Ronnie Price

Suns Notes: Front Office, Price, Warren, Jackson

A recent report from ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz portrayed the situation in Phoenix as one long plagued by dysfunctional leadership, from owner Robert Sarver on down, and questioned the Suns‘ current front office structure, which features James Jones and Trevor Bukstein operating as interim co-GMs. For his part though, Jones believes he, Bukstein, and the rest of the club’s current management group has done well dealing with a challenging situation after former GM Ryan McDonough was unexpectedly fired in October.

“I think we’ve done a pretty damn good job,” Jones said, per Gina Mizell of The Athletic.

Within her look at the Suns’ front office situation, Mizell notes that, despite not fully replenishing their scouting department after some dismissals last fall, the Suns have been active when it comes to scouting college prospects, sending personnel to multiple ACC, SEC, Big 12, Big Ten, and Murray State games over the past couple of months.

“The perception is that we’re not out there,” Jones said. “We are out there.”

While they haven’t replaced all the basketball evaluators that were fired along with McDonough, the Suns did quietly hire longtime NBA guard Ronnie Price as a scout, Mizell notes, confirming a previous report from John Gambadoro of The franchise has also “taken steps to add offseason consulting help” for evaluating international draft-eligible players, though there are no top-tier European prospects like Luka Doncic available this year, Mizell writes.

Here’s more from out of Phoenix:

  • Suns forward T.J. Warren, who has been sidelined since January 22 with an ankle injury, remains out for tonight’s game against Utah. However, head coach Igor Kokoskov said on Tuesday that the club has yet to have any discussions about shutting down Warren for the season, tweets Mizell.
  • Although it’s clear that 2018 lottery pick Mikal Bridges will be a building block for the Suns going forward, it remains to be seen whether 2017 lottery pick Josh Jackson is still a part of that core group, according to Bob Young of The Athletic. As Young outlines, Jackson’s long-term place in Phoenix will be even more up in the air if Kelly Oubre re-ups with the team this summer.
  • Heading into Wednesday night, the Suns have won five of their last seven games, a stretch that coincides with Devin Booker being as healthy and productive as he has been all season, writes Cody Cunningham of While the hot streak may cost Phoenix the top spot in the 2018/19 Reverse Standings, Booker’s run is a positive sign as he prepares to enter the first season of his five-year, maximum-salary extension this summer.
  • In a separate article for, Cunningham explores how the Suns’ young players are looking to develop leadership skills.

Western Notes: Bledsoe, George, Rondo

While his name has been consistently floated in trade rumors over the course of the past season, Eric Bledsoe wants to remain in Phoenix. That said, the Suns guard recently told Scott Bordrow of azcentral that he also wants to win.

Most recently linked to the Cavaliers in a move that would help Cleveland honor a recent Kyrie Irving trade request, Bledsoe has once again been earmarked as a potential trade chip. If the Cavs are seeking established veterans capable of contributing to a contender, then a player like Bledsoe could be an appealing part of a larger Suns package.

There’s no denying Bledsoe’s value in the NBA — he posted a career best campaign with the Suns in 2016/17, averaging 21.1 points, 6.3 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game. He just doesn’t line up with Phoenix’s “timeline” built around a young, rebuilding roster.

If the Cavaliers do choose to seek a buyer for Irving, then the question becomes whether or not the Suns are willing to package Bledsoe with enough assets to make a deal palatable for the Eastern Conference champions.

There’s more out of the West:

  • The Thunder shocked the NBA when they managed to trade for Paul George earlier this summer. It’s already easy to see the swingman’s impact on the franchise. Erik Horne of the Oklahoman details how George can help the team’s offense, defense and even second unit.
  • The decision to sign Ronnie Price to a two-year deal last summer has come back to haunt the Thunder. Fred Katz of the Norman Transcript has broken down the significant luxury tax impact the since-waived guard will have in 2017/18.
  • The Pelicans are excited about the addition of point guard Rajon Rondo, particularly big man Anthony Davis who will be one of the prime beneficiaries of Rondo’s playmaking abilities. “He and I will do very well in pick-and-rolls, especially the way I dive to the basket, or I can pick-and-pop,” Davis told Jim Eichenhofer of the Pels’ official website. “He’s great at finding guys at the right times with the ball. Anyone who’s been in pick-and-rolls with him has been very successful. Hopefully we can do the same thing.

