Phoenix Suns

McDonough Promises To Pursue Top Free Agents

Suns GM Ryan McDonough says the club plans to make a big splash in free agency next summer, he said during a podcast with The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski and summarized by Petersen on the Suns’ website. Phoenix has approximately $59.6MM in salary guarantees next season, which gives it plenty of flexibility to pursue top free agents. “Potentially it’s a very strong free agent class next year,” McDonough told Wojnarowski. “One of the things we’ve done with our contracts is we’ve lined them up to have max cap space next year without really touching the core of our roster. I think and I hope at this time next year, we’re major players in free agency.”

  • Elevating Earl Watson from interim coach to full-time head coach and adding two lottery picks are among the ways the Suns improved their state of their franchise this offseason, Matt Petersen of Suns.com writes. The addition of two highly-respected veterans, combo forward Jared Dudley and guard Leandro Barbosa, will impact the team not only on the court but in the locker room, Petersen adds.

Thunder Sign Ronnie Price

AUGUST 14: The deal is official, the team announced today.

AUGUST 11: The Thunder have finalized a guaranteed two-year, $5MM deal with Price, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical (via Twitter). Although Oklahoma City could use its room exception to accommodate the move, the team still has cap room available as well.

JULY 31: Veteran point guard Ronnie Price is set to join the Thunder, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. Price is expected to receive a two-year deal, but the exact terms are not certain.

The 33-year-old free agent had the highest scoring average of his career last season in Phoenix at 5.3 points per game to go with 2.4 assists. However, a report came out July 13th that the Suns weren’t going to re-sign Price and he had a deal in place with an unidentified team.

Oklahoma City still has more than $20MM in cap room remaining, so fitting Price in will be no problem. The Thunder are hoping to convince Russell Westbrook to take about $9MM of that cap space in a renegotiated and extended deal.

OKC will be the seventh NBA stop for Price, who has changed teams every season since 2011.

Dudley Signing Viewed As One Of Summer's Best Values

Suns Confirm Ty Ellis Hired As D-League Coach

  • Several weeks after a report indicated that the Suns were closing in on a deal to make Ty Ellis the coach of their D-League affiliate, the franchise has now confirmed that Ellis will coach the Northern Arizona Suns, as Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic details.

Booker Looking Forward To Long-Term Stay With Suns

At age 19, Suns guard Devin Booker could still have upwards of two decades of his NBA career ahead of him. For now though, he envisions playing his whole career in Phoenix, if given the opportunity to do so, as he recently told Jeramie McPeek of SLAM Magazine.

“I love it in Phoenix and I want to be one of those guys that gets drafted by one team and stays there the whole time,” said Booker, the Suns’ 13th overall pick in the 2015 draft. “You know, they turn around the franchise, and they get love for that in that city like they’re the mayor… People still wear Steve Nash jerseys here. That’s definitely something I want to be.”

Of course, a player’s career goals at age 19 could end up being much different than his goals at age 29 or 39, so it will be interesting to see if Booker does indeed stick with the Suns for most or all of his career. He’s under contract through the 2018/19 season, and will be eligible for a rookie-scale extension in ’18.

Free Agent Spending By Division: Pacific

Over the course of the last week, we’ve been breaking down 2016 NBA free agent spending by division, examining which teams – and divisions – were the most active this summer.

These divisional breakdowns won’t present a full picture of teams’ offseason spending. Some notable free agents, including LeBron James, remain unsigned, so there’s still money out there to be spent. Our lists also don’t include money spent on this year’s first- and second-round picks or draft-and-stash signings. There are a few free agent names missing in some instances as well, since those deals aren’t yet official or terms haven’t been reported.

Still, these closer looks at divisional spending should generally reveal how teams invested their money in free agency this summer, identifying which clubs went all-out and which ones played it safe.

With the help of our Free Agent Tracker and contract info from Basketball Insiders, we’ll focus today on the Pacific division. Let’s dive in…

1. Los Angeles Lakers

  • Total money committed: $186,000,000
  • Guaranteed money committed (including player options): $186,000,000
  • Largest expenditure: Luol Deng (four years, $72,000,000)
  • Other notable signings:
  • Notes:
    • The Lakers have yet to finalize long-ago reported deals for Tarik Black and Marcelo Huertas. Based on estimated values for those contracts, they’ll likely total about $16MM+ combined, but we haven’t included them in the team’s totals for now.

2. Los Angeles Clippers

  • Total money committed: $105,428,788
  • Guaranteed money committed (including player options): $93,928,788
  • Largest expenditure: Jamal Crawford (three years, $42,000,000)
  • Other notable signings:
  • Notes:
    • Raymond Felton ($1,551,659), Brandon Bass ($1,551,659), and Alan Anderson ($1,315,448) will be paid $980,431 apiece by the Clippers, with the NBA on the hook for the rest of their minimum salaries.
    • Crawford’s $14.5MM third-year salary is only guaranteed for $3MM, creating the gap between the Clippers’ total money and guaranteed money committed.

