Archive for the ‘ Phoenix Suns Blog ’ Category

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.

markieff morris suspension

The Phoenix Suns have suspended forward Markieff Morris for two games for conduct detrimental to the team. Morris will serve the suspension in the Suns’ next two games, Dec. 26 vs. Philadelphia and Dec. 28 vs. Cleveland.

According to the Arizona Republic, here’s what happened:

“In one of their more advantageous scenarios of the season, the Suns posted another dreadful loss with play so frightful and no signs of stopping. The bow on Wednesday night’s stocking of coal came when Markieff Morris added to a season of distraction by harkening back memories of Robert Horry’s towel toss at Danny Ainge by tossing a towel toward coach Jeff Hornacek in Wednesday’s fourth quarter.

The Suns lost 104-96 at Talking Stick Resort Arena to a Denver team playing a night after losing at home to the last-place Los Angeles Lakers and was missing five players (two starters) with no backup point guard available.”

Suns sign Bryce Cotton

The Phoenix Suns announced today they have signed free agent guard Bryce Cotton. The third “Call-Up” from the D-League in the NBA this season, Cotton has averaged 22.0 points on 58.7 percent shooting from the field, 61.9 percent from three-point territory and 91.3 percent from the free-throw line in four games with the Austin Spurs of the NBA Development League.

Cotton, a 6-1, 165-pound guard, played in 15 games as a rookie with the Utah Jazz last season. He averaged 5.3 points for the season and scored in double-digits in each of his final four appearances, including a career-high 21 points on April 13 against Dallas.

Undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft, Cotton played in 34 games with the Austin Spurs in 2014-15 before joining the Jazz. Cotton was named All-NBA D-League Second Team and NBA D-League All-Rookie First Team after averaging 22.4 points (47.0 FG%, 44.3 3FG%, 90.0 FT%), 4.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.3 steals in 34 games with Austin.

A native of Tucson, Cotton was named First Team All-Class 4A in the state by The Arizona Republic in 2010 as he completed a standout career at Palo Verde High School. Cotton played collegiately at Providence College where he twice earned First Team All-Big East distinction and was named Big East Tournament MVP in 2014 after leading the Friars to the title.

Cotton will wear number 8. The Suns’ roster now stands at 15.

Dirk will see Suns honor Steve Nash

Here’s the Dallas Morning News reporting that Dirk Nowitzki will be in attendance when the Phoenix Suns honor Steve Nash for his accomplishments:

Dirk will see Suns honor Steve Nash

Nowitzki and a handful of other Mavericks’ personnel will use the day off Friday in Los Angeles to return to Phoenix, where they will watch Steve Nash be inducted into the Suns’ ring of honor.

“I’m not missing it,” Nowitzki said Wednesday. “We’re coming back Friday. It’s huge for him. He had a tremendous career and since we’re off in LA for three or four days, we’re coming back here for it. It’s a tremendous honor for him.

“What he did here and in his career was amazing.”

suns

The Phoenix Suns have exercised their 2016-17 contract options on guard Archie Goodwin, center Alex Len and forward T.J. Warren.

These moves were expected, and aren’t a surprise.

Goodwin, who has spent each of his first two NBA seasons with the Suns, averaged career-highs of 5.6 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 13.0 minutes in 41 games in 2014-15. The 29th overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, Goodwin averaged 14.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in the two games in which he started last season. At NBA Summer League 2015 in Las Vegas, Goodwin ranked second on the team with an average of 15.9 points as he helped the Suns reach the 2015 Summer League Championship Game. During the preseason, Goodwin averaged 5.7 points, 1.8 assists and 1.0 steals in 15.8 minutes.

Len led the Suns with 1.6 blocks per game during the preseason, also averaging 10.2 points and 6.0 rebounds. In 2014-15, he produced a breakthrough second season as he emerged as one of the league’s best shot blockers, ranking seventh in the NBA among qualified players with 2.5 blocks per 36 minutes. The fifth overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, Len averaged career-bests of 6.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 22.0 minutes in 69 games. In 44 starts last season, Len posted 6.9 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 24.2 minutes as the Suns posted a 23-21 record in those games. Len’s 1.9 blocks per game after entering the regular starting lineup on Dec. 15 ranked eighth in the NBA from that date forward.

Warren led the Suns in scoring with an average of 13.7 points during the preseason, in addition to averaging 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.8 steals. One of the NBA’s most efficient rookie scorers in 2014-15, he ranked seventh among rookies who played at least 600 total minutes with an average of 14.4 points per 36 minutes, the highest by a Suns rookie playing at least 600 minutes since Amar’e Stoudemire in 2002-03. Overall, the 14th pick of the 2014 NBA Draft averaged 6.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 15.4 minutes in 40 games. Warren excelled at NBA Summer League 2015 in Las Vegas, being named to the All-NBA Summer League First Team after averaging a team-high 18.7 points on 54.0 percent shooting in seven games.

Suns waive Henry Sims

The Phoenix Suns have waived center Henry Sims.

Sims initially signed with the Suns on Sept. 16. He played in all six of the Suns’ preseason games, totaling 10 points and seven rebounds in 28 minutes.

The Suns’ roster now stands at 14 players.

Suns players get glimpse of Navy SEALs training

It’s always fun to hear about the other types of training NBA players get exposed to. Some worked out with MMA fighters. As for the Suns, here’s the Arizona Republic reporting:

The Suns got a day off of practice, but it did not feel like it for more than two hours Thursday when they got just a morsel of what Navy SEALs bite off in training.

In the name of bonding, the Suns changed up the training-camp routine after two days of two-a-day practices and turned their training over to a pair of Navy SEALs.

Dressed in camouflage pants and their Suns training shirts, 18 tall men caught double takes across campus as they went through team-building exercises across the Northern Arizona University campus.

The work began in the Wall Aquatic Center, where the private workouts were caught on video by the NAU swim team as the Suns players interlocked arms and went under lane ropes in unison. The Suns also went across fields on campus, doing push-ups, situps and carrying logs as NAU students snapped photos.

“A lot of it is team building,” said Suns Vice President of Player Relations Mark West, who helped organize the idea with the athletic training staff.

The latest on the Suns-Markieff Morris situation

Here’s the Arizona Republic reporting on Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris, who wanted to be traded but apparently will do his job and play as expected until that happens:

The latest on the Suns-Markieff Morris situation

Despite Eric Bledsoe’s impressive summer commitment, Tyson Chandler’s leadership and defensive addition and Brandon Knight’s stress-free re-signing, any summer shine from the Suns has been clouded by Markieff Morris’ falling-out with the franchise. That disdain could be the dominant display again Monday when Morris is the prominent figure during Suns media day in Phoenix.

Upset that his twin, Marcus, was traded to Detroit in early July without warning and just as their contract extensions began, Markieff did not get his wish to be traded this summer and will participate Monday as he pledged to do if his trade request was ignored.

After returning to Phoenix last week for a court hearing, Morris remained in town but trained at Grand Canyon University rather than with Suns teammates.

The Phoenix Suns last night announced a new marketing campaign, WeArePHX, as well as a black alternate uniform. Suns president, Jason Rowley, head coach Jeff Hornacek and Suns players Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker, Archie Goodwin, Brandon Knight, Jon Leuer and P.J. Tucker, were joined by City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton for the reveal event at Canyon Suites at The Phoenician, at the base of Camelback Mountain.

The Suns also revealed their new black “PHX” alternate uniform, deemed Civic Pride, which the team says represents their pride in their home City, while harkening back to popular Suns teams of the past, including the Kevin Johnson and Charles Barkley-led Suns of the mid 90’s, the first team to wear a black Suns uniform. The sleek new design offers the team an alternate look while incorporating the Suns primary colors, purple and orange.

The Suns will wear the black alternate for the first time at the team’s home opener on October 28 at Talking Stick Resort Arena, and a total of 13 times during the 2015-16 season, a nod to Suns great Steve Nash, who will be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor on October 30 and whose teams were among the first to wear a “PHX” jersey in the mid-2000’s.

Here’s the Arizona Republic reporting some Phoenix Suns uniform news. It’s always cool when teams roll out alternate jerseys, because in some cases the take some chances that pay off big. And then suddenly there’s something awesome worth buying. As for the report:

The Suns will be back in black next season.

On Tuesday, the Suns will reveal an alternate black uniform for the coming season, along with the “#WeArePHX” marketing campaign that already has been used in some recent franchise initiatives.

The Suns have not worn a black uniform since they donned an alternate throwback black uniform during the 2012-13 season. That uniform was designed after the 1994-95 black jerseys but this uniform will have a new style.

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