Pacific Notes: Kings’ Rookies, Booker, Nwaba, Ulis

While the Kings have dropped out of playoff contention, Dave Joerger will still seek to build the talent and IQ of his younger players. As Joerger acknowledged in a recent post-game press conference, ensuring proper player development is a large part of his job.

“Having been there with those guys (in Memphis) I felt a great deal of responsibility to maximize every win that we could get,” Joerger told reporters, including Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee. “That’s where are these gray hairs popped out. Now the gray hairs are (from) are you playing the right guys with the right group, developing guys, giving them the right experiences?”

Joerger has given valuable playing opportunities to rookies down the stretch; providing Skal Labissiere, Buddy Hield, and Georgios Papagiannis with multiple 20+ minute games over the past week.

More from the Pacific…

  • The Suns are tanking “with spirit,” Dan Bickley of writes. What’s more, Bickley points out Devin Booker‘s 70-point game as proof that he’s Phoenix’s next franchise player. “The Suns should feel blessed,” Bickley wrote. “They’ve lost 60 or more games only once in their storied history, and that was their expansion season in 1968-69. The organization’s commitment to losing is so sturdy and hardcore that they could conceivably end the current season with 60 losses and a 16-game losing streak, and somehow, the season will be perceived as a smashing success.”
  • Lakers rookie David Nwaba will be assigned to the L.A. D-Fenders to boost their D-League playoff run (source: Mark Medina, L.A. Daily News). Nwaba has been a pleasant surprise in Luke Walton‘s rotation, averaging 7.8 points with 5.5 rebounds over his last four games. Nwaba, who appeared in 40 games for the D-Fenders this season, figures to receive a considerable workload during the D-League postseason.
  • The Suns want Tyler Ulis to shoot more, Doug Haller of writes. Haller relays an amusing anecdote, in which coach Earl Watson shouted “Shoot it!” at Ulis during Tuesday’s match-up with the Hawks. “He’s very talented,” veteran guard Ronnie Price said of Ulis. “He has a chance to have a long career in the league. He has a lot to his game that people are starting to see, so for him, it’s just getting comfortable and keeping him confident. As a team we all trust him. We all know what he’s capable of doing, but we can’t have him second-guessing himself with shots.”

Suns Waive Sullinger, Scott; Sign Ronnie Price

FEBRUARY 24, 5:52pm: The Suns have waived Mike Scott and Jared Sullinger while signing Ronnie Price for the remainder of the season, the team announced through a press release.

FEBRUARY 23, 9:00pm: The Suns will waive Jared Sullinger and Mike Scott, both acquired in trades today, and plan to sign Ronnie Price for the rest of the season, tweets Doug Haller of AZ Central Sports.

Phoenix received Sullinger and two second-round draft picks from Toronto in exchange for P.J. Tucker. Sullinger missed most of the season after foot surgery in October and played in just 11 games for the Raptors.

Scott was acquired from Atlanta along with the draft rights to Cenk Akyol and cash considerations in exchange for a protected second-round pick. This was Scott’s fifth season with the Hawks, but he had fallen out of the rotation and appeared in just 18 games.

Price had signed two 10-day contracts with the Suns, with the last one expiring February 15th. The 33-year-old point guard saw action in just two games.

Suns Re-Sign Ronnie Price

The Suns have re-signed veteran point guard Ronnie Price to a second 10-day contract, the team announced today (via Twitter). Price’s first 10-day deal with the team, signed on January 27, expired overnight.

Although he has been with the team for the last week and a half, Price has yet to play a single minute for the Suns this year. In 62 games for Phoenix last season, he averaged 5.3 PPG and 2.4 APG, earning himself a two-year, $5MM contract with the Thunder last summer. However, Oklahoma City rethought that commitment in the fall, opting to waive Price at the end of the preseason rather than carrying him on the 15-man roster.

