Phoenix Suns

Suns Sign Leandro Barbosa

JULY 19, 2:01pm: The Suns have officially signed Barbosa, the team announced today (via Twitter).

JULY 6, 11:00pm: The deal includes a team option on the second year, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com tweets.

10:54pm: The Suns have agreed to a deal with unrestricted free agent Leandro Barbosa, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (via Twitter). The pact is worth $8MM over two-years, Wojnarowski adds. It’s unknown if the deal includes any options, be it player or team.

The 33-year-old makes his return to Phoenix, where he spent the first seven years of his career after being selected No. 28 overall in the 2003 NBA Draft. The veteran also made a brief 20-game pit stop with the franchise during the 2013/14 campaign.

Barbosa was a member of the Western Conference champion Warriors this past season, appearing in 68 games and averaging 6.4 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 15.9 minutes per contest. He shot .462/.355/.839 from the field on the year.

Suns Add Marlon Garnett To Staff

  • The Suns have hired Marlon Garnett as an assistant coach/ player development coordinator, reports Marc J. Spears of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Garnett previously worked for the Spurs as a video coordinator.
  • Alan Williams‘ Summer League performance could guarantee him a roster spot on the Suns, Matt Petersen of NBA.com speculates. The big man earned first team honors out in Vegas, pulling down 11.2 rebounds per game.

Jenkins Hopes Move Helps NBA Chances

  • The SunsJohn Jenkins hopes he improved his chances to stay in the NBA by extending the guarantee date on his contract until October, writes Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. Jenkins, who was claimed off waivers from the Mavericks in February, is owed $1.05MM in 2016-17 and $1.18MM in 2017-18, but both years are non-guaranteed. “I’m good here,” Jenkins said. “I love the vision. I love the direction. When I heard [the extension] may happen, I wanted it to happen. My agent loved the idea.”

Suns To Add Ty Ellis As D-League Coach

  • The Suns are closing in on hiring Ty Ellis as the head coach of their D-League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns, Marc Stein of ESPN.com relays (on Twitter). Ellis spent the 2015/16 campaign as an assistant on Phoenix’s D-League squad in Bakersfield.

Suns Not Re-Signing Ronnie Price

Free agent point guard Ronnie Price appears headed to a new team, according to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7, who reports (via Twitter) that Price has agreed to a two-year deal with an NBA club. The identity of that mystery team isn’t yet known, but Gambadoro clarifies (via Twitter) that Price won’t be returning to the Suns, who previously had interest in the veteran guard on a one-year contract.

Price, 33, hasn’t played for the same team in consecutive seasons since spending four years in Utah from 2007/08 to 2010/11, so his departure from Phoenix doesn’t come as a shock. Still, he had expressed optimism back in April about remaining a Sun, and a report earlier this month indicated that he was still on the team’s radar.

In 2015/16, Price established a new career high for playing time, appearing in 62 games and earning more than 1,200 minutes for the Suns — it was the first time in his 11-year career that he had cracked the 1,000-minute mark. His numbers in those 62 appearances were modest, however. For the season, Price averaged 5.3 PPG and 2.4 APG to go along with a shooting line of .384/.347/.756.

With Price not returning to Phoenix, the Suns may be preparing for second-round pick Tyler Ulis to have a role backing up Eric Bledsoe. As the team’s depth chart shows, Leandro Barbosa and Brandon Knight are among the other guards on the roster capable of handling the ball, though they also figure to see time at the two.

Pacific Notes: Sanders, Kings, Joerger, Smith

Despite losing two centers this summer, the Warriors haven’t reached out to Larry Sanders, writes Monte Poole of CSNBayArea. The former Bucks big man was an elite rim protector before he walked away from the game in December of 2014, citing anxiety and depression. Sanders is considering a comeback and sparked speculation on Saturday when he sent out two messages on Twitter: an image of a cavalier and a scene from a 1979 movie titled “The Warriors.” Golden State needs to find replacements for Andrew Bogut, who was traded to Dallas to create cap room for Kevin Durant, and Festus Ezeli, who signed with the Trail Blazers as a free agent.

