- The Suns contacted free agent forward Trevor Ariza in the first minute of free agency, he says in a video interview tweeted by the team. The former Rocket agreed to change teams after receiving a one-year, $15MM offer from Phoenix. “Sometimes things run their course and it’s time for a new start and new beginning,” Ariza explained. “There were a lot of options for me, but the one that … showed the most promise was this one. I’m excited to be here. I’m happy to be here. It’s closer to home [in Los Angeles] for me.”
The new contract will pay Len $8.5MM over two years, sources tell Charania (Twitter link). Both seasons will be fully guaranteed, reports Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who adds that the official announcement probably won’t come until a three-way trade with the Thunder and Sixers is finalized (Twitter link).
The Hawks are over the cap after a recent flurry of moves, but still have their $4.5MM room exception available. Several teams expressed interest in Len before he decided on Atlanta, Charania relays.
Len, 25, spent five seasons in Phoenix after being selected with the fifth pick in the 2013 draft, but never made the impact the Suns were hoping for. He accepted the team’s qualifying offer last summer after finding little interest as a restricted free agent. Phoenix renounced its rights to Len on July 2, shortly after the start of free agency.
Len averaged 8.5 PPG and 7.5 RPG last season as part of a crowded center rotation in Phoenix. He will enter the same type of situation in Atlanta, where he will compete for minutes with Dewayne Dedmon, John Collins, Miles Plumlee and Omari Spellman. The Hawks will have 13 players, all with guaranteed contracts, once the latest moves become official.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The Suns have reportedly been discussing buyouts with players as the team looks to free up a roster spot, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7. Gambadoro noted that those discussions included Jared Dudley and Tyson Chandler. Dudley was traded to the Nets in salary-shedding exchange for Darrell Arthur, who Phoenix is expected to buy out.
With Dudley gone, Chandler remains on the roster as a sturdy veteran presence. The 35-year-old is entering the final year of his contract and is set to make $13,585,000. In 46 games last season, Chandler averaged 6.5 PPG and 9.1 RPG for Phoenix.
At this juncture, however, reports that the Suns are looking to buy out Chandler are incorrect, tweets Scott Bordow of Arizona Republic. Given Chandler’s age and remaining salary, it would be likely hard to find a trade partner who takes on his contract without the Suns eating a significant portion. Also, with first overall pick, DeAndre Ayton in the fold, a veteran like Chandler could prove invaluable to the rookie’s development.
Check out more Suns notes below:
- The Suns have had an eventful offseason, which includes drafting Ayton, signing veteran Trevor Ariza, and extending Devin Booker. However, the team still needs to find a point guard, Greg Moore of Arizona Republic writes.
- It was a busy day on Friday for the Suns who traded Dudley, acquired Richuan Holmes, and guaranteed Davon Reed‘s contract. Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic breaks down the moves and looks at what they mean for the upcoming season.
- Bret Burchard, who served as an assistant coach with the Suns last season, is expected to be named the head coach of the team’s G League affiliate Northern Arizona Suns, per Adam Johnson of 2ways10Days.
7:09pm: It’s official, according to a Sixers press release.
11:29am: The Suns are sending $1MM to Philadelphia in the trade, tweets Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic.
10:55am: The Sixers have agreed to a trade with the Suns that will send Richaun Holmes to Phoenix, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Philadelphia will receive cash considerations in return for Holmes, Charania adds (via Twitter).
Holmes, a second-round pick in the 2015 draft, has been a rotation player for the Sixers for the last three seasons. However, after averaging 20.9 minutes per contest and starting 17 games in 2016/17, the 24-year-old had his role cut back last season, as he played 15.5 MPG and started just two of his 48 games.
With Joel Embiid, Amir Johnson, and Mike Muscala in the mix at center for the Sixers in 2018/19, Holmes was unlikely to play a major role for the team. Instead, he’ll join a prospect-heavy Suns frontcourt that features Deandre Ayton, Marquese Chriss, Dragan Bender, and veteran Tyson Chandler.
While the Suns’ acquisition of Holmes isn’t exactly a blockbuster, it has some interesting – albeit minor – cap ramifications. Phoenix wouldn’t have had the cap room to acquire Holmes without sending out any salary if not for the Jared Dudley/Darrell Arthur swap the club agreed to earlier today. Now, Holmes can slot into the team’s remaining cap space and its 15th roster spot.
As for the 76ers, there were reports in the wake of their three-team trade agreement on Thursday that the deal wouldn’t be completed right away because Philadelphia was working on another move. A Kyle Korver/Jerryd Bayless trade rumor hinted that the Sixers were looking to open up a little extra cap room themselves — they’ll do just that by moving Holmes’ $1.6MM salary, and now have the space to sign draft-and-stash prospect Jonah Bolden to a four-year contract using cap room.
Without cap space, the Sixers wouldn’t have been able to offer Bolden – who will replace Holmes in the frontcourt – more than two years.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
2:16pm: The Nets and Suns have officially completed their trade, according to a press release issued by the Nets. Dudley, who told Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic (Twitter link) that he’s not a fan of buyouts, expects to play for Brooklyn. Wojnarowski suggests the Nets may envision Dudley as a stretch four in their lineup.
