Viacheslav Kravtsov

Suns Notes: Butler, Beasley, Frye, Oriakhi

The Suns completed a pair of transactions yesterday, officially signing fifth overall pick Alex Len, and sending Caron Butler to the Bucks for Ish Smith and Viacheslav Kravtsov. On the heels of those deals, GM Ryan McDonough spoke to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic about the Butler deal, Michael Beasley's future, and a few other Suns-related topics. Let's dive in…

  • According to McDonough, the Butler trade had nothing to do with Beasley's situation, despite the fact that the money saved in the deal could make waiving the troubled forward more palatable. The GM expects resolution on Beasley in "the next week or so," and Coro suggests the former second overall pick will likely be released.
  • Assuming Channing Frye, who missed last season with heart problems, is able to participate in training camp, the Suns expect to have at least 16 players on guaranteed contracts in camp. "All the results we’ve gotten on Channing are positive," McDonough said. "We’re just waiting for a conclusion."
  • Coro also says that second-round pick Alex Oriakhi will be in camp with the team, which is interesting, since the big man signed a professional deal with a French team several weeks ago.
  • Smith and Kravtsov are expected to battle for regular-season roster spots, though it might be an uphill battle for Smith, since Phoenix already has several players capable of playing the point, including Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe, Kendall Marshall, Malcolm Lee, and even Archie Goodwin.
  • Further discussing the Butler trade, McDonough noted that the decision to move the veteran forward was a difficult one. "Caron is a great player," McDonough said. "Our timeline and Caron’s timeline were different at this stage of his career. This was just a unique opportunity because Milwaukee aggressively pursued him."

Bucks Likely To Release Slava Kravtsov

Slava Kravtsov is expected to be released by the Bucks because of a surplus of big men, according to Perry A. Farrell of the Detroit Free Press.  The 25-year-old center was involved in the sign-and-trade that also sent Khris Middleton and Brandon Knight to the Bucks for Brandon Jennings.

The 7-footer, who turns 26 later this month, spent one year with the Pistons and showed promise in limited time.  In 25 games last season, he averaged 3.1 points and 1.8 rebounds in nine minutes per contest.  

The Pistons were able to sign Kravtsov outright last July as he went undrafted in 2009.  Kravtsov, who is known primarily for his tough defensive play, averaged 10.6 PPG and 5.5 RPG in 22 MPG in his final international season with Ukraine's BC Donetsk.

Pistons Acquire Brandon Jennings From Bucks

WEDNESDAY, 1:08pm: The swap has officially been completed, the Bucks announced today (via Twitter). The Pistons also confirmed the move in a press release.

TUESDAY, 4:39pm: TNT's David Aldridge confirms (via Twitter) that the two sides have reached an agreement. According to Stein (via Twitter), the four players reported so far are expected to be the only pieces involved, so it sounds as if there may not be any picks or cash changing hands.

With the Pistons set to acquire one player in exchange for three, the deal should open up room on the roster to sign second-round pick Peyton Siva, though it's not clear yet if he's in the team's plans for 2013/14.

4:35pm: Viacheslav Kravtsov and Khris Middleton are also headed to the Bucks in the deal, tweets Wojnarowski. Using those two salaries, along with Knight's, the Pistons would be able to offer Jennings a starting salary of $7.72MM, which sounds about right, based on the reported terms. So there may not be any more players involved in the swap.

4:31pm: Knight will be part of the package that the Pistons send to Milwaukee, Wojnarowski confirms (via Twitter).

4:14pm: The Pistons have emerged as a serious candidate to acquire Brandon Jennings from the Bucks in a sign-and-trade, reports's Marc Stein (via Twitter). According to Stein, the two sides are in "advanced talks" about a potential deal. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports confirms Stein's report, tweeting that the Pistons and Bucks are nearing an agreement.

According to Stein (via Twitter), if and when the two teams finalize a sign-and-trade, Jennings' contract with the Pistons will be in the three-year, $25MM+ range, similar to what his former backcourt partner Monta Ellis received from the Mavericks. Wojnarowski (via Twitter) pegs the value of the deal at three years and $24MM.

There had been rumblings earlier in the month that the Pistons had an eye on Jennings, but GM Joe Dumars adamantly denied that he'd had any trade talks with the Bucks. Either that changed in the last two weeks or Dumars was trying to throw rival suitors off the scent. Regardless, it's easy to see why Milwaukee and Detroit would be a match.

At least one report has suggested Jennings wasn't interested in remaining in Milwaukee, and there have been indications that he was considering accepting his one-year qualifying offer in order to hit unrestricted free agency next summer. A sign-and-trade would be a win-win for Jennings and the Bucks, allowing the young point guard to secure a long-term pact with another club, and allowing Milwaukee to pick up at least an asset or two in return.

It's not clear yet who the Pistons would be parting with in the deal, but Brandon Knight seems like a logical candidate. If Knight were to be included, Detroit would have to add more salary to make the deal work, making Charlie Villanueva or Rodney Stuckey potential fits as well.

Pistons To Sign Viacheslav Kravtsov

JULY 14, 1:57pm: The team has announced the move is official, tweets Keith Langlois of

JULY 2, 9:54am: The Pistons will sign Viacheslav Kravtsov when the moratorium period ends, according to agent Jeff Schwartz (link via's Marc Stein). Pistons president Joe Dumars confirmed the agreement in a statement.

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