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Suns claim John Jenkins off waivers

Suns claim John Jenkins off waivers

The Phoenix Suns today claimed guard John Jenkins off of waivers.

Jenkins, a 6-4, 215-pound wing, began the season with Dallas where he led the team and ranked fifth in the NBA with 19.7 points per game in seven appearances during the preseason. He played in 21 regular season games with the Mavericks, averaging 3.3 points in 9.2 minutes. The fourth-year NBA veteran has played in 119 career games with Atlanta (2012-15) and Dallas (2015-16), averaging 5.2 points while shooting 44.6 percent from the field, 35.7 percent from three-point range and 85.3 percent from the free throw line.

Originally the 23rd overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft by Atlanta, Jenkins averaged a career-high 6.1 points in 61 games his first season, ranking fifth among rookies by shooting 38.4 percent from three-point territory. The 24-year-old owns 18 career double-digit scoring games and three with 20-plus points, including a career-best 23 points at San Antonio on April 6, 2013. In addition to his NBA experience, Jenkins has played in 17 career D-League games with Bakersfield, Fort Wayne and Idaho, averaging 19.7 points on 50.0 percent shooting.

A native of Hendersonville, Tenn., Jenkins played collegiately at Vanderbilt University and earned All-SEC First Team honors in the final two of his three seasons with the team. Jenkins averaged 16.9 points for his career as he helped the Commodores reach the NCAA tournament in each of his three seasons, the only time in program history that Vanderbilt has earned three consecutive NCAA tournament berths.

Jenkins will wear uniform number 23.

Suns waive DeJuan Blair

Suns waive DeJuan Blair

The Phoenix Suns today waived center/forward DeJuan Blair. The Suns acquired Blair in a trade with Washington last Thursday, Feb. 18.

Blair, in his seventh NBA season, had averaged 2.1 points and 2.0 rebounds in 29 games with the Wizards prior to being traded.

The Suns’ roster now stands at 14 players.

Suns sign Phil Pressey to 10-day contract

The Phoenix Suns have signed point guard Phil Pressey to a 10-day contract. An NBA veteran in his third season, Pressey played in 14 games with the Philadelphia 76ers earlier this season and has averaged 13.0 points and 6.4 assists in 25 games with the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League.

A 5-11, 175-pound guard, Pressey has played in 139 NBA games (11 starts) with Boston and Philadelphia, most recently averaging 3.9 points and 3.3 assists in 12.1 minutes in 14 games with the 76ers earlier this season. The 25-year-old played his first two seasons with the Celtics, averaging 3.1 points and 2.9 assists in 13.9 minutes in 125 games over 2013-14 and 2014-15. After going undrafted in 2013, Pressey recorded four of his seven career double-digit scoring games as a rookie with Boston, including a career-high 20 points at Washington on Jan. 22, 2014. Pressey twice recorded his career-high of 13 assists in the 2013-14 season.

Originally the first GATORADE Call-Up in the NBA this season when he signed with Philadelphia on Nov. 4, Pressey has averaged 13.0 points, 6.4 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 25 games with Idaho since being waived by the 76ers on Dec. 4. His averages in assists and steals rank fifth and 11th, respectively, among D-League leaders this season. Pressey has twice recorded his season-high of 21 points with the Stampede and has posted three double-doubles, including 20 points and a season-high 13 assists against Los Angeles on Feb. 8.

A native of Dallas, Texas, Pressey competed collegiately at the University of Missouri where he played three seasons and helped the Tigers reach the NCAA tournament in each. Pressey earned First Team All-SEC honors in 2012-13 after averaging career-highs of 11.9 points and a conference-best 7.1 assists. Pressey’s father, Paul Pressey, played 11 seasons in the NBA with Milwaukee, San Antonio and Golden State and is now an assistant coach with the L.A. Lakers.

