knight earned 2011-12 NBA All-Rookie First Team honors following his first season with the Pistons and twice played in the Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend in 2012 and 2013.

Knight was originally selected with eighth overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft by Detroit following one season at the University of Kentucky in 2010-11. While at Kentucky, the South Florida native earned All-SEC Second Team honors after setting school freshman records in scoring and three-point field goals made. Knight was named the NCAA East Region Most Outstanding Player after leading the Wildcats to the Final Four for the first time since 1998, ending the longest Final Four drought in the prestigious program’s history.

The Suns’ roster stands at 13

Suns sign first round draft pick Devin Booker

The Phoenix Suns have signed first-round pick Devin Booker, the 13th overall selection of the 2015 NBA Draft.

All first round draft picks are guaranteed to receive a contract. So, this signing is standard and was expected.

Booker has made his Suns debut as a member of Phoenix’s entry at NBA Summer League 2015 in Las Vegas where he has averaged 8.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals through two games. Booker and the Suns return to action tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. (Phoenix time) against the Utah Jazz with the game to be televised on NBA TV.

Booker, widely considered to be the best three-point shooter in this year’s draft, earned Southeastern Conference (SEC) Sixth Man of the Year, Second Team All-SEC and All-SEC Freshman Team honors following his one season at Kentucky in 2014-15. The 6-6, 206-pound marksman averaged 10.0 points for the Wildcats and displayed his fluid shooting stroke, connecting on 47.0 percent of his field goals, 41.1 percent of his three-pointers and 82.8 percent of his free throws.

A mature 18-year-old possessing a high basketball IQ, Booker helped the Wildcats to a 38-1 record this past season with the 38 wins tying for the most in NCAA history as Kentucky also won the SEC regular-season and tournament titles on its way to becoming the first undefeated team to reach the Final Four since UNLV in 1991. Booker ranked second on the Wildcats with 20 double-digit scoring games and led the conference by earning SEC Freshman of the Week honors on five occasions.

Booker, a native of Grand Rapids, Mich., was named a 2014 McDonald’s All-American after averaging 30.9 points as a senior at Moss Point High School in Moss Point, Miss. Booker’s father, Melvin, had a distinguished collegiate career at the University of Missouri before playing in 32 NBA games with the Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors over the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons followed by several seasons playing professionally in Italy, Turkey and Russia.

Suns sign Tyson Chandler

Suns sign Tyson Chandler

The Phoenix Suns yesterday signed Tyson Chandler, one of the league’s premier defensive post players and owner of the second-highest field goal percentage in NBA history, to a multiyear contract.

“Tyson Chandler will be a leader on and off the court,” said President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. “His physical stature is matched by his immense presence as an individual of high character who is highly respected by the NBA community. It is an honor to welcome this NBA Champion and All-Star to Phoenix.”

The 7-1, 240-pound center is a 14-year NBA veteran whose extensive resume is highlighted by the 2011-12 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, a 2013 All-Star appearance, three NBA All-Defensive team selections, 2011-12 All-NBA Third Team recognition, an NBA Championship as a member of the 2011 Dallas Mavericks and a Gold Medal representing Team USA at the 2012 London Olympic Games. With a career field goal percentage of 59.1 percent, Chandler also possesses the second-highest field goal percentage in NBA history among those with at least 2,000 makes, trailing only Hall of Famer Artis Gilmore.

In 75 games with Dallas last season, Chandler averaged a double-double with 10.3 points on 66.6 percent shooting and 11.5 rebounds, in addition to 1.2 blocks. With his third season averaging a double-double while shooting at least 60 percent from the field, Chandler matched the legendary Wilt Chamberlain and joined Gilmore as the only players in league history to accomplish this as least three times in their careers. In four games against the Suns in 2014-15, Chandler excelled with three double-doubles while averaging 14.0 points (61.3 percent from the field, 78.2 percent from the free-throw line) and 16.5 rebounds.

For his career, Chandler holds averages of 8.8 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 920 games with the Chicago Bulls (2001-06), New Orleans Hornets (2006-09), Charlotte Bobcats (2009-10), Mavericks (2010-11, 2014-15) and New York Knicks (2011-14). He has posted 253 career double-doubles with 405 games scoring in double figures, including 34 with 20-plus points, and 412 games with double-digit rebounds, including 26 with 20-plus boards.