Price’s new 10-day contract will run through February 15, at which point the Suns will have to decide whether or not to retain him for the rest of the season. Considering the veteran hasn’t had a rotation role at all so far, I’d be a little surprised if Phoenix locked him up beyond this deal — the club could benefit from having an open roster slot heading into the trade deadline, and may want to use that 15th roster spot to take a shot on a younger player.

Suns Sign Ronnie Price To 10-Day Contract

January 27th, 12:47 pm: Phoenix has officially signed Price to a 10-day deal, according to the team’s website.

January 26th, 5:43 am: The Suns have a plan in place to sign Ronnie Price to a 10-day contract, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical. The 32-year-old veteran played 62 games in Phoenix last season but hasn’t seen NBA action yet in 2016/17.

Price was last seen with the Thunder in training camp before he was cut prior to the start of the regular season. On October 29, we relayed that the guard had been offered an assistant coaching position with the Suns, but ultimately passed on the offer.

Last season Price averaged 5.3 points, and 2.5 assists in 19.5 minutes per game and even started 18 times.

The Suns have had an open roster spot on their 15-man squad since waiving John Jenkins earlier this month, so they won’t need to make a corresponding cut to create an opening for Price.

Pacific Notes: Price, Warren, Speights, Lakers

The Suns have offered veteran guard Ronnie Price an assistant coaching position, tweets Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman. Price was waived Monday by the Thunder even though he had a fully guaranteed two-year, $5MM contract. The 33-year-old played 62 games for Phoenix last season, starting 18 times. Suns coach Earl Watson confirmed the offer, but said Price isn’t ready to end his playing career.

There’s more news from the Pacific Division:

  • After two injury-filled half seasons, Suns small forward T.J. Warren is off to a strong start to 2016/17, writes Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. Warren scored 30 points Friday night in an overtime loss to the Thunder, going 8 for 8 on a variety of mid-range shots. “He gets buckets; ‘Tony Buckets’ is his name,” said teammate Eric Bledsoe. “He played not only great offense, but great defense too. He carried us.” The Suns exercised their 2017/18 option on Warren on Monday.
  • The Clippers are counting on big man Marreese Speights to boost their bench scoring and maybe even change the balance of power in the West, relays Dan Woike of The Orange County Register. The former Warrior signed a two-year, minimum-salary deal with L.A. over the summer. “(He’s) just another scorer,” said coach/executive Doc Rivers. “I don’t think anyone has a guy like that on their bench, for that matter. Golden State had one last year, and now he’s on our team. But there’s not a lot of fives that can do what Mo does as far as offensively shoot the three. There are some, but Mo also has a post game as well.” Speights has a player option on the second year of his new deal, so he could be in line for a raise if he has a productive season.
  • The Lakers hope to be more appealing to free agents by the time California natives Russell Westbrook and Paul George become available in two years, writes Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Over the summer, L.A. was turned down for meetings by Kevin Durant, Mike Conley and Hassan Whiteside.

Thunder Waive Mitch McGary, Ronnie Price, Others

1:25pm: The Thunder have issued a press release confirming their four cuts: McGary and Price, as reported, along with Wright and Tarczewski, as speculated below. OKC’s roster is now at 15 players, ready for the regular season.

1:20pm: The Thunder intend to waive a pair of players with guaranteed salaries, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical, who reports (via Twitter) that Mitch McGary and Ronnie Price will receive their walking papers from the team. With Price no longer in the mix, Oklahoma City will keep rookie Semaj Christon to provide depth at point guard, per Charania.

The decision to waive McGary doesn’t come as a shock. In addition to failing to produce much on the court during his first two seasons in OKC, McGary also got into more trouble off the court this offseason. The NBA suspended the former Michigan big man twice – first for five games and then for an additional 10 – for violations of the league’s drug policy.

As Bobby Marks of The Vertical tweets, that suspension will begin if and when McGary signs with a new NBA team. For now though, McGary is hoping to resume his career in China or somewhere in Europe, per Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link).