Pressey will wear number 25. The Suns’ roster now stands at 15

Suns trade Markieff Morris to Wizards

Suns trade Markieff Morris to Wizards

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has acquired forward Markieff Morris from Phoenix in exchange for forwards DeJuan Blair and Kris Humphries and a 2016 protected first round draft pick.

“Markieff is a versatile, young power forward who brings athleticism and physicality along with a good shooting touch,” said Grunfeld. “He will be a very good addition to our team as we make our playoff push and gives us a proven starter at that position for the next several years.”

Morris (6-10, 245) holds career averages of 11.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 345 career games (145 starts) while shooting .443 from the field, .324 from three-point range and .759 from the line in four-plus years with Phoenix. The 13th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft averaged 15.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists while shooting .465 from the field and .318 from three-point range in 82 games (all starts) with the Suns last season. He posted career-highs with 65 games of 10+ points, 19 games of 20+ points, seven games with 25+ points and three games of 30+ points along with 12 games of 10+ rebounds and 12 double-doubles in 2014-15. Morris also led the NBA by shooting 54.3 FG% (19-35 FG) in the final two minutes of one-possession games.

Morris has averaged 11.6 points and 5.2 rebounds in 37 games (24 starts) with the Suns this season. In those 24 starts, he has averaged 13.6 points and 5.9 rebounds. Morris was named Western Conference Player of the Week for games from Nov. 4-10, 2013, and finished fourth in the voting for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award in 2013-14. He was teammates with current Wizards Marcin Gortat and Jared Dudley for two seasons with the Suns (2011-13).

“We thank Kris and DeJuan for their professionalism and their contributions to our team,” said Grunfeld. “We wish them the best moving forward in their careers.”

“Today we added another first-round pick to our collection of picks while keeping our young core intact,” said Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough. “We are excited to watch this group of players continue to develop and grow together.”

The Suns received Washington’s 2016 first-round pick (protected to nine) as part of the deal and now own three 2016 first-round picks with their own, Washington’s and Cleveland’s (protected to 10), as well as their own second-round pick.

Blair is in his seventh NBA season and has averaged 2.1 points and 2.0 rebounds in 7.5 minutes in 29 games with the Wizards this season. The 26-year-old holds career averages of 6.8 points on 52.4 percent shooting and 5.1 rebounds in 424 games (179 starts) with San Antonio (2009-13), Dallas (2013-14) and Washington (2014-16). Blair, a 6-7, 270-pound post player, was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team following his first professional season with the Spurs in 2009-10.

Humphries, in his 12th NBA season, has averaged 6.4 points and 4.1 rebounds in 16.6 minutes in 28 games with the Wizards in 2015-16. The 6-9, 235-pound forward has played in 719 career games (196 starts) and posted averages of 6.9 points and 5.6 rebounds with Utah (2004-06), Toronto (2006-09), Dallas (2009-10), New Jersey/Brooklyn (2010-13), Boston (2013-14) and Washington (2014-16). The 31-year-old averaged a double-double in consecutive seasons with the Nets from 2010-12, including career-bests of 13.8 points and 11.0 rebounds in 2011-12.

Report: Markieff Morris traded from Suns to Wizards

The Phoenix Suns (14-40) have reportedly granted forward Markieff Morris his wish and traded him.

According to The Vertical/Yahoo Sports, Morris is being sent to the Washington Wizards.

And according to CBS Sports, the Wizards send Kris Humphries, DaJuan Blair and a future first to Phoenix for Morris.

The NBA trade deadline is today at 3 p.m. ET, though deals are often announced after the deadline.

Morris this season averaged 11.6 points (39.7% FG) and 5.2 rebounds in 24.8 minutes per game for the Suns, though ever since Earl Watson took over as head coach Morris had been playing a leading role on the team and putting up impressive stats.

devin booker

Phoenix Suns rookie Devin Booker will replace injured U.S. Team selection Nerlens Noel of the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2016 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, Feb. 12 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

The BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star features first- and second-year NBA players from the United States against first- and second-year NBA players from around the world. TNT will televise the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge in the U.S. at 9 p.m. ET, and Sportsnet ONE and TSN will simulcast the game in Canada. ESPN Radio also will provide coverage.

