Phoenix Suns Rumors

Jamil Wilson To Sign With D-League

October 20 at 12:58pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Jamil Wilson is set to sign with the Bakersfield Jam of the D-League, tweets Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times. Bakersfield is Phoenix’s D-League affiliate, so that suggests that the Suns have retained the D-League rights to the former Marquette forward who was on a non-guaranteed deal with Phoenix before the team waived him last week. Otherwise, Wilson would be subject to the D-League draft.

Wilson, who turns 24 next month, appeared in two preseason games for a shade under nine minutes while with the Suns after joining the Wizards for summer league. His 11.7 points per game in his senior year at Marquette gave him his lone double-digit scoring season in college, but the Suns, Jazz, Wizards, Raptors, Timberwolves, Mavs, Pacers, Spurs and Pistons all reportedly worked him out this spring prior the draft. Still, he didn’t hear his name called on draft night.

NBA teams can retain the D-League rights to as many as four of players they cut during the preseason, up from three last year. It’s unclear if Phoenix will do so with Joe Jackson and Casey Prather, whom the Suns also let go when they released Wilson.

And-Ones: Hornacek, Mavs, Knicks

October 19 at 9:31pm CDT By Arthur Hill

Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press writes that assistant coaching positions are now some of the NBA’s more glamorous positions. Coaches tell Krawczynski that the rising salaries and profiles of the assistants are justified. “There’s a lot more to head coaching than actual coaching,” Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek said. “There’s a lot of other stuff that comes up. To try to put your full effort into everything is tough to do. That’s where the assistants become really valuable in terms of getting the basketball stuff ready, narrowing it down for you to look at the game plan and it’s already done pretty much for you [to] just go from there.”  More from around the league..

  • Despite losing key cogs of their championship team over the past few years, the Mavs appear poised to contend in 2014/15, writes Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders. Familiar faces like J.J. Barea and Caron Butler have moved on since 2010/11, but Dallas has a strong new supporting cast built around Dirk Nowitzki.  This offseason also saw the Mavs welcome back big man Tyson Chandler.
  • Knicks associate coach Kurt Rambis is helping rookie head coach Derek Fisher adjust to the pressures of coaching in New York, writes Mark Berman of the New York Post. Rambis worked as an assistant under new Knicks president Phil Jackson with the Lakers and understands the pressures of coaching in a big-city atmosphere. “I’m giving him countless suggestions, even how to monitor his time,’’ said Rambis, who was hired in July. “… Derek is a perfectionist, constantly thinking about the game. He did it as a player and it’s worse when you become a head coach. I want him to find time to do it.’’
  • The KnicksTravis Wear has already seen his twin brother get cut from an NBA roster, and he is hoping to avoid the same fate, reports Adam Zagoria of  Wear has just $62K of his $507K contact guaranteed, and the Knicks have 15 players in camp with fully guaranteed deals. Zagoria reports that Wear has fit in well with the Knicks’ new triangle offense, but he may wind up with the team’s D-League affiliate in Westchester, N.Y. Wear’s brother, David, was waived Sunday by the Kings.
  • The NBPA hired Gary Kohlman as its new general counsel, a source tells Ben Strauss of the New York Times.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Western Notes: Thompson, Blazers, Barron

October 18 at 10:37am CDT By Eddie Scarito

The deadline for players and teams to agree to contract extensions is October 31st. A few members of the 2011 draft class have already inked their deals, but one of the more prominent players still awaiting his turn is the WarriorsKlay Thompson. Chris Bernucca of Sheridan Hoops runs down where Thompson and all of the 2011 first-rounders stand in regard to their contracts and extensions.

