The Phoenix Suns have signed free-agent guard Daniel “Dee” Brown to a contract, the club announced today.
A two-year NBA performer, Brown was originally selected by the Utah Jazz with the 46th overall pick (second round) in the 2006 NBA Draft. The 6-0, 181-pound guard spent his rookie season in Salt Lake City where he appeared in 49 regular season games off the bench and eight more in the playoffs. The 24-year-old played in Turkey for Galatasaray Café Crown in 2007-08 where he averaged 12.3 points during the regular season and 14.7 points, 3.8 assists and 2.5 rebounds during postseason play. Brown signs with the Suns after appearing in 17 games (11 starts) and seeing 13.7 minutes of action with the Washington Wizards to begin 2008-09. He now owns career averages of 2.0 points, 1.0 rebound and 1.8 assists in 68 NBA contests.
Brown’s stellar career at the University of Illinois was highlighted by his 2006 win of the Bob Cousy Award as the nation’s top point guard in his senior season. The Illini standout led the Big Ten in assists (5.8) and ranked 18th in the nation overall. Brown posted those numbers while leading his team in scoring average (14.2), steals (1.61), minutes (35.8) and free-throw percentage (.757) and leading the team in scoring in 15 of 33 games.
Nicknamed “The One Man Fastbreak” in college due to his quickness, Brown was selected the Sporting News’ National Player of the Year and named the Big Ten Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year as a junior. Most notably, he became the first consensus First Team All-American at Illinois since 1952 after helping to lead the Illini to a 29-0 start and a berth in the national title game.
Brown is a graduate of Proviso East High in Maywood, Ill., the same high school attended by Celtics coach Doc Rivers and San Antonio Spurs guard Michael Finley.