Booker, the 13th pick of NBA Draft 2015 presented by State Farm, is averaging 10.6 points and shooting 40.3 percent from three-point range in 48 games. The 19-year-old guard is averaging 15.2 points in his 23 starts, including a career-high 32-point performance against the Indiana Pacers on Jan. 19. Booker will also compete in the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest on Saturday, Feb. 13 at Air Canada Centre as part of State Farm® All-Star Saturday Night.

Noel, a second-year forward-center, will not play due to tendinitis in his right knee. He is averaging 10.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.6 blocks in 46 games.

Suns sign Jordan McRae to second 10-day contract

The Phoenix Suns announced today they have signed guard Jordan McRae to a second 10-day contract.

McRae signed his first 10-day contract with the Suns on Jan. 29. The 24-year-old guard has appeared in five games with Phoenix, averaging 5.8 points and 1.4 assists in 13.0 minutes. McRae made his NBA debut at New York on Jan. 29, scoring 12 points and handing out four assists.

Prior to signing with the Suns, McRae earned 2016 NBA Development League All-Star honors as he ranked third in the D-League with an average of 23.1 points in 28 games with the Delaware 87ers. In his last game with the 87ers against Canton on Jan. 26, he scored a D-League record 61 points on 21-of-34 shooting from the field and 16-of-18 from the free throw line. In addition to 23.1 points, McRae had been averaging 5.2 assists, 4.5 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 35.5 minutes in his second D-League season, both with the 87ers.

McRae was the 14th GATORADE Call-Up of 2015-16 at the time he signed with the Suns on Jan. 29, his first regular season signing with an NBA team. Originally selected by San Antonio with the 58th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft then traded to Philadelphia on draft night, McRae played professionally in Australia in 2014-15 before joining Delaware for the season’s final 13 games and averaging 18.4 points. A 6-5, 179-pound guard, McRae played for Philadelphia at NBA Summer League in 2014 and 2015, also playing with the 76ers this past preseason before being waived on Oct. 26.

Suns sign Orlando Johnson to 10-day contract

The Phoenix Suns have signed guard Orlando Johnson to a 10-day contract. A two-year NBA veteran, Johnson was named a 2016 NBA D-League All-Star for his play with the Austin Spurs this season.

A 6-5, 220-pound guard, Johnson has previous NBA experience with Indiana in 2012-13, also playing with Indiana as well as Sacramento in 2013-14. Originally selected by the Kings with the 36th overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft, he has appeared in 96 total games averaging 3.2 points and 1.7 rebounds in 10.5 minutes. The 26-year-old has four career double-digit scoring games, including a career-high 15 points against Atlanta on March 25, 2013, while with the Pacers.

Johnson has averaged 15.2 points while shooting 44.1 percent from the field, 48.6 percent from beyond the arc and 80.6 percent from the free throw line in 28 games with Austin in 2015-16. For his efforts, which include 22 double-digit scoring games and a season-high 29 points at Los Angeles on Jan. 16, Johnson was named a 2016 NBA D-League All-Star on Jan. 29.

Johnson also played with Austin in 2014-15, averaging 17.4 points in 43 games; one of the team’s assistant coaches was current Suns Interim Head Coach Earl Watson.

A native of Monterey, Calif., Johnson played collegiately at UC Santa Barbara where he led the Gauchos to two NCAA tournament appearances.

Johnson will wear number 0. The Suns’ roster now stands at 15.

Suns hire Bob Hill as assistant coach

Suns hire Bob Hill as assistant coach

The Phoenix Suns have added experienced NBA head coach Bob Hill as an assistant coach, the team announced today.

“Coach Hill is a creative and innovative teacher of basketball,” said Suns Interim Head Coach Earl Watson. “He brings a wealth of knowledge to our program and will be very beneficial to everyone involved in our basketball family.”