Here’s more from out west:

  • One of the few rotation and roster decisions left for the Trail Blazers is at the backup power forward spot, Mike Tokito of The Oregonian writes. In the article, Tokito breaks down the available personnel and the options that GM Neil Olshey and coach Terry Stotts have at the position, and he also opines that the bench should be more productive this season thanks to the additions of Chris Kaman and Steve Blake.
  • When the Suns signed Zoran Dragic he became the 15th fully guaranteed deal on their books, which made Earl Barron‘s bid to make the regular season roster unlikely, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic writes. But Barron has continued to impress the team and coach Jeff Hornacek said Barron has a shot at making the regular season roster, and that managing partner Robert Sarver has expressed a willingness to waive a player with a guaranteed contract if Barron’s presence makes the team better in the long run, Coro notes.
  • Kevin Durant‘s injury that will sideline him for at least six to eight weeks is part of a rash of preseason injuries suffered by players this year. In an Insider article, Tom Haberstroh of examines the science behind Durant’s injury, if it was preventable, and what future issues the “Slim Reaper” and the Thunder might have to deal with.

And-Ones: Barron, Revenue, Heat, Marion

October 17 at 2:49pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Suns are giving Earl Barron legitimate consideration for a spot on the regular season roster, and while that would force the team to rid itself of a fully guaranteed contract, coach Jeff Hornacek says that’s a move the team would be willing to make. Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic has the details.

“The one guy that sticks out and is really fighting for the team is Earl Barron,” Hornacek said. “He’s still on the roster for a reason. I know our guys are saying, ‘If he’s going to help us and we have to eat a contract somewhere, I think [owner] Robert [Sarver] is willing to do that.’ If it’s going to help us win games and he’s better than another guy, Robert is all for it.”

Hornacek’s comments sound familiar to the ones that Mavs coach Rick Carlisle made recently in which he insisted that owner Mark Cuban would be willing to sacrifice guaranteed salary to keep the non-guaranteed Charlie Villanueva. However, the Mavs are reportedly eager to open up an opening-night roster spot, which would appear to cut Villanueva out of the mix, and Sarver has never been particularly generous in his spending on the Suns. While we wait to see how it plays out in both Dallas and Phoenix, here’s more from around the league:

  • Potential changes to the league’s revenue sharing system join the draft lottery among the major topics on the agenda for the NBA’s Board of Governors next week, tweets Grantland’s Zach Lowe. The board appears poised to implement a new lottery system for the 2015 draft.
  • Erik Spoeltra this week called Heat signee signee Shawne Williams “one of the great surprises of the offseason” and raved about his shooting, notes Jason Lieser of The Palm Beach Post. Williams has a fully guaranteed deal with Miami.
  • Shawn Marion admits the Mavs reached out to him the instant he became a free agent this summer, as Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes (Twitter link). Carlisle, Dirk Nowitzki and other Mavs figures retain a soft spot for the versatile Cavs addition who’ll be a free agent again at season’s end, as Tim MacMahon of details.

And-Ones: Moon, Griffin, Jazz, Kerr

October 16 at 10:46pm CDT By Chris Crouse

Former NBA player and Harlem Globetrotter Jamario Moon returns to the D-League this season and is confident in his ability to play in the NBA again, writes Gino Pilato of D-League Digest“I’m at the point now where I want to show people that I can still play the game, even at 34 years old. I’m a freak of nature, and I’m a better player now. I’ve always kept myself in good physical condition, but I hit the weights harder than I ever have before this last summer. I’m ready.” Moon said.

Here’s more from around the Association:

  • Shooters might be valued more now by NBA teams than ever, argues Bruce Ely of The Oregonian. Ely identifies those who can connect from beyond the three-point line as the most valued player assets and notes that more than 86% of those who played in the league attempted at least one three-pointer last season.
  • Blake Griffin chronicles his time playing for Donald Sterling and shares his thoughts on playing for new Clippers owner Steve Ballmer in a piece for The Players’ Tribune. Griffin applauds the new owner’s management style, “Ballmer wants to win no matter the cost. Donald Sterling didn’t care if we won — at least if it meant he had to spend money.”
  • Jazz players and coaches believe the team’s chemistry has improved, writes Mike Sorensen of the Deseret News. Guard Trey Burke sees the teams chemistry as a foundation. We’ve got a lot of guys on this team who are easy to get along with and hold each other accountable, so we’ll just continue to build from here,’’ said Burke.
  • New Warriors coach Steve Kerr badly wanted to draft Stephen Curry when he was the GM of the Suns back in 2009, writes Scott Howard-Cooper of Cooper adds that the Suns had internal conversations about trading Amar’e Stoudemire for the point guard but without Stoudemire showing a strong likelihood of re-signing with the Warriors, Golden State was not going to pull the trigger on the trade.

Western Notes: Clippers, Barron, Iguodala

October 15 at 7:54pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Clippers are fortunate to have three solid veterans who are willing to come off of the bench, Melissa Rohlin of The Los Angeles Times writes. Discussing Spencer Hawes, Matt Barnes, and Jamal Crawford, coach Doc Rivers said, “There are two groups. One is the old veterans like Matt. They want to come off the bench. That’s when they’ve figured it out — it saves them, it makes them fresher, they’re smarter, they can actually watch the game and evaluate the game. And then there’s that extraordinary group of guys who clearly could be starters and actually still prefer coming off the bench…. Jamal could start anywhere, he could start here, but he prefers coming off the bench.

Here’s more from out west:

  • The Warriors depth has been an issue since the team decided to sign Andre Iguodala and let Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry leave as free agents, Yannis Koutroupis of Basketball Insiders writes. Golden State is exploring the idea of using Iguodala as their sixth man this season, notes Koutroupis.
  • One element of the Spurs‘ success over the years has been roster continuity, and the franchise places first overall in that department in Joe Freeman of the Oregonian‘s rankings. Finishing in second place was the Trail Blazers, which is a by-product of GM Neil Olshey‘s commitment to development from within the organization and to create year-to-year cohesion and consistency, notes Freeman. This plan will be tested next summer thanks to a number of players reaching free agency, Freeman opines.
  • With the Suns waiving Joe Jackson, Casey Prather and Jamil Wilson yesterday, Earl Barron remains the lone player in camp with a non-guaranteed contract, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic tweets. Coro notes that Barron has performed well enough in camp to be considered for the team’s final regular season roster spot.

Suns Waive Jackson, Prather, Wilson

October 14 at 4:31pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Suns have waived Joe Jackson, Casey Prather and Jamil Wilson, the team announced in a press release. All three players were in camp on non-guaranteed deals, so Phoenix isn’t on the hook for any salary as they begin paring down their roster in anticipation of opening night. The three rookies initially signed with the Suns at the end of September, and all were longshots to make the regular season roster. These moves leave the Suns’ preseason roster count at 16, with Earl Barron being the lone player left whose deal isn’t fully guaranteed.

Prather played in the summer league for the Hawks before catching Phoenix’s eye after a  predraft workout. The small forward out of Florida averaged 13.8 points in 27.9 minutes per game represented the first double-digit scoring average of his college career.

The 6’7″ Wilson went undrafted this year out of Marquette despite being projected as a possible late second-round pick by some. His college numbers, which include his freshman season at Oregon, are 8.5 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 1.6 APG. His college shooting statistics were .447/.336/.708.

Jackson worked out for the Wolves, Kings, Suns, Knicks, Rockets, Mavs, Grizzlies, and the  Jazz prior to the 2014 Draft, but didn’t hear his name called that evening. He was able to catch the Suns’ eye during a June workout, which led to him joining Phoenix for training camp.

And-Ones: Suggs, Suns, Nuggets, Daniels

October 7 at 8:01pm CDT By Alex Lee

Let’s take a look at some of the news and notes coming out of the NBA on this Tuesday evening:

  • Acquiring the D-League rights to Scott Suggs of France’s Chalon-Sur-Saone as part of today’s Seth Curry deal might eventually pay off for the Warriors, as Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports hears that the former Washington Husky has legitimate NBA talent (via Twitter).
  • The Suns anticipated a skyrocketing salary cap when they handed out $122MM to Eric Bledsoe, Marcus Morris and Markieff Morris last month, writes Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. After accumulating draft picks for years and locking up some of their better players, the team believes they are in an ideal position to add to an already impressive core, Coro writes.
  • The Nuggets‘ extension of Kenneth Faried projects to be very reasonable in the current cap climate and is a good bet to become a bargain after the inevitable cap adjustment, according to ESPN Insider’s Kevin Pelton. Pelton fully expects teams to put an emphasis on locking up their young players for as long as they can.
  • Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post provides a player-by-player look at how the inflation of the salary cap would affect the Nuggets, who seem to be well-positioned to build around Ty Lawson and Faried.
  • Marquis Daniels, who played in the NBA as recently as the 2012/13 season, is in the early stages of a transition to coaching, writes Jessica Camerato of Basketball Insiders.