3. Sacramento Kings

  • Total money committed: $77,525,625
  • Guaranteed money committed (including player options): $60,525,625
  • Largest expenditure: Arron Afflalo (two years, $25,000,000)
  • Other notable signings:
  • Notes:
    • Afflalo and Tolliver only have small partial guarantees in the second years of their respective contracts. $1.5MM of Afflalo’s $12.5MM second-year salary is guaranteed, while $2MM of Tolliver’s $8MM second-year salary is guaranteed.

4. Golden State Warriors

  • Total money committed: $61,094,229
  • Guaranteed money committed (including player options): $61,094,229
  • Largest expenditure: Kevin Durant (two years, $54,274,505)
  • Other notable signings:
  • Notes:
    • The reported deals for JaVale McGee and Elliot Williams aren’t yet official and exact details on those contracts aren’t known, so they haven’t been included here.
    • West ($1,551,659), Varejao ($1,551,659), and Ian Clark ($1,015,696) will be paid $980,431 apiece by the Warriors, with the NBA on the hook for the rest of their minimum salaries.

5. Phoenix Suns

  • Total money committed: $38,000,000
  • Guaranteed money committed (including player options): $34,500,000
  • Largest expenditure: Jared Dudley (three years, $30,000,000)
  • Other notable signings:
  • Notes:
    • The second year of Barbosa’s deal, worth $4MM, is only guaranteed for $500K, creating the gap between the Suns’ total money and guaranteed money committed.

Previously:
Southwest
Southeast
Northwest
Atlantic

Suns Looking Forward To Healthy Brandon Knight

  • The Suns are excited about what Brandon Knight can do in 2016/17 if he remains healthy, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic relays. “He has the ability to play either guard spot,” Suns GM Ryan McDonough said of Knight. “He can play the 1. He can play the 2. He’s an elite shooter. People who just saw Brandon playing last year when he was a little bit banged up and wasn’t 100% probably don’t realize how well he shoots the ball when he’s healthy and right. We think, with our top four or five guards, they will be interchangeable. They’ll be able to play either spot. We have at least four, maybe five guys now, who can get in the paint, break down defenses and kick to open shooters.

Amar’e Stoudemire Received NBA Offers

Amar’e Stoudemire‘s decision to join Hapoel Jerusalem isn’t about “collecting a paycheck overseas,” the veteran big man writes in a piece for The Players’ Tribune. According to Stoudemire, the two-year deal he has signed with one of the top teams in Europe will be part of a “spiritual journey” for him.

“The Scripture speaks about Jerusalem as a holy place, and I can feel that whenever I’m in the city,” Stoudemire writes. “This is a chance for me to be a better husband and a better father, to help me lead my family into righteousness. The opportunity to play there, and grow as a player and person, is a blessing.”

We passed along the news of Stoudemire following up his NBA retirement by inking a deal in Israel in an earlier post, but when the longtime Sun and Knick made it official today, a few more details trickled out, so let’s round those up below…

  • According to Stoudemire’s agent, Happy Walters, his client received several offers from NBA teams this offseason, tweets Ian Begley of ESPN.com. However, those offers came from non-playoff teams, which didn’t interest Stoudemire.
  • Walters also clarified that he and Stoudemire didn’t ask the Suns about the sort of one-day contract that the 33-year-old signed with the Knicks when he announced his retirement (Twitter link via Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic). Reports had indicated that Stoudemire would have liked to return to Phoenix, but it sounded like he’d wanted to actually play one last year for the Suns — not simply sign a ceremonial contract with the team as he retired.
  • Stoudemire’s contract in Israel won’t allow him to join an NBA team in the spring, as Frank Isola of The New York Daily News tweets. That’s no surprise for 2017, since it’s a two-year contract, but it’s not clear if Isola is referring to 2018 as well.
  • As part of the agreement that will see him become a player for Hapoel Jersualem, Stoudemire is selling his minority stake in the team to majority owner Ori Allon, per Marc Berman of The New York Post (Twitter link).

Carlisle Helped John Jenkins Land With Suns

  • Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle helped convince the Suns to claim John Jenkins off waivers in February, Jenkins told Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. When Dallas needed to create roster space after the trade deadline, Jenkins became the odd man out. He wound up appearing in 22 games with the Suns, averaging 5.0 points in 13.0 minutes, and remains on their roster for next season. “I was waiting for the waiver period to pass to see if my contract would be cleared and if I’d become a free agent,” Jenkins told Kennedy of his time on waivers. “Then, I was told by my agent that Coach Carlisle called the Phoenix Suns on my behalf and spoke highly of me. He looked out for me big time and I really appreciate that.”

Amar'e Stoudemire Confirms He Wanted To Rejoin Suns

  • Speaking to Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic, Amar’e Stoudemire confirmed a Tuesday report, admitting that he had interest in rejoining the Suns during the past couple offseasons, but that there wasn’t mutual interest in that scenario. “The last two years, we made phone calls to Phoenix but I wasn’t getting any positive response,” Stoudemire said. “That would’ve been the perfect way to go out. I didn’t want to beg Phoenix. My heart was in two places – Phoenix and New York. I just went where I was wanted.” Stoudemire ultimately signed a ceremonial contract this week to retire as a Knick, rather than as a Sun.

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