Tag:Phoenix Suns
Posted on: December 7, 2011 1:12 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 2:50 pm
 

Robert Sarver complains about shortened schedule

Posted by Royce Young

Robert Sarver, also known as the Phoenix Suns' owners, also known as one of the league's hardline owners that helped push the lockout deep into November, isn't happy about the new schedule. Oh, the irony.

Via the Arizona Republic:
“I was disappointed for our fans,” Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver said. “When the preliminary schedule came out, I asked the league to reconsider and they didn’t. You’ve got to factor in all the arenas and timelines, and they weren’t able to move dates around.”

[...]

"For the most part, the schedule is computer-generated by a consulting firm that does schedules for the NHL and NBA," Sarver said. "Unfortunately for us, given the short schedule, we're not going to see some of the elite teams in the East."
You hear that? Disappointed for the fans. What a guy. Forget that the reason we're having this ridiculous shortened season was largely in part of guys like Sarver that tried to use competitive balance as a red herring to make a cash grab, but whatever. Sarver and other small market owners like him helped stall negotiations and drag this whole thing out. As PBT put it, he made his bed and now he has to sleep in it.

Sarver dos have a point though. The Suns miss out on hosting the Celtics, Bulls, Heat, Magic and Knicks, which as you know, are five of the biggest draws in the league with their stars and market size. But because the season was chopped to 66 games, not every team was able to visist every city.

Which means instead of having a guaranteed sellout with the Heat coming to town, Sarver and the Suns will get the Bucks and Bobcats instead. So when he says he's "disappointed for our fans," what he really means is, "Crap, there goes five sellouts."

It also means that his Suns have to play all those beasts on the road. Which isn't fair at all and to a small market owner that was one pushing for competitive balance, he has to be a bit miffed at that pretend idea.
Posted on: December 4, 2011 6:28 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2011 3:52 pm
 

Vince Carter waived by the Suns

Posted by Royce Young

UPDATE: Carter was officially waived by Phoenix Friday

----

Add another veteran wing player to the free agent pile as ESPN.com reports that the Suns will waive Vince Carter.

The Suns aren't using the new amnesty clause to pull the plug on Carter though