And-Ones: Maxiell, Clippers, Thunder, Brooks

October 2 at 2:00pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Jason Maxiell agreed to join the Hornets knowing that the team envisions him in a capacity more similar to the reduced role he played for the Magic last year than to the 71-start campaign he had with the Pistons in 2012/13, as Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer examines.

“It’s both maturing in life and maturing in basketball,” Maxiell said. “Respect your coach, your owner and your teammates, and help the other guys to understand this is a career. It’s not just playing basketball, it’s getting to a place where you can do other things after basketball.”

The pressure’s on the 31-year-old to make an impression this month, since he has a non-guaranteed deal. Here’s more from around the league:

  • Doc Rivers admits that the Clippers have a greater need at point guard, a position that Jared Cunningham can play, than at the forwards, Joe Ingles‘ positions, but Rivers insists that he won’t necessarily make a decision on the final regular season roster based on that. Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times has the details.
  • The contracts of Thunder camp invitees Lance Thomas, Michael Jenkins, Richard Solomon and Talib Zanna are all non-guaranteed for the minimum salary and cover just one season, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). All four fit the criteria for Exhibit 9 Contracts that would keep the Thunder from paying them if they’re injured during camp, but it’s unclear whether any of them agreed to such a deal.
  • Championship dreams led Aaron Brooks to sign for just the minimum salary when he joined the Bulls, as he tells Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders. Former Bulls and fellow Seattle natives Nate Robinson and Jamal Crawford gave Brooks full-throated endorsements of the organization, as Brooks says to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link).
  • Agent Charles Briscoe is joining forces with NFL agent Joby Branion to form Vanguard Sports Group, tweets Shams Charania of RealGM. Our Agency Database shows that Briscoe, who formerly operated through Briscoe Sports Management, represents Archie Goodwin and Joe Jackson of the Suns, Xavier Silas of the Wizards, and Junior Cadougan, who was briefly with the Bucks last fall.

Pacific Rumors: Morrises, Liggins, Gay, Kobe

September 30 at 12:39pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Marcus Morris says he thinks Markieff Morris should have received a greater share of the four-year, $52MM combined total of the extensions that agent Leon Rose negotiated for the twins, as he told reporters, including Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. Markieff said it would be OK if he and his brother ended up on different teams, but he added that there was no reason for them to walk away from what the Suns had to offer.

“It’s a dream come true,” Markieff said. “We feel like we’re home together. When they offer us great money to stay together, why not take it instead of going through free agency? We’re both going to have great seasons. … The game is more fun together. It means more. We’re definitely past that point of not being able to play apart, but another four years definitely won’t hurt anything.”

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • DeAndre Liggins doesn’t appear on the training camp roster the Clippers released today, so it looks like he won’t be joining the team after all. There were conflicting reports about whether he had a deal to do so.
  • Rudy Gay said he briefly began extension talks with the Kings over the summer, but he put them on hold when he joined Team USA, notes Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Still, Gay’s not opposed to having his agents at Octagon Sports resume talks, Jones adds.
  • Kobe Bryant isn’t ruling out the idea of playing beyond his contract, which ends in the summer of 2016, shortly before his 38th birthday, observes Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports“Whether I do or not, we’ll have to see that two years from now,” Bryant said. “I don’t know, but I could [play longer]. Physically, I don’t see an end to the tunnel.”
  • Confidence in the continued development of the team’s young players made the Warriors hesitate to trade for Kevin Love, as GM Bob Myers told NBA TV, while Klay Thompson, in his NBA TV appearance, expressed appreciation for Steve Kerr‘s role in forestalling a swap. Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group provides a transcription. “If it is the truth, it’s awesome,” Thompson said of Kerr’s opposition to a move. “I appreciate Steve for that. It just makes me want to play even harder for him if he really did believe that, so it gives me a new sense of confidence, really.”