9:16am: The Nets and Suns have agreed to a trade that will send Jared Dudley to Brooklyn and Darrell Arthur to Phoenix, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The Nets will acquire a top-35 protected 2021 second-round pick in the deal, according to Wojnarowski.
The deal appears to be financially motivated, with Wojnarowski indicating that Arthur and his $7.46MM expiring salary will likely be bought out by the Suns. Dudley, who is on a $9.53MM expiring contract, could have a similar conversation with the Nets, Woj adds.
The savings in the trade are minimal for the Suns, but it’s possible they have another move or two up their sleeves. According to Basketball Insiders’ salary data, Phoenix will have a team salary of $98.63MM after the deal, which is good for $3MM+ in cap room.
According to John Gambadoro of 98.7 Arizona Sports (Twitter link), the Suns had been trying to buy out Dudley for the last couple weeks. Arthur is a little cheaper and it’s possible he’ll be more amenable to a buyout.
As for the Nets, they remain in asset-collection mode after having acquired a pair of draft picks from the Nuggets in a salary-dump deal that included Arthur earlier this month. Today’s move will ensure that Brooklyn once again has a second-round pick in the 2021 draft — the club traded its own ’21 second-rounder in the Dwight Howard deal with Charlotte.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The Suns intend to retain Davon Reed and Shaquille Harrison, according to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter links). Reed is on a partially guaranteed contract, while Harrison’s salary is non-guaranteed.
Reed, the 32nd overall pick in the 2017 draft, had a partial guarantee of $689K on his $1.38MM salary, per Basketball Insiders. His full salary was initially due to become guaranteed if he remained under contract through June 30, but the Suns pushed that date back to July 20.
Reed missed a significant chunk of his rookie season due to a knee injury, but he played well in five Summer League games in Las Vegas this month. The 23-year-old guard posted 13.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 3.0 APG, and a .489 FG% in Vegas, helping to secure his spot on Phoenix’s roster.
As for Harrison, the 24-year-old guard appeared in 23 games for the Suns last season, recording 6.6 PPG, 2.7 RPG, and 2.4 APG. He’ll receive a $50K guarantee if he remains under contract through August 1, but won’t have his full salary guaranteed until January, so the Suns have time to change course on Harrison if they so choose.
Earlier today, the Suns agreed to a trade that will send Jared Dudley and a 2021 second-round pick to Brooklyn in exchange for Darrell Arthur. Phoenix is expected to buy out Arthur, so the club should have 14 players on NBA contracts once those transactions are complete, with Reed and Harrison still in the mix.
- The Suns will head into the season with Brandon Knight as the starting point guard unless they make a trade, Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic declares in his latest mailbag. If Phoenix strikes a deal, the Clippers’ Patrick Beverley would be an obvious target because of Los Angeles’ backcourt logjam, Bordow adds.
The Spurs‘ asking price for Kawhi Leonard remains high, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne. In an article packed with Leonard-related tidbits, the ESPN duo suggests that – based on conversations with opposing teams – San Antonio appears to be seeking an All-Star caliber player, high-potential young players, and draft picks in exchange for Kawhi.
It’s not clear if the Spurs will be able to land that sort of return, according to Wojnarowski and Shelburne, who note that a three-way bidding war involving the Lakers, Celtics, and Sixers never really materialized. The Lakers are being patience and conveying confidence that Leonard will sign with them in 2019. As for the Celtics and Sixers, they’ve held their top players out of trade discussions and have offered pick-heavy packages, which haven’t enticed the Spurs.
Given the Spurs’ reported demands, a Raptors offer built around one of their All-Star guards (likely DeMar DeRozan), one or two of their young players, and draft picks could be the most logical package for San Antonio.
In an appearance on Zach Lowe’s ESPN podcast, Brian Windhorst said he thinks the Raptors are in the “driver’s seat” in the Leonard sweepstakes, since the Lakers and Sixers haven’t been aggressive in their pursuit of the star forward. Lowe didn’t go so far as to call the Raptors the favorites, but he cautioned not to underestimate the club or to view the rumors linking Leonard to Toronto as mere speculation.
Here are a few more notes and rumors on the NBA’s most noteworthy trade candidate:
- In addition to the four teams noted above, the Clippers, Nuggets, Suns, Trail Blazers, and Wizards have talked to the Spurs about Leonard, league sources tell Wojnarowski and Shelburne. However, it’s unlikely that any of those teams has made a monster offer, given concerns that Kawhi would be a one-year rental. Portland hasn’t discussed Damian Lillard or C.J. McCollum, for instance, per ESPN.
- Leonard is “seriously considering” participating in Team USA’s mini-camp next week, league sources tell Wojnarowski and Shelburne. There’s a sense that the All-Star wants to show the Spurs‘ prospective trade partners that he’s healthy, but there may be a concern within Leonard’s camp that participating in the mini-camp would give San Antonio more leverage to push him to report to camp in the fall.