The second overall selection of the 2001 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers, Chandler was traded to the Bulls shortly after being selected. A Southern California native, Chandler was drafted out of high school after attending Dominguez in Compton, Calif., the same high school as former Suns Dennis Johnson and Cedric Ceballos.

The Arizona Republic reports the following:

Tyson Chandler comes into Phoenix with his 7-foot-3 wingspan spread wide, ready to wipe out so many of the stains of the Suns’ last season.

Beyond being a much-needed instant and undisputed leader, Chandler is a basketball fit for the jagged holes of the Suns’ on-court puzzle last season.

The Suns had the fifth-worst rebounding percentage team in the NBA. Enter the No. 5 rebounder in the league last season, when he posted the best rebounding percentage of his 14-year career.

The Suns wanted to improve their rim protection, post defense, pick-and-roll coverage and defensive communication. It is the defensive role Chandler was born to play.

Suns trade Marcus Morris, Danny Granger and Reggie Bullock to Pistons

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has acquired forward Marcus Morris, guard Reggie Bullock and forward-guard Danny Granger from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for a 2020 second round draft selection.

Morris, 25, appeared in 81 games (35 starts) with Phoenix last season averaging career highs in points (10.4 ppg), rebounds (4.8 rpg), assists (1.6 apg) and minutes (25.2 mpg). He scored in double-figures 39 times, including five games with 20-plus points and one 30-plus point game. Morris recorded a career-high 34 points (11-17 FG, 5-7 3FG, 7-8 FT) and 12 rebounds vs. Utah (2/6), his first career 30-point game and his first career double-double. He became the first Suns player to record at least 30 points and 10 rebounds off the bench since Danny Manning during the 1997-98 season. Morris finished the season with five double-doubles and led the Suns in scoring six times, rebounds nine times, assists twice, steals 12 times and blocks seven times. He also tied a career-long streak with seven straight games scoring in double-figures from March 21-April 2. Morris grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds (12 defensive) vs. New Orleans (3/19). He also set a career-high and tied a Suns season-high with six made three-pointers at Sacramento (12/26). The four-year NBA pro was selected 14th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets. He owns career averages of 8.9 points and 3.9 rebounds in 257 games (59 starts), including 9.5 points and 4.1 rebounds in 186 games (45 starts) with Phoenix.

Bullock, 24, completed his second NBA season with averages of 1.9 points, 1.4 rebounds and 9.4 minutes in 36 games (two starts) with Phoenix and the Los Angeles Clippers. The Suns acquired Bullock on January 15 in a midseason three-team trade. Bullock recorded two double-figure scoring games last season, both while with the Clippers, including a season-high 12 points vs. Utah (11/3). Drafted by the Clippers with the 25th overall selection in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft, Bullock owns career averages of 2.3 points, 1.3 rebounds and 9.3 minutes in 79 games.

Granger, 32, appeared in 30 games (six starts) with the Miami HEAT last season before being acquired by the Suns, averaging 6.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 20.4 minutes per game. He did not see playing time with the Suns as he was working with the training staff to improve his health. The 10-year NBA veteran who has appeared in 586 regular season games (431 starts) with the Indiana Pacers (2005-14), Los Angeles Clippers (2013-14) and Miami HEAT (2014-15), owns averages of 16.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.0 steals and 31.5 minutes per game.

Suns to add Tyson Chandler

Now this is big. Literally — because Tyson Chandler is really tall — and figuratively, because Chandler is good and as a defensive-minded center should bump the Suns up just enough to make more noise in the Western conference playoff race. The Suns still face a very uphill battle to qualify for the postseason in an incredibly difficult conference, but Chandler will be a very nice addition.

In this move, Phoenix is getting a nice, key piece. Here’s the Arizona Republic reporting:

Suns to add Tyson Chandler

The Suns wanted size, defense, rebounding and leadership and went for it in 32-year-old center Tyson Chandler.

The Suns kicked off free agency by setting on a five-year, $70 million contract with guard Brandon Knight, which matches Eric Bledsoe’s deal from September, and added Chandler to fortify their middle as they continued pursued of star free agent LaMarcus Aldridge.

Sources confirmed agreements for Knight and Chandler with ESPN.com reporting that Chandler’s deal will be worth $52 million over four years. The Suns entered free agency with $12 million of cap space but could create more space. They have $16.2 million in cap holds for Brandan Wright and Gerald Green and a $5.5 million trade exception from the Goran Dragic deal.

Chandler is a 14-year veteran who was the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2011-12.

The Dallas Mavericks, meanwhile, are in serious transition and face a lot of difficult decisions as Dirk Nowitzki’s career starts to wind down.

Suns meet with LaMarcus Aldridge

Every NBA team in need of a big-man with serious game is interested in Portland Trail Blazers free agent powe forward LaMarcus Aldridge. The Phoenix Suns are included in that mix. Here’s the Arizona Republic reporting:

Suns meet with LaMarcus Aldridge

The Suns’ Wednesday meeting with free agent LaMarcus Aldridge might have closed some ground in their chase for a much-needed star.

With an intricate plan in place for the first day of free agency, the Suns showed Aldridge what type of team that they envision being before they even met with him. The Suns opened free agency by adding veteran center Tyson Chandler with a four-year, $52 million agreement and by coming to terms to keep guard Brandon Knight on a five-year, $70 million contract.

Those were important to do first because Chandler and Knight were along for the ride when the Suns brought an eight-man contingent for a two-hour meeting with Aldridge, who is believed to be mainly considering San Antonio, Houston, Dallas and Phoenix.

The meeting was broken into segments, starting with Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver meeting alone with Aldridge. President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby and General Manager Ryan McDonough had the next meeting.

We’re just one day into free agent negotiations and it’s already fascinating.

 

With free agent negotiations set to begin Wednesday, reports will start to trickle out regarding decisions various teams and players are making. Here’s a big one, from the Racine Journal Times:

brandon knight

Brandon Knight’s ship is about to come in.

Knight, whom the Milwaukee Bucks traded to the Phoenix Suns in February in a multiple-team deal, appears on the brink of signing a lucrative long-term contract to remain with the Suns.

I’ve been told by an NBA official that Knight, who’ll become a restricted free agent on July 1, will sign a five-year, $70 million contract with the Suns.

Knight, who is 23, was enjoying an All-Star caliber season – 17.8 points and 5.4 assists — before the Bucks surprisingly sent him to the Suns.

He then played 11 games for the Suns, averaging 13.4 and 4.5 assists. After suffering an ankle injury March 9, Knight missed 16 of the Suns’ final 17 games. He underwent minor arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle in April.

The Memphis Grizzlies acquired the draft rights to Kentucky guard Andrew Harrison, who was selected with the No. 44 overall pick in the second round of the 2015 NBA Draft, from the Phoenix Suns for forward Jon Leuer, General Manager Chris Wallace announced tonight.

Harrison (6-6, 210) played two seasons (2013-15) at the University of Kentucky, averaging 10.1 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 28.6 minutes in 79 games and starting in all but one game in his tenure. His 298 assists rank 16th in the Wildcats’ record books and are the most for a two-year player in program history.

Playing alongside his twin brother Aaron Harrison, the 20-year-old averaged 9.3 points, 2.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 25.5 minutes in 39 games (all starts) while shooting .383 from three-point range as a sophomore last season, helping Kentucky become the first team ever to post a 38-0 record before falling to Wisconsin in the 2015 NCAA Final Four. The Wildcats’ win total tied the most in NCAA history.

As a freshman, the San Antonio native recorded 10.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 31.7 minutes in 40 games (39 starts), ranking third in UK freshman single-season history with 159 assists. He averaged 15.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists as a senior at Travis High School where he directed the squad to a state title in 2013.

Harrison is one of six Wildcats to be drafted in the 2015 NBA Draft, joining Karl-Anthony Towns (No. 1 overall), Willie Cauley-Stein (No. 6), Trey Lyles (No. 12), Devin Booker (No. 13) and Dakari Johnson (No. 48).

Leuer (6-10, 228) holds career averages of 4.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in 11.9 minutes in 186 games (18 starts) over four seasons (2011-15) with the Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Memphis Grizzlies. The 26-year-old registered 4.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 11.9 minutes in 131 games (six starts) during his tenure in Memphis.

The Long Lake, Minn. native was selected by Milwaukee in the second round (40th overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft after a four-year career at the University of Wisconsin.

Logical move, since Granger’s value is low right now

Danny Granger exercises option to stay with Suns

Phoenix Suns forward Danny Granger has exercised the one-year player option on his contract for the 2015-16 season.

Granger, a 10-year NBA veteran and one-time All-Star, was acquired by the Suns from the Miami Heat in a trade on Feb. 19, 2015. The 6-9 wing out of the University of New Mexico holds career averages of 16.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 586 games with the Indiana Pacers (2005-14), Los Angeles Clippers (2013-14) and Miami (2014-15).

