Here's a look at the latest out of the Pacific..
FRIDAY, 7:49am: According to John Gambadoro of 620 KTAR in Phoenix (Twitter link), the Suns have "zero" interest in trading for Smith. Gambadoro adds in a second tweet that the Suns have not even had a conversation with the Hawks about Smith.
THURSDAY, 5:02pm: Having missed out on Rudy Gay and Eric Gordon, the Phoenix Suns are making an effort to trade for Josh Smith, Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld reports. Kennedy writes that the Suns are intent on acquiring a max-level star to make into a cornerstone of their franchise, and have had preliminary discussions with the Hawks regarding possible trade packages.
Kennedy reports that a Suns package would likely be based around center Marcin Gortat, as well some combination of the expiring contracts of Jermaine O'Neal, Wesley Johnson, Shannon Brown, and Sebastian Telfair. Luis Scola could be involved as well, although since he was claimed off amnesty waivers, any deal including him would have to be a sign-and-trade made after July 1. The Suns also own multiple first-round picks, including their own, one from Minnesota, and two they received from the Lakers in last summer's Steve Nash trade.
In the past week, speculation is growing around the league that Smith's tenure with the Hawks may be coming to a close. Executives believe that he does not intend to re-sign with Atlanta this summer, when he will be an unrestricted free agent.
WEDNESDAY, 3:33pm: Brown has officially signed his contract with the Suns, tweets Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
FRIDAY, 5:08pm: Shannon Brown has agreed to re-sign with the Suns, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link), confirming an earlier report by Vince Marotta of Arizona Sports. The deal is for $7MM over two seasons, tweets Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic reports that only half of his second-year salary is guaranteed (Twitter link).
Earlier this week we passed along a report from Gary Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times that Brown was close to signing with a mystery team. He speculated that the team might have been the Bucks, but it appears it was Phoenix all along. Brown said in May that he was interested in returning to the team, but wanted a multiyear deal. He wound up getting two seasons after signing a one-year, $3.5MM deal with the team last year.
Brown averaged 11.0 points on 42.0% shooting last season, compiling a 13.6 PER and starting 19 games. That was enough to keep Brown's salary at the same rate for next season and give him at least a bit of the long-term security he wanted, while allowing the Suns to maintain the flexibility to go after a major free agent next offseason.
Phoenix may have lost star point guard Steve Nash, but don't expect the team to bottom out this season, says Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. The Suns have managed to add a few long-term pieces to the roster, including Goran Dragic, Luis Scola, and Michael Beasley, while maintaining spending flexibility for next summer. Let's round up a few Thursday afternoon Suns notes from Coro's piece and elsewhere....
According to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times (via Twitter), Shannon Brown is close to signing a contract with an unknown team. Woelfel notes that the Bucks have been eyeing Brown, who has also drawn interest from the Suns. I wouldn't be surprised to see Brown re-sign with the Suns, after the team fell short in its pursuit of O.J. Mayo.
Brown, 26, has played for five NBA teams in his six-year career, most notably appearing in every regular season game for the Lakers in 2009/10 and 2010/11. For the Suns last season, he started 19 of 59 games, setting or matching career highs in PPG (11.0), MPG (23.7), and PER (13.6).
Ever since the Raptors' acquisition of Kyle Lowry, there has been a steady flow of rumors revolving around Jose Calderon's future, or lack thereof, in Toronto. Calderon, who will run the point for Spain's Olympic team later this month in London, has already expressed his discontent with the thought of being relegated to back up duties, but according to Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun, he may not have a choice.
Wolstat caught up with Toronto GM Bryan Colangelo who said, “We have had a few more trade inquiries regarding Jose (but) the scenario doesn’t seem to present itself to a trade today, but we’ll continue to monitor that and just try to determine whether it’s going to work in the long run.” Colangelo also implied that amnestying Calderon is not in the plans.
Here are some more updates from around the league on Sunday night:
Jeff Green reached an agreement to remain with the Celtics on Saturday, while Aaron Brooks became an unrestricted free agent after the Suns withdrew their qualifying offer to the guard. What will Sunday bring? Here are the latest rumors on a number of free agents still on the market:
Fresh off of a career season with the Suns, Shannon Brown has expressed interest in returning to Phoenix next year, according to Paul Coro of AZCentral.com.
"I would like to come back, (and) I understand it's a business at the same time. Whatever happens, happens, but I've expressed my interest."
Coro writes that Brown's thought process in free agency will be based on the plans of Steve Nash, with whom he enjoyed sharing the back court with. The 6'4 guard also mentioned that he does not want to play on another one-year contract again, for fear that falling out of the rotation could signal the end of his playing career. In February, Coro documented Shannon's frustration as he struggled to crack Alvin Gentry's rotation. However, Brown was able to find his niche after the All-Star break, earning 23.3 MPG in March and 29.9 MPG in April (compared to 18.8 in February).
The former Michigan State Spartan played on a one-year, $3.5 MM contract with the Suns this season and averaged a career high in minutes (23.7), points (11.0), and shot attempts (10.1), while shooting 42% from the field and 36.2% from three-point range. To his credit, Brown averaged 14.9 PPG and 39.2% from three in the final month of the season, when Phoenix was still playing meaningful games to secure a playoff spot.
Chris Paul is confident about the Clippers' chances of landing J.R. Smith when the former Nugget returns from China, but Smith's Twitter profile suggests a number of teams are in play, including one he hasn't been linked to yet. Smith's Twitter bio simple reads: "NYK? LAL? LAC? CHI? ORL? iNDI?" While there's no guarantee the 26-year-old is deciding between just those six teams, the Magic are an interesting inclusion, given the uncertainty surrounding Dwight Howard. Hoops Rumors readers voted the Clippers as the frontrunner for Smith yesterday.
Here are a few more items out of the Pacific Division: