Suns Rumors

Suns To Sign Chasson Randle

Free agent guard Chasson Randle is signing a training camp contract with the Suns, a source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Randle, 28, has appeared in a total of 119 NBA regular season games for the Sixers, Knicks, Wizards, Warriors, and Magic since making his debut in January 2017. Last season, he signed a two-way contract with Orlando in February and played a regular role for the team in the second half, averaging 6.5 PPG, 2.0 RPG, and 1.8 APG on .388/.338/.792 shooting in 41 games (20.4 MPG).

Based on Wojnarowski’s report, it sounds like Randle’s contract with Phoenix will be non-guaranteed. However, it won’t include Exhibit 10 language, since the Suns don’t have a G League affiliate and Randle is ineligible to have his contract converted to a two-way deal.

As such, the only path for Randle sticking with the Suns would be to earn the final spot on the regular season roster. Phoenix is currently carrying 14 players on guaranteed deals, and retaining a 15th man wouldn’t push team salary over the tax line, so there’s a viable path to a roster spot for Randle, though the club may bring other players to camp to compete for that spot.

2021/22 NBA Over/Unders: Pacific Division

The 2021/22 NBA regular season will get underway in less than a month, so it’s time to start getting serious about predictions for the upcoming campaign and to resume an annual Hoops Rumors tradition.

With the help of the lines from a handful of sports betting sites, including Bovada and BetOnline, we’re running through the predicted win totals for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, by division. In a series of team-by-team polls, you’ll get the chance to weigh in on whether you think those forecasts are too optimistic or too pessimistic.

In 2020/21, our voters went 17-13 on their over/under picks. Can you top that in ’21/22?

As a reminder, the NBA played a 72-game schedule in 2020/21, so a team that won 41 games last year finished with a 41-31 record. This year, a club that wins 41 games would be a .500 team (41-41). For added clarity, we’ve noted the record that each team would have to achieve to finish “over” its projected win total.

We’ll turn today to the Pacific division…


Los Angeles Lakers


Phoenix Suns


Golden State Warriors


Los Angeles Clippers


Sacramento Kings


Previous voting results:

Atlantic:

  • Brooklyn Nets (55.5 wins): Over (63.2%)
  • Philadelphia 76ers (51.5 wins): Under (70.0%)
  • Boston Celtics (46.5 wins): Over (58.1%)
  • New York Knicks (42.5 wins): Over (65.1%)
  • Toronto Raptors (36.5 wins): Under (50.6%)

Northwest:

  • Utah Jazz (52.5 wins): Over (61.7%)
  • Denver Nuggets (48.5 wins): Over (69.3%)
  • Portland Trail Blazers (44.5 wins): Over (53.0%)
  • Minnesota Timberwolves (34.5 wins): Under (57.1%)
  • Oklahoma City Thunder (23.5 wins): Under (65.0%)

Central:

  • Milwaukee Bucks (54.5 wins): Over (63.7%)
  • Indiana Pacers (42.5 wins): Under (58.2%)
  • Chicago Bulls (42.5 wins): Over (68.3%)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (26.5 wins): Under (50.5%)
  • Detroit Pistons (25.5 wins): Under (52.6%)

Pacific Notes: McGee, Kuminga, M. Gasol, Collison

JaVale McGee already has three NBA championship rings and he believes joining the Suns gives him a good chance to get another one, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. McGee chose the defending Western Conference champs in free agency, signing a one-year contract worth $5MM, and he sees his role as a mentor who can contribute valuable minutes as a backup center.

“I feel like my game definitely helps Deandre Ayton in a major way just for the veteran leadership alone,” McGee said. “Also when he gets into foul trouble and having that veteran big to come in that’s 7 foot, block shots, defend, rebound and does all the intangibles that a real big man does.”

McGee has played alongside some elite teammates during his 13-year NBA career, including Stephen Curry and LeBron James. Now he’s looking forward to teaming up with Chris Paul, who transformed Phoenix into a title contender last season.

“Every big man that has ever played with Chris Paul has done well,” McGee said. “I just feel like Chris Paul is definitely the head of the snake and he’s definitely going to lead us to the finals again.” 

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Jonathan Kuminga will need to be versatile to see significant playing time as a rookie, Warriors assistant Kris Weems tells Grant Liffman of NBC Sports. Golden State experimented with Kuminga as a small-ball center during Summer League to see how well he could defend post players. “When you are going to draft a kid that size, and knowing that long term he is going to be bigger and stronger, he may grow a couple inches taller, his versatility because of his size gives him a chance to stay on the floor longer,” Weems said.
  • Marc Gasol came close to signing with the Warriors last summer and could emerge as an option later this season, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Gasol has returned to Spain after being waived by the Grizzlies, but Slater notes that he’s the type of passing big man who performs well in Steve Kerr’s system and he could be tempted to return around midseason if Golden State is in the title hunt. The Warriors still have their taxpayer mid-level exception available, although using it would result in a significant increase in their luxury tax bill.
  • Darren Collison worked out for the Warriors earlier this month and remains an option for the 15th roster spot, but there’s speculation that he’s hoping for a training camp invitation from the Lakers, Slater adds in the same piece.

E'Twaun Moore Hoped To Re-Sign With Suns

  • New Magic guard E’Twaun Moore had hoped to re-sign with the Suns after reaching the NBA Finals last season, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic writes. Moore also believes Phoenix would’ve had a better chance at winning the Finals if he played. “Just being another playmaker,” he said. “Somebody else that can make shots. Somebody else that can handle. Man, I felt like we would’ve gave Milwaukee some problems if I would’ve played. I felt like I could’ve helped us win for sure in the Finals. So, I definitely do wish I played more towards the end of the season and into the playoffs. I ain’t going to lie. I was itching for it.”

Cameron Johnson Changes Representation

  • Suns wing Cameron Johnson has changed representation, hiring agents Ty Sullivan, Steve Heumann, Melvin Booker and Simone Capers of CAA Basketball, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets. Johnson, who is entering his third season in the league, averaged 8.2 PPG in 21 game during Phoenix’s postseason run to the Finals. Johnson, a 2019 lottery pick, is extension-eligible next offseason. Melvin Booker is Devin Booker‘s father.

Chris Paul Says Returning To Suns Was "Easy Decision"

  • Suns point guard Chris Paul called it an “easy decision” to return to Phoenix as a free agent this offseason, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. “Not only did I love the basketball aspect, I’m close to family (in Los Angeles) and Phoenix is a family, too,” Paul said. “I’m excited to be back there.”

Ty-Shon Alexander Signs With Italian Team

Former Suns guard Ty-Shon Alexander has signed a two-year deal with Italy’s Virtus Bologna, according to a team press release.

The Suns waived Alexander late last month. According to Sportando’s Alessandro Maggi, Alexander’s European contract includes an NBA opt out clause after the first season.

Undrafted out of Creighton last year, Alexander appeared in 15 regular-season games with Phoenix on a two-way contract. He averaged just 3.1 MPG in those appearances. Alexander also saw brief action in one Finals game.

Additionally, he appeared in 15 G League games, averaging 9.3 PPG and 1.9 APG in 23.7 MPG.

In his last college season, he averaged 16.9 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 2.3 APG on .431/.399/.860 shooting.

Virtus Bologna’s GM Paolo Ronci said in a statement, “Ty-Shon Alexander is a young player with great prospects who has already gained experience in an important franchise like the Phoenix Suns. His arrival allows us to complete the roster with characteristics useful in the immediate future and at the same time with a perspective of future development of our team.”

Scotto’s Latest: Blazers, Beasley, Patterson, Ennis, More

The Trail Blazers have 13 players with guaranteed contracts on their roster and have added Dennis Smith Jr. and Marquese Chriss on non-guaranteed deals to vie for one of the team’s open roster spots. However, that competition may end up including more veterans than just Smith and Chriss.

According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, the Trail Blazers are eyeing other free agent forwards as possible training camp invitees. Michael Beasley, who played for Portland’ Summer League team, is one possibility. The club is also eyeing veteran stretch four Patrick Patterson, says Scotto.

The Blazers still only have 16 players under contract, which means there are four more spots available on their 20-man offseason roster.

As we wait to see how Portland fills those openings, here are a few more items of interest from Scotto:

  • Having previously identified the Bulls as one team interested in free agent wing James Ennis, Scotto adds a few more clubs to that list, suggesting that Ennis has also drawn interest from the Trail Blazers, Lakers, and Magic. Ennis, who has spent most of the last two seasons in Orlando, knocked down 43.3% of his three-point attempts in 2020/21.
  • Another player who has received interest from the Trail Blazers is big man Isaiah Hartenstein, according to Scotto, who says the Clippers have kicked the tires on the former Cav as well. As I detailed on Tuesday, Hartenstein is the only player who is still a free agent after declining an option earlier this summer.
  • Before he signed with Chicago, Alize Johnson generated interest from a handful of other teams, including the Clippers, Suns, and Knicks, per Scotto. If the Clippers had wanted Johnson badly enough, they could’ve claimed him off waivers using one of their trade exceptions, which wasn’t an option for Phoenix or New York.

Suns Sign Chandler Hutchison To Two-Way Contract

SEPTEMBER 8: Hutchison is on a two-way deal, per NBA.com. The Suns are now carrying 14 players on standard contracts and one on a two-way contract.


SEPTEMBER 7: The Suns have officially signed free agent wing Chandler Hutchison, the team announced today in a press release. Hutchison was cut by San Antonio on Saturday and cleared waivers on Monday.

Hutchison, 25, has appeared in a total of 97 NBA games for the Bulls and Wizards since being selected 22nd overall in the 2018 draft. After averaging 20.0 PPG with a .359 3PT% in his final college season at Boise State in 2017/18, he has struggled to score consistently at the NBA level, recording 5.7 PPG on .441/.309/.638 shooting in 18.2 minutes per contest.

Hutchison was traded from Chicago to Washington at this year’s trade deadline, then was flipped to San Antonio in the five-team trade that included Russell Westbrook and Spencer Dinwiddie. The Spurs also got a 2022 second-round pick in that deal for taking on Hutchison, signaling that he was a salary dump who wasn’t in the team’s plans.

In Phoenix, Hutchison will join a team that had been carrying just 14 players, all on guaranteed standard contracts. The Suns don’t have luxury tax concerns, so they could comfortably carry a 15th man in the regular season. For now, it looks like Hutchison is the frontrunner to fill that spot, though we don’t yet know the terms of his new contract.

Scotto’s Latest: Cavs, Bulls, J. Smith, D. Jordan, Dudley, More

There were some “intense” talks in the Lauri Markkanen sign-and-trade negotiations between the Cavaliers and Bulls for several days leading up to their agreement last week, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype said in his latest podcast with Yossi Gozlan.

According to Scotto, Cleveland originally wanted to include three second-round picks in their offer for Markkanen, but Chicago insisted on receiving a first-rounder, and the Cavs were able to get one from Portland for Larry Nance Jr. and reroute it to the Bulls.

Even after securing that first-round pick, the Bulls held out for a second-rounder on top of that, according to Scotto, who says some of the parties involved in those negotiations were frustrated by what they perceived to be a moving of the goal posts. Eventually though, the Cavs sent a protected second-round selection to Chicago to get the deal done.

Here’s more from Scotto:

  • Second-year big man Jalen Smith has been made available by the Suns, multiple sources tell Scotto. Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report stated last month that Phoenix was gauging interest in Smith, and I speculated earlier this week that the former lottery pick could be in play if the Suns make a trade offer for Spurs forward Thaddeus Young.
  • Scotto reports that the Nets have offered a first-round pick swap in trade talks involving center DeAndre Jordan, but haven’t found any takers. The two sides are reportedly exploring a buyout.
  • Jared Dudley told Scotto that he planned to retire if the Lakers didn’t re-sign him, since he didn’t want to play anywhere else. When L.A. chose to move on, Dudley accepted an assistant coaching job with the Mavericks.
  • The Bulls are among the teams that have shown some interest in free agent wing James Ennis, according to Scotto.
  • When he re-signed with the Knicks, Nerlens Noel wasn’t assured the starting center job, but he’ll get a chance to compete for that role and will “definitely” play meaningful minutes, says Scotto.