The Phoenix Suns have announced today that President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby will be transitioning to the position of Senior Advisor as of August 1, 2015. At that time Ryan McDonough will lead the Basketball Operations Department from his position as General Manager with continued support from Assistant General Managers Pat Connelly and Trevor Bukstein. All three individuals will take on increasing responsibilities within the organization and are signed to multiyear contracts.

As Senior Advisor, Babby will provide strategic counsel and input to the Basketball Operations Department as well as to the entire Suns organization. He will continue to play an active role in contract negotiations and salary cap management. Babby will continue to be based in Phoenix and as part of his new role will spend at least 50 percent of his time working on Suns matters.

“I am grateful that Robert has accommodated my wish to reduce my work load, while remaining a vital part of the Suns organization. At this stage of my career, I welcome the flexibility that comes with this new role, a flexibility that will enable me to do other things that are important to me both personally and in the community. I feel particularly confident in making this transition because of the quality of leadership in place within the organization,” said Babby.

Managing Partner Robert Sarver on the transition: “Lon has served the Suns well for the last five years. I am pleased that he will remain with the Suns and continue to bring his expertise and value to the organization.”

Babby joined the Suns organization in August of 2010 after a storied 35-year career as a practicing attorney with DC-based Williams & Connolly, LLP. Named one of “Washington’s Top Lawyers” for sports and media law by Washingtonian magazine, one of the “20 Most Influential Agents” in the nation by Sports Business Journal and one of the 100 Most Powerful People in Sports by The Sporting News, the well-regarded player agent entered player representation in 1994. At that time, he had long been involved in sports representation on the team side, first with the NFL’s Washington Redskins (1977-84) and then MLB’s Baltimore Orioles (1979-94.)

Babby hired McDonough in May 2013 and the two, along with Head Coach Jeff Hornacek, orchestrated the biggest turnaround in the NBA in 2013-14 (from 25 to 48 wins). Following that season, McDonough was runner-up for the NBA Executive of the Year Award and Hornacek was runner-up for the NBA Coach of the Year Award.

Pondering some Suns draft prospects

Pondering some Suns draft prospects

It’s extremely hard to predict which exact players will get drafted by which exact teams, but knowing which players actually did work out for a team prior to the draft can provide a clue. Here’s the Arizona Republic pondering some Phoenix Suns draft possibilities:

There is the NBA trend of “stretch fours,” the tall power forward who can shoot 3-pointers proficiently to drag a big man out of the paint and create space for an offense.

The next level of that trend is to have a “stretch four” who also is a playmaker for when defenses chase him off the line.

Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker and Arizona’s Brandon Ashley are June 25 draft candidates for that job, and they participated in Wednesday’s Suns pre-draft workout. The Suns could consider Dekker at No. 13 and Ashley at No. 44, although he holds out hope to be a first-rounder.

As Ashley knows all too well from an Elite Eight meeting, Dekker showed the athleticism and shooting to be that type of player during the NCAA tournament. Dekker’s stock bolted to lottery range once the 6-foot-9 junior turned aggressive for a 19.2 tourney scoring average with 42 percent 3-point shooting.

Brandon Knight undergoes left ankle surgery

Brandon Knight undergoes left ankle surgery

Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle yesterday.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Richard Ferkel in Los Angeles. Knight is expected to make a full recovery.

Knight averaged 17.0 points and career-highs of 5.2 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.4 steals this past season, one of just nine players in the NBA to post at least those amounts in each of those categories. A four-year NBA veteran out of the University of Kentucky, Knight played in 11 games with the Suns this past season after being acquired in a trade from the Milwaukee Bucks on Feb. 19.

Keeping Brandon Knight is priority for Suns

The Phoenix Suns’ season is over. They finished 39-43 and failed to make the playoffs in a very tough Western conference. Here’s the Arizona Republic reporting on their roster situation:

Keeping Brandon Knight is priority for Suns

The Suns’ changes will start with those already at the end, or potential end, of contracts.

Of the seven current roster players in that situation, the only three with a good chance of returning are Brandon Knight, Brandan Wright and Danny Granger.

Gerald Green, Marcus Thornton and Earl Barron will be unrestricted free agents on July 1, and Jerel McNeal will have to prove enough in NBA Summer League to convince the Suns to allow a late July contract guarantee kick-in.

The Suns’ desire to retain Knight is an obvious priority, given that they cashed in two big chips (the Lakers’ first-round pick and Tyler Ennis) to acquire him.

Because Knight is a restricted free agent, the Suns can control that situation by either matching an offer sheet to retain him or negotiating a long-term deal directly.

Suns sign Jerel McNeal through 2015-16 season

The Phoenix Suns have signed guard Jerel McNeal through the 2015-16 season. The Suns had previously signed McNeal to a 10-day contract on April 1.

McNeal, whose first name is pronounced Jah-rell, made his NBA debut with the Suns on April 2 and has appeared in four games with the team since initially signing.

In 27 games with the Bakersfield Jam this season, McNeal averaged 18.5 points, 4.6 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.1 steals. The 6-3 guard scored a season-high 40 points on 16-of-23 shooting for the Suns’ NBA Development League affiliate on March 7 at Austin.

A two-time NBA D-League All-Star, McNeal had previously signed with an NBA team during the regular season on two occasions though he made his debut with the Suns earlier this month. The 27-year-old spent 10 days with the New Orleans Hornets from March 9-19, 2011, and ended the season with the Utah Jazz from March 27-April 17, 2013. This was McNeal’s fourth career D-League season with Bakersfield (2012-15) and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (2010-11) as he holds career averages of 18.7 points, 5.1 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 135 games.

Undrafted out of Marquette University in 2009, McNeal has participated in NBA training camps with the Los Angeles Clippers (2009), Houston Rockets (2010) and Toronto Raptors (2012) and has also played professionally in Belgium, Italy and China. McNeal played four seasons at Marquette (2005-09) where he remains the Golden Eagles’ all-time leading scorer (1,985 career points) and earned Associated Press All-America Second Team honors as a senior in 2008-09.

Alex Len undergoes surgery for broken nose

Alex Len undergoes surgery for broken nose

Phoenix Suns center Alex Len today underwent successful surgery to repair his broken nose. He is expected to be sidelined at least a week and will be re-evaluated next week.

The surgery was performed in Phoenix by Dr. Ryan Rehl. Len sustained the injury during the Suns’ game at the Portland Trail Blazers on March 30.

The second-year center is averaging 6.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 22.0 minutes in 69 games (44 starts) with the Suns this season.

Steve Nash announces retirement

Steve Nash announces retirement

Steve Nash has announced his retirement from basketball. Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting:

Steve Nash announces retirement

After a 19-year NBA career in which he twice won MVP honors, tallied the third-most assists in league history and assured his place in the Hall of Fame as one of the greatest point guards ever to play the game, Steve Nash formally announced he is walking away from the game Saturday in a letter published on The Players’ Tribune website.

“The greatest gift has been to be completely immersed in my passion and striving for something I loved so much — visualizing a ladder, climbing up to my heroes,” Nash wrote. “The obsession became my best friend. I talked to her, cherished her, fought with her and got knocked on my ass by her.

“And that is what I’m most thankful for in my career. In my entire life, in some ways. Obviously, I value my kids and my family more than the game, but in some ways having this friend — this ever-present pursuit — has made me who I am, taught me and tested me, and given me a mission that feels irreplaceable. I am so thankful. I’ve learned so many invaluable lessons about myself and about life. And of course I still have so much to learn. Another incredible gift.”

Nash, who didn’t play this season with the Los Angeles Lakers because of injuries, finishes his career with 10,335 assists, third-most in NBA history behind John Stockton and Jason Kidd.

Suns sign Earl Barron for remainder of season

The Phoenix Suns have signed center Earl Barron for the remainder of the season.

Barron signed his first 10-day contract with the club on Feb. 21, and his second 10-day on March 3. The 33-year-old center has appeared in eight games (one start) with Phoenix this season, averaging 1.1 points and 0.8 rebounds in 5.7 minutes.

The 7-0 Barron averaged a double-double in 27 games with the Bakersfield Jam this season, posting 20.3 points and 10.9 rebounds for the Suns’ NBA Development League affiliate. Barron played with the Suns during the 2014-15 preseason and averaged 3.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 13.7 minutes in six appearances, including a 10-point, 13-rebound performance in 24 minutes at Houston on Oct. 13.

Barron, who saw action in 12 games with the Suns in 2010-11, is an eighth-season NBA veteran from the University of Memphis who has also played with New York, Miami, Milwaukee, Portland, Golden State and Washington.

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