Phoenix Suns Rumors

Suns Re-Sign P.J. Tucker

July 23 at 7:35pm CDT By Alex Lee

JULY 23RD: The deal is official, the team announced.

7:22pm: The third year of Tucker’s deal includes about $3.8MM of non-guaranteed money, writes Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. Coro also indicates that Tucker has yet to sign the contract.

JULY 10TH, 6:35pm: The Suns will re-sign restricted free agent P.J. Tucker to a three year deal worth $16.5MM, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). Tucker met with Suns owner Robert Sarver and head coach Jeff Hornacek yesterday and it was believed that talks would spill over to today. The terms of the deal would allow Phoenix to utilize Tucker’s Early Bird Rights, their Mid-level exception or their available cap room to bring back the forward, though there have yet to be reports of which option they’ll choose.

The 29-year-old Texas product has carved out a nice role the past two seasons in Phoenix as a solid defender and a positive influence in the locker room. Tucker, who is represented by the Arete Sports Agency, averaged 9.4 points and 6.5 rebounds in 30.7 minutes per game last season for a Suns team that nearly made the playoffs. While Phoenix has been mentioned as suitors for some of the NBA’s top free agents, it has mostly been on the periphery. However, they’ve had a busy Thursday after reportedly hosting restricted free agent Isaiah Thomas and now locking up Tucker.

There was talk last week that several teams had inquired about the possibility of acquiring Tucker from Phoenix via sign and trade but they came away convinced that the Suns were determined to keep him. The Wizards and Raptors were specifically reported to have had interest.

Western Notes: Clips, Jazz, Withey, Buycks, Mavs

July 23 at 5:33pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion bid for the Clippers equals more than 12 times the total revenue projections for the team from 2013/14, but no major pro sports team has ever sold for more than five times of its total revenue, according to Bank of America. Ramona Shelburne and Darren Rovell of ESPN.com have the details, which back up the contention of Clippers CEO Dick Parsons that it would be tough to envision another bidder coming in so high.

  • The Jazz received $1.3MM in cash Tuesday as part of their three-for-one trade with the Cavs, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). That’s slightly more than the $1MM that was originally reported.
  • Jeff Withey‘s minimum salary became fully guaranteed for this coming season after the Pelicans declined to waive him before the end of Tuesday, the final day they could do so without owing him any money, according to Mark Deeks of ShamSports. Teammate Luke Babbitt also earned a $100K partial guarantee when the Pelicans kept him past Tuesday, which was also the final day his contract had been fully non-guaranteed.
  • Dwight Buycks is drawing the eye Clippers and Suns, and multiple teams from overseas have interested in him as well, Sportando’s Enea Trapani reports. The Raptors waived Buycks on Saturday, before his contract would have become fully guaranteed.
  • The Mavs are nearing a deal with Jameer Nelson, but owner Mark Cuban insisted to Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com that the team isn’t trying to unload Raymond Felton. “We like him and think he will have a great year,” Cuban said. 
  • Cuban also made an appearance on Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket in Dallas this week, during which he explained that the Mavericks strategically used the ultra-logical approach of the Rockets‘ front office to put together an offer for Chandler Parsons that was unlikely to be matched (link via The Dallas Morning News).

Pacific Rumors: Bledsoe, Thomas, Clippers

July 23 at 1:01pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Suns have little interest in sending restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe away in a sign-and-trade, and Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby is confident in the team’s two-point guard look, writes Bob Young of the Arizona Republic. The four-year, $48MM offer the Suns reportedly have out to Bledsoe is for significantly more than what the team and agent Rich Paul spoke about last fall in extension talks, Young adds. There’s more from Young’s piece amid the latest on the Suns and the rest of the Pacific Division:

  • New Suns acquisition Isaiah Thomas told Young that he felt as though the Kings were looking to replace him at every turn. “I felt very disrespected,” Thomas said. “Every year it was somebody new. I felt I did a good enough job to show them I was a starting point guard or a guy who could play a big role with their team. But they thought differently.
  • Differing opinions on the relative values of David Lee and Kevin Love, a reluctance to take on Kevin Martin, and a reticence to give up Harrison Barnes on top of it all have the Warriors holding out in talks with Minnesota, as Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group explains. That’s in addition to Golden State’s decision to keep Klay Thompson‘s name out of the discussion.
  • Attorneys for Donald Sterling made it clear Tuesday that he wants the NBA to vote to terminate his ownership of the Clippers so he can move forward with his antitrust suit against the league, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. The judge in the probate trial between Sterling and his wife can rule that Shelly Sterling’s sale of the team to Steve Ballmer would go forward even if Donald Sterling appeals, but such a ruling would be difficult to come by, Shelburne adds (on Twitter).
  • The Kings are among several teams that Dan Fegan, the agent for Omri Casspi, has spoken to, as Casspi tells Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. Casspi, whom the Pelicans are likely to waive this month, added that he has interest in returning to Sacramento, where he played his first two NBA seasons.

Suns Sign Anthony Tolliver

July 21 at 11:16am CDT By Chuck Myron

JULY 21ST: The deal is official, the team announced on its website.

“Anthony is a great fit for our style of play,” GM Ryan McDonough said. “His shooting, professionalism and leadership will help us as we try to continue to build a strong foundation going forward.”

JULY 16TH: 10:03am: Each season is worth $3MM, but only $400K of Tolliver’s salary is guaranteed in the second season, according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. In any case, a full $3MM salary for 2014/15 means the club will have to use cap space on him, rather than the room exception.

8:34am: The Suns and forward Anthony Tolliver have agreed on a two-year, $6MM deal, agent Larry Fox confirmed to Shams Charania of RealGM. Phoenix beats the Clippers, Cavs, Pistons, Spurs, Wizards and the incumbent Hornets, all of whom apparently had serious discussions with the 29-year-old who was coming off career-high 41.3% accuracy from three-point range last season.

Tolliver averaged 6.1 points in 20.3 minutes per game for Charlotte in 2013/14, though he wasn’t much of a factor in the team’s four-game ouster in the first-round of the playoffs, totaling just 21 minutes for the entire series. The Hornets renounced his Bird rights last week, but they still had the means to re-sign him using cap space, at least until they came to their deal with Lance Stephenson.

Phoenix is likely using cap space on Tolliver, though it’s possible that the Suns could squeeze him into the $2.732MM room exception, depending on the timing of the official signing, if the precise figures in his contract add up to slighly less than $6MM. In any case, Tolliver, who went undrafted in 2007, is in line for the highest salary of his career, per Basketball-Reference.

Bucks Claim Kendall Marshall

July 20 at 6:17pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

SUNDAY, 6:17pm: Marshall to the Bucks is now official, according to Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel (on Twitter).

SATURDAY, 6:03pm: The Bucks intend to put in a waiver claim for Kendall Marshall, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twittter link). Milwaukee is looking to add passers and backcourt upgrades, tweets Stein, and Marshall will join newly acquired Jerryd Bayless in filling those needs.

Marshall was waived by the Lakers on Friday as the team attempted to clear cap space. Los Angeles had hoped to re-sign the 22 year-old point guard out of North Carolina, but it appears that Milwaukee will put a damper on those plans if they do in fact place a waiver claim on Marshall during the two-day waiver period.

After being considered a bust by the Suns, Marshall revived his career last season when he averaged 8.0 PPG, 2.9 RPG, and 8.8 APG while playing 29 minutes per game. His slash line was .396/.372/.540.

And-Ones: Bledsoe, Love, Hinkie, Murry

July 20 at 12:30pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Eric Bledsoe is the top remaining player still unsigned, though as a restricted free agent the Suns have the right to match any offer sheet that Bledsoe agrees to. Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic looks at why Bledsoe hasn’t received any offers, and examines the player’s options going forward. Bickley also opines that Bledsoe is risking alienating the fans in Phoenix by turning down the Suns’ four-year, $48MM deal.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • George Karl told Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune that the Wolves can’t afford to pass on trading Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, if the Cavs are truly offering that package (via Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer’s tweet). Karl coached through a tumultuous season with the Nuggets when Carmelo Anthony eventually received his desired trade to the Knicks.
  • Every year when the dust settles and the free agent signings begin to wind down there are winners and losers. Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today weigh in on this year’s successes and disappointments.
  • The Thunder‘s Josh Huestis might become the NBA’s first domestic “draft-and-stash” player, writes Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman. If Huestis does skip signing with the Thunder and heads directly to the NBA D-League, it could signal a major shift in the future of the D-League and how it’s utilized, notes Mayberry.
  • Sixers GM Sam Hinkie‘s rebuilding plan might not be popular in Philadelphia as the losses keep piling up. Jason Wolf of USA Today profiles the GM, as well as takes a look at the moves he’s made so far in his efforts to retool the franchise.
  • The Jazz are interested in signing free agent Toure’ Murry, tweets Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune. Falk notes that Murry might be waiting for an offer from the Heat. The Knicks had also expressed interest in bringing Murry back, but currently have a logjam in the backcourt.

Cray Allred contributed to this post.

Western Rumors: Marshall, Bledsoe, Love

July 19 at 10:37am CDT By Cray Allred

Eric Pincus of The Los Angeles Times tweets that he doesn’t expect Kendall Marshall, whom the Lakers released yesterday, to clear waivers. Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Lakers were pleasantly surprised to have won their amnesty claim on Carlos Boozer, tweets Bill Oram of The Orange County Register.
  • Dan Bickley of USA Today thinks that Eric Bledsoe should relent on his demands for a five-year, $80MM contract with the Suns, and risks earning a poor public image if he doesn’t.
  • The Warriors commitment to defense is manifesting itself in the team’s unwillingness to give up Klay Thompson in a Kevin Love trade, writes Sam Amick of USA Today. Amick notes that new coach Steve Kerr has prioritized the defensive end in choosing his assistants, and that Love’s inability to reach the players is a black eye among some league executives.
  • New Hornets addition Lance Stephenson tells Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star that he’s surprised he didn’t remain with the Pacers“I’m definitely surprised,” said Stephenson. “But I’m happy here. I can definitely help this program. It’s a family here. I’m definitely going to miss Larry Bird. But it’s a business, and I feel like here is more of a family. Let’s go get wins.”

Arnovitz On Lockout, Rockets, Suns, LeBron

July 17 at 10:34pm CDT By Alex Lee

While members of June’s coveted draft class have yet to wow executives in the NBA summer leagues, it hasn’t curbed the chatter among the league’s decision-makers in Las Vegas, writes ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz. Arnovitz provides a plethora of big-picture issues being regularly discussed in the desert. Let’s round them up here:

  • Between the hefty prices that NBA franchises have fetched this offseason and a new television deal for the league on the horizon, insiders have been “downright giddy” in Vegas this week. Soaring revenues have resulted in teams investing in technology and analytics, though there is a growing fear that the NBA could be headed for another lockout in 2017.
  • Speaking of lockouts, the CBA negotiated during the last one has successfully limited the lengths of contracts in the NBA while simultaneously making it more difficult to plan for the long term, according to some executives. By limiting risk, shorter contracts have flooded the marketplace with bidders, in turn driving up the prices on free agents.
  • The reactions to the Rockets‘ offseason have been mixed, according to Arnovitz. On one hand, GM Daryl Morey has essentially traded Chandler Parsons, Omer Asik, Jeremy Lin and first and second round draft picks for Trevor Ariza, a first round pick and a trade exception. On the other hand, Morey has landed two max players in two years while maintaining the cap space to add another. However, there is sentiment that Morey’s analytics-based approach might eventually discourage future targets from coming to Houston.
  • The Spurs are still undoubtedly the model franchise of the NBA, though there is a buzz about what the Suns are building in Phoenix. Citing several insiders, Arnovitz writes that the Suns are adding assets while simultaneously producing an exciting product for their fans.
  • LeBron James‘ return to Cleveland hasn’t evoked nearly as much gossip among league insiders as his departure did, but one general manager expressed appreciation for the Cavaliers‘ star “carrying” the NBA right now from a business standpoint.
  • The analytics movement continues to devalue the mid-range game, resulting in widespread approval of Channing Frye‘s four-year, $32MM deal with the Magic and even some support for the three-year, $19.5MM deal that Jodie Meeks signed with the Pistons.