Hill compiled a 310-293 (.514) record over parts of nine seasons as an NBA head coach, last leading Seattle in 2005-06 and 2006-07 where he coached Watson. In addition to Seattle, Hill served as head coach for New York (1986-87), Indiana (1990-93) and San Antonio (1994-96), guiding his teams to the playoffs on five occasions. Hill’s best season as a head coach came in 1994-95 when he led the Spurs to a 62-20 record and reached the Western Conference Finals.

Suns name Earl Watson interim head coach

The Phoenix Suns have named assistant coach and former NBA player Earl Watson interim head coach, the team announced today.

Now the 17th head coach in franchise history, Watson joined the Suns as an assistant coach this past offseason after working last season as an assistant coach for the Austin Spurs of the NBA Development League. Watson became a coach following a 13-year NBA career as a point guard in which he appeared in 878 career games with Seattle/Oklahoma City, Memphis, Denver, Indiana, Utah and Portland from 2001-2014. Watson averaged 6.4 points, 4.4 assists and 1.0 steals for his career, posting highs of 10.7 points and 6.8 assists with the SuperSonics in 2007-08. Watson played for three NBA Coach of the Year Award winners throughout his 13-year career (Hubie Brown, George Karl, Scott Brooks), as well as Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan.

Prior to being selected 40th overall in the 2001 NBA Draft, the Kansas City, Kan. native was a four-year starter at UCLA, helping guide the Bruins to three Sweet 16 appearances and earning All-Pac-10 First Team honors in 2000-01.

Suns fire coach Jeff Hornacek

Suns fire coach Jeff Hornacek

The 14-35 Phoenix Suns weren’t expected to come anywhere close to competing for an NBA championship this season, or even be one of the league’s better teams, but they certainly seemed capable of being respectable. But through Sunday’s games they are tied with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the 4th worst record in the league. And this morning, they took action.

The Suns announced today that they have relieved Jeff Hornacek of his duties as head coach following his two-plus seasons in the position. The Suns plan to have an interim head coach in place by Tuesday.

Hornacek was named the 16th head coach in franchise history on May 28, 2013, returning to the team with whom he spent his first six professional seasons as a player. In two-plus seasons as head coach of the Suns, Hornacek’s teams compiled a 101-112 (.474) record, including a 14-35 (.286) mark this season. In Hornacek’s inaugural season of 2013-14 the Suns went 48-34 followed by a 39-43 record last season.

Suns sign Jordan McRae to 10-day contract

The Phoenix Suns today signed guard Jordan McRae to a 10-day contract. McRae ranks third in the NBA Development League with an average of 23.1 points in 28 games with the Delaware 87ers this season, including a D-League record 61 points in his most recent outing on Tuesday.

In addition to 23.1 points, McRae is averaging 5.2 assists, 4.5 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 35.5 minutes in his second D-League season, both with the 87ers. In a 130-123 overtime win over the Canton Charge on Tuesday, McRae shot 21-of-34 from the field and 16-of-18 from the free throw line to score an NBA D-League single-game record 61 points, the highest individual point total in any NBA or D-League game this season.

The 14th D-League-to-NBA Call-Up this season, this is McRae’s first career NBA regular season signing. Originally selected by San Antonio with the 58th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft then traded to Philadelphia on draft night, McRae played professionally in Australia in 2014-15 before joining Delaware for the season’s final 13 games and averaging 18.4 points. A 6-5, 179-pound guard, McRae played for Philadelphia at NBA Summer League in 2014 and 2015, also playing with the 76ers this past preseason before being waived on Oct. 26.

A native of Savannah, Ga., McRae played collegiately at the University of Tennessee where he averaged 13.3 points in 114 games over four seasons. McRae earned First Team All-SEC honors as a senior in 2013-14 when he ranked fourth in the conference with a scoring average of 18.7 points, helping the Volunteers to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament.

McRae will wear number 52.