- While there have been whispers that Leonard has no intention of showing up at the Spurs‘ facility if he’s not traded, rival teams generally view that as an “empty threat,” since they’re skeptical he’s willing to risk forfeiting his $20MM salary for 2018/19, according to Wojnarowski and Shelburne,
- The Spurs haven’t allowed potential trade partners to talk directly with Leonard or his camp, or to see his medical information, per ESPN’s report. It’s unlikely that stance would change unless the Spurs agree to a trade in principle with a team, Woj and Shelburne add.
- Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders addressed the Leonard situation in his latest article, suggesting that the start of training camp could be a key deadline to keep an eye on. One source close to Leonard also tells Kyler that the forward would ideally like to be the “focal point” of a team going forward. It’s not clear how that alleged desire to be a team’s focal point will impact Leonard’s preference to join the Lakers now that LeBron James is in L.A., Kyler writes.
Shaquille Harrison turned up his defense in Las Vegas in a bid for a roster spot, writes Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic. The 24-year-old averaged 2.7 steals per game to go with a 12.2/4.4/6.0 line in five summer league contests.
Harrison is hoping to earn a role as the third point guard behind Brandon Knight and rookie Elie Okobo, and Bordow believes his fate depends on what other moves the team makes this summer. New coach Igor Kokoskov said he puts “a lot” of value on Harrison’s defensive abilities.
Harrison joined the Suns on a pair of 10-day contracts before signing for the rest of the season in mid-March. A $50K guarantee kicks in August 1 on his $1,378,242 salary for 2018/19.
There’s more news out of Phoenix:
- Davon Reed, another young guard hoping for a roster spot, also helped his cause in Las Vegas, Bordow adds in the same story. Reed showed no effects of the arthroscopic knee surgery that slowed him last year as he averaged 13.4 PPG and displayed the quickness and athleticism he had before the injury. The Suns have a logjam at shooting guard with Devin Booker established as the starter and Troy Daniels, Mikal Bridges and Josh Jackson all in the mix for backup minutes. Reed has placed himself in a good position to make the roster, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7, who notes that the Suns extended his guarantee date so they could watch him in summer league.
- Booker was happy that the Suns elected to give him a max extension this year instead of waiting until he was a restricted free agent next summer, Bordow writes in a separate story. “Like I said Phoenix, the entire organization has been behind me since day one, starting with the draft,” Booker said. “For a team to draft you and take a chance on you means they believe in you. [Owner] Robert Sarver and [GM] Ryan McDonough, I think those guys truly believe in me and it showed with the contract.”
- Although he’s surrounded by big-name prospects, Jack Cooley has become a summer league fan favorite, relays Kevin Zimmerman of Arizona Sports 98.7. The 27-year-old center was part of the Suns’ entry as he tries to get another shot at the NBA. He played seven games with the Kings last season after being out of the NBA for two years. “There’ve been talks with not just only Phoenix, but there have been a couple other teams that have rediscovered interest that wasn’t previously there,” Cooley said.
Okaro White has a chance to win a roster spot with the Cavaliers, but first he has to overcome the effects of a broken left foot he suffered in November, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. White’s foot has fully healed, but he is still struggling with the psychological aspects of the injury and admits he’s “babying” it.
“I just gotta get through,” said White, who is part of the Cavaliers’ entry in the Las Vegas Summer League. “I’m old enough, I’m not young anymore, so I gotta get over it [mentally] and try to find a way to showcase my ability.”
White started four games for the Heat before the injury, but it wound up ending his season. He was shipped to the Hawks at the trade deadline, then signed with the Cavs in March, but never took the court for either team. The 25-year-old forward has a non-guaranteed $1,544,951 contract for 2018/19.
There’s more news out of Cleveland:
- The Cavaliers passed on an opportunity to trade up on draft night and snag Luka Doncic, Vardon reports in a separate story. A source tells Vardon that Cleveland had an offer from Atlanta that included the No. 3 pick and Kent Bazemore, who will make more than $18MM next season with a $19.27MM option for 2019/20. However, the Cavs wanted Collin Sexton and were confident they could get him at No. 8.
- With LeBron James gone, the Cavaliers should take a gamble on Jabari Parker, according to Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report. The second player taken in the 2014 draft, Parker could become a dynamic scorer and rebounder if he can fully bounce back from his second ACL surgery. Swartz suggests Cleveland should use its $8.6MM mid-level exception to offer Parker a two-year contract. That would give him $13.3MM more in guaranteed money than if he accepts his $4.3MM qualifying offer with the Bucks, and it would put him back on the open market in 2020 when he’ll only be 25. Swartz recommends a few other moves for the Cavs, including re-signing Rodney Hood, working out an extension with Larry Nance Jr., trying to trade veterans such as J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson and taking on unwanted contracts to stockpile draft picks.
- Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com suggests several trades involving Kevin Love, listing the Trail Blazers, Heat, Lakers, Suns and Jazz as possible destinations.