Suns Guarantee Shavlik Randolph’s Contract

July 17 at 9:08pm CDT By Alex Lee

9:08pm: Randolph’s deal for 2014/15 is for $1.23MM, the minimum for a seven-year veteran, reports Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic.

7:02pm: The Suns will fully guarantee the 2014/15 contract of Shavlik Randolph, writes Shams Charania of RealGM, citing Randolph’s agent Joel Bell in the report. The terms of the now-guaranteed contract are not yet known, though Randolph is likely on a minimum-salary deal as our schedule of contract guarantee dates indicates. Charania adds that today was the final day the Suns could guarantee Randolph’s deal before releasing him.

The Suns signed the 30-year-old power forward last March after the former Dukie put up some impressive numbers in China. The deal covered the remainder of last season and included a non-guaranteed year in 2014/15, which the team has now guaranteed. Randolph averaged 6.8 minutes in 14 contests in Phoenix, contributing 1.4 points and 1.8 rebounds per game.

The Suns are the fifth team Randolph has played for in seven seasons in the NBA. He spent a few years overseas before latching on with the Celtics in 2012/13, where he averaged 4.2 points and 4.4 rebounds in 16 games. He will likely provide depth inside in Phoenix behind fellow Duke product Miles Plumlee and Markieff Morris.

Suns, Eric Bledsoe Far Apart In Talks

July 17 at 5:42pm CDT By Chuck Myron

5:42pm: The Suns’ current offer to Bledsoe is four years, $48MM, tweets Broussard, who adds that the point guard is insistent on a max offer of five years, $80MM.

10:40am: The Suns are offering Eric Bledsoe much less than the maximum salary he’s likely seeking as the team and agent Rich Paul aren’t moving anywhere close to agreement on a new contract for the restricted free agent, reports Chris Broussard of ESPN.com. Phoenix’s insistence that it will match any offers for Bledsoe has effectively deterred would-be suitors, as Broussard details. The Suns have so far refused to discuss sign-and-trade scenarios, but rival teams nonetheless continue to believe the Suns would trade him, given Phoenix’s acquisition of Isaiah Thomas and decision to draft Tyler Ennis. Both are point guards, like Bledsoe.

The Bucks had reportedly been pursuing Bledsoe earlier this month, and while it seems they discussed an offer sheet with him, it isn’t clear whether they’re still in the mix nearly two weeks later. Broussard makes mention of the Bucks in his story, and he also points to the Rockets and Kings as teams in need of a point guard, but it appears as though there’s no sign of legitimate interest from either Houston or Sacramento.

The Jazz had reportedly been preparing to make an offer to Bledsoe, but they’ve largely exhausted their cap flexibility on new deals for Gordon Hayward and Trevor Booker. Some around the league apparently believed Rich Paul’s meetings with teams interested in LeBron James were geared more toward selling those clubs on Bledsoe. The Cavs, Mavs, Lakers and Bulls were among the teams that reportedly met with Paul.

It’s not uncommon for negotiations to become drawn out between marquee restricted free agents and their incumbent teams. The Timberwolves and Nikola Pekovic didn’t reach agreement until August 14th last year. Bledsoe is the top restricted free agent on the Hoops Rumors Free Agent Power Rankings.