The Suns’ roster now stands at 15.

Suns sign Lorenzo Brown to second 10-day contract

The Phoenix Suns announced today they have signed guard Lorenzo Brown to a second 10-day contract.

Brown signed his first 10-day contract with the Suns on Jan. 8. The 25-year-old guard has appeared in three games with Phoenix, totaling 13 points and six assists in 34 minutes.

A 6-5, 189-pound guard, Brown is a third-year NBA player who appeared in 55 total games with Philadelphia in 2013-14 and Minnesota in 2014-15. Originally selected with the 52nd overall pick by Minnesota in the 2013 NBA Draft, Brown played in 29 games (seven starts) with the Timberwolves last season seeing action in each of their final 22 games. Brown has four career double-digit scoring games, including a career-high 13 points in his final appearance of last season on April 15 against Oklahoma City.

The sixth Call-Up of 2015-16 at the time he signed with the Suns on Jan. 8, Brown averaged 16.4 points, 6.1 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 1.9 steals in 16 games this season with the Grand Rapids Drive of the NBA Development League.

Earl Clark currently playing in D-League

Here’s the Arizona Republic with an update on Earl Clark, who is averaging 20.2 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.4 blocks in 35.1 minutes per game in the D-League this season:

Earl Clark currently playing in D-League

After 4 1/2 NBA seasons, Earl Clark had to swallow hard on his basketball-sized pride this season to play in the D-League.

With credentials as a former Suns draft lottery pick bumped to the bottom of his resume, Clark left his family and nice cars in Florida to share an apartment and rides to the grocery store while rebuilding his name in the game on a $26,000 salary for Suns affiliate Bakersfield.

Passing up more money overseas, Clark bet on his ability to prove his NBA worth with hopes pinned on January call-ups as 10-day contracts began.

Instead, Clark was traded Saturday by Bakersfield, which sent him to Delaware for a D-League second-round draft pick. The move, a familiar one after three NBA trades, keeps his quest alive with a clean slate after a frustrating stretch for Bakersfield.

Ronnie Price undergoes toe surgery

Phoenix Suns guard Ronnie Price today underwent successful surgery to remove loose bodies in his right great toe. The surgery was performed by Dr. Gus Armendariz in Phoenix. Price is anticipated to return to basketball activities around the All-Star break.

Currently in his 11th NBA season and second with the Suns (also 2011-12), Price is averaging 4.2 points, 1.7 assists, 1.1 steals and 14.8 minutes in 34 games (one start) this season.

Suns sign Lorenzo Brown to a 10-day contract

The Phoenix Suns announced today they have signed guard Lorenzo Brown to a 10-day contract. The sixth “Call-Up” in the NBA this season, Brown has averaged 16.4 points, 6.1 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 1.9 steals in 16 games with the Grand Rapids Drive of the NBA Development League.

A 6-5, 189-pound guard, Brown is a two-year NBA player who has appeared in 55 total games with Philadelphia in 2013-14 and Minnesota in 2014-15. Originally selected with the 52nd overall pick by Minnesota in the 2013 NBA Draft, Brown played in 29 games (seven starts) with the Timberwolves last season seeing action in each of their final 22 games. Brown has four career double-digit scoring games, including a career-high 13 points in his most recent NBA appearance on April 15 of last season against Oklahoma City.

With Grand Rapids this season, Brown ranks sixth in the D-League with 6.1 assists per game and ninth with 1.9 steals per game, in addition to averaging 16.4 points on 47.8 percent shooting from the field and 87.7 percent from the free throw line. In 2014-15, Brown was named an NBA D-League All-Star as he averaged 16.8 points and 3.9 assists in 19 games with the Drive prior to signing with the Timberwolves. As a rookie in 2013-14, Brown averaged 17.3 points and 6.3 assists in 20 total games with the Delaware 87ers and Springfield Armor of the D-League.