There’s more news from the Pacific Division:

  • The Kings are getting plenty of calls from teams interested in Rudy Gay, Kosta Koufos and Ben McLemore, tweets James Ham of CSNCalifornia. So far, they haven’t heard an offer they like.
  • New Kings coach Dave Joerger doesn’t plan to coach any more summer league games, tweets Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Joerger said he started out in that role to set the tone for the rest of the staff.
  • The Kings and Clippers are among the teams that worked out J.R. Smith‘s brother this weekend in Las Vegas, tweets Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com. Chris Smith‘s only NBA experience came in two games with the Knicks in 2013.
  • Ryan McDonough’s first plan for a quick turnaround in Phoenix didn’t work, so now he’s rebuilding through the draft, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. With two picks in the top eight, the Suns grabbed highly regarded power forward prospects Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss. Their only free agent pickup so far this summer is veteran shooting guard Jared Dudley for $30MM over three years, a modest sum in this year’s market. “That’s certainly the most sustainable way to do it,” McDonough said about his draft strategy. “If you can draft those guys and have them under control for four years on the rookie scale and then have a bunch of advantages in terms of contract extensions and full Bird rights, that really helps.”

Suns Sign Jared Dudley

JULY 8th, 5:01pm: The Suns announced that the signing is official.

JULY 1st, 9:14pm: After spending four years in Phoenix earlier in his NBA career, Jared Dudley is returning to the Suns. According to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter link), the Suns and Dudley have reached an agreement on a three-year, $30MM deal. The pact will be fully guaranteed, tweets Michael Scotto of The Associated Press.Jared Dudley vertical

Dudley, who will turn 31 later this month, was one of the more talented outside shooters available in free agency this summer. For his career, Dudley has made more than 700 three-pointers, shooting at a 39.9% clip. He made 42.0% of his shots from downtown this past season for the Wizards, averaging at least one three-pointer per game for the seventh straight year.

While Washington reportedly had interest in re-signing Dudley, Phoenix’s primary competitors for the veteran’s services appeared to be the Nets and the Jazz. Brooklyn reportedly made a two-year, $18MM offer to Dudley, while Utah spoke to him multiple times.

For the Suns, Dudley will provide a young team with veteran leadership, and will help make up for some of the outside shooting that was lost when Mirza Teletovic reached an agreement with the Bucks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Suns Ink Bender, Chriss, Ulis

The Suns announced that 2016 draftees Dragan Bender (No. 4 overall), Marquese Chriss (No. 8 overall) and Tyler Ulis (No. 34 overall) have officially inked their rookie-scale deals with the team.

Bender spent the 2015/16 season with Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Israeli Premier League. He averaged 5.5 points on 47.9% shooting, while connecting on 41.1% of his attempts from three-point range. Bender was the youngest player in the 2016 NBA Draft and he also became the first Croatian ever to be a top-four selection in the NBA Draft, according to the official release.

Chriss, a 6’10” power forward, averaged 13.7 points on 53.0% shooting from the field and 35.0% from beyond the arc. He also added 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks over his 34 games at Washington. Chriss notched 55 blocks overall to lead all Pac-12 freshmen.

Ulis, a 5’10” point guard from Kentucky, was named the SEC Player of the Year by the coaches and media after averaging 17.3 points, 7.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 35 games this past season.

Suns Explored Paul Millsap Trade

In an interesting piece on the Hawks, Zach Lowe of ESPN.com explains that Atlanta’s original offseason plan was to re-sign Al Horford to pair him with Dwight Howard, and to move Paul Millsap in exchange for young players and/or draft assets. That plan ultimately fell apart, but before it did, the Hawks spoke to the Nuggets, Suns, Raptors, and Rockets about a Millsap deal, according to Lowe, who adds that Denver had been ready to move a “players-and-picks package” led by Kenneth Faried.

Unsigned Draft Picks: Pacific Division

With the 2016 NBA draft now in the books, the term draft-and-stash will be mentioned quite often in regard to international players and late second-rounders. While some of these athletes will eventually sign with an NBA team,  it seems like the majority of them stay overseas and never make it to the league. Those players in the latter category aren’t without value as they become trade assets for the teams holding their rights.

While many players fail to work out the way teams expect them to, they can at least become tradeable assets for teams that don’t want to part with a future second-round pick in a deal.  Each team must give up something in a trade, which is why many swaps include top-55 protected second-round picks.  Older draft rights held players who clearly will never come over to the NBA are essentially the same as flipping those heavily protected second-rounders, for all intents and purposes.

Listed below are the current unsigned draftees for the teams of the Pacific Division. These listings don’t include players selected in this year’s draft:

Golden State Warriors

  • Mladen Sekularac — Selected No. 55 overall in 2002.

Los Angeles Clippers

Los Angeles Lakers

Phoenix Suns

  • Alec Brown — Selected No. 50 overall in 2014.
  • Dwayne Collins — Selected No. 60 overall in 2010.
  • Ron Ellis — Selected No. 49 overall in 1992.
  • Milos Vujanic — Selected No. 36 overall in 2002.

Sacramento Kings

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