The Thunder will still have to pay McGary’s guaranteed salary, but that figure is fairly modest compared to Price’s guaranteed money. The veteran point guard signed a two-year, fully-guaranteed deal worth $5MM this summer, so Oklahoma City will be on the hook for about $2.558MM in 2016/17, with the remainder coming later. The Thunder could choose to stretch out Price’s 2017/18 cap hit across multiple years.

With McGary and Price headed for the waiver wire, and Christon apparently safe, the Thunder will have to make two more cuts this afternoon. Chris Wright and Kaleb Tarczewski look like the clear candidates to be waived, perhaps with an eye toward a D-League assignment to OKC’s affiliate.

Contract Notes: Sacre, Sabonis, Jerrett

Here are the latest free agent and 2016 draft pick contract details, courtesy of Basketball Insiders’ Eric Pincus:

  • Grant Jerrett‘s training camp deal with the Trail Blazers is a one-year, non-guaranteed pact worth $980,431, Pincus tweets. If the forward makes Portland’s regular season roster, his deal won’t be guaranteed until the January 10th, 2017, which is the leaguewide date for contracts this season. The Blazers currently have $112,354,979 in guaranteed salary on the books for 2016/17.
  • The summer contracts the Raptors inked Drew Crawford and Yanick Moreira to are both non-guaranteed deals worth $543,471 apiece, per Pincus (Twitter link). Each deal would become fully guaranteed on December 15th, 2016, provided they made the regular season roster. Toronto currently has $106,077,999 in guaranteed salary already on the books for this campaign.
  • In keeping with the non-guaranteed summer contract trend we have going here, the Pelicans agreements with Robert Sacre and Chris Copeland will count as $980,431 against the cap each, with both players actual salaries set at $1,050,961, Pincus relays (on Twitter). Shawn Dawson‘s non-guaranteed deal will pay him $543,471, should he make the team, the scribe adds. All three deals would become fully guaranteed if they remain on the roster past January 10th, 2017. The Pelicans’ fully guaranteed commitments currently stand at $97,799,631 for the coming season.
  • Domantas Sabonis‘ rookie-scale deal with the Thunder will pay him $2,440,200 this season, $2,550,000 in 2017/18, $2,659,800 in 2018/19 and $3,529,555 the final season, Pincus tweets. Ronnie Price‘s two-year pact, which is fully guaranteed, will see him earn $2,557,545 this year and $2,442,445 in 2017/18, Pincus adds. OKC’s guaranteed commitments currently total up to $91,860,496 for 2016/17.

Northwest Notes: Rubio, Morrow, Price, Malone

Ricky Rubio will start the season with the Timberwolves, but may be in Sacramento before it ends, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News in Minneapolis. Speaking on an ESPN podcast, Wolfson said the Kings are a team to watch if Minnesota decides to part ways with the Spanish point guard. Trade speculation involving Rubio intensified when the Wolves drafted Kris Dunn of Providence with the No. 5 pick, after adding Tyus Jones through the draft last year. Rubio has three seasons and more than $42MM left on his contract. There has been talk that the Wolves and Kings might agree on a swap involving Rubio and swingman Rudy Gay.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Thunder shooting guard Anthony Morrow said he understands Kevin Durant‘s decision to leave Oklahoma City to join the Warriors, relays Erik Horne of The Oklahoman. Some teammates have reacted angrily over Durant’s move, but Morrow, in a recent appearance on Sirius XM NBA radio, said he never had any feelings of betrayal. “It’s business,” Morrow said. “It’s basketball. That’s that man’s career. That’s that man’s life and he made his own decision as a man. Hate it or love it, he made his decision.”
  • The Thunder used cap space, not their room exception, to sign veteran point guard Ronnie Price, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. Oklahoma City still has $2.3MM remaining under the cap, along with its room exception.
  • Nuggets coach Michael Malone doesn’t admit to harboring bitterness over his firing by Sacramento, but USA Today’s A.J. Neuharth-Keusch writes that he has cut the Kings’ dominant color out of his wardrobe. “I have not [worn purple since the firing],” Malone said during an appearance on an ESPN podcast. “And what I really love about that is I haven’t, it’s my wife’s favorite color, she hasn’t, and my daughters haven’t. It’s almost become taboo, forbidden in our household.”