A native of Roswell, Ga., Brown played collegiately at North Carolina State University where he averaged 11.6 points in 101 games over three seasons. Brown earned Second Team All-ACC honors as a junior in 2012-13 when he averaged 12.4 points, led the ACC with 7.2 assists per game and ranked second in the conference with 2.0 steals per contest. Brown and Suns forward T.J. Warren were teammates at N.C. State for the 2012-13 season, helping the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament berth.

Brown will wear number 41. The Suns’ roster now stands at 14

Phoenix Suns waive Bryce Cotton and Cory Jefferson

The Phoenix Suns have waived guard Bryce Cotton and forward Cory Jefferson.

Cotton originally signed with the Suns on Nov. 25. The second-year NBA player saw action in three games, totaling four points and three assists in 33 minutes.

Jefferson signed with the Suns prior to training camp on Sept. 16. He appeared in six games with Phoenix in his second NBA season, posting totals of 12 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes.

The Suns’ roster now stands at 13 players.

Kings score 142 points on Suns

Coach George Karl moved into a tie for fifth on the NBA wins list with 1,155 when DeMarcus Cousins had 32 points and nine rebounds Saturday to lead the Sacramento Kings to a 142-119 victory over the Phoenix Suns, who lost their eighth in a row.

Karl matched Phil Jackson with the milestone win. The 63-year-old Karl is 1,155-795 in 27 seasons…

Darren Collison had 21 points and six assists and Marco Belinelli had 19 points for the Kings. Rudy Gay added 16 points and Rajon Rondo had 15 points and 15 assists.

– Associated Press

The Phoenix Suns today announced changes to their coaching staff, promoting assistant coaches Nate Bjorkgren and Earl Watson to the front of the bench on Head Coach Jeff Hornacek’s staff. The Suns also announced Jerry Sichting and Mike Longabardi have been relieved of their duties as assistant coaches.

“It is never easy to make changes to a coaching staff in the middle of a season but we feel Earl and Nate are ready to take the next steps in their careers and provide some creative ideas to our group,” said General Manager Ryan McDonough. “We thank Mike and Jerry for their contributions. They are both good coaches who made significant contributions to our team winning 87 games over the previous two seasons.”

Bjorkgren (pronounced BEE-ork-Gren) is in his first season as an assistant coach with the Suns and second season overall with the organization as in 2014-15 he served as head coach of the Bakersfield Jam, the team’s NBA D-League affiliate. An experienced head coach in the D-League, Bjorkgren amassed a 126-74 (.630) record in four seasons, going 34-16 in his one season with the Jam, leading the Iowa Energy to the Central Division title in 2013-14 and the Santa Cruz Warriors to the 2012-13 D-League Finals. Before becoming the head coach of the Dakota Wizards in 2011-12, Bjorkgren spent four seasons as an assistant coach with the Energy from 2007-11.

Watson is in his first season with the Suns after working last season as an assistant coach for the Austin Spurs of the D-League. Watson became a coach following a 13-year NBA career as a player in which he appeared in 878 career games from 2001-2014. Watson averaged 6.4 points, 4.4 assists and 1.0 steals for his career, posting highs of 10.7 points and 6.8 assists in 78 games (73 starts) with Seattle in 2007-08. Watson played for three NBA Coach of the Year Award winners throughout his 13-year career (Hubie Brown, George Karl, Scott Brooks), as well as Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan. During Watson’s three seasons with the Jazz from 2010-13, Hornacek served first as shooting coach then as an assistant coach for the team.

Sichting and Longabardi both joined the Suns as assistant coaches prior to the 2013-14 season.

Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe has sustained a torn meniscus in his left knee. The injury occurred during last night’s game against Philadelphia and a subsequent MRI revealed the tear.

Bledsoe will undergo surgery Tuesday, December 29. The surgery will be performed by team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tom Carter.

The sixth-year guard is averaging career-highs of 20.4 points, 6.1 assists and 2.0 steals, in addition to 4.0 rebounds and 34.2 minutes in 31 games this season, his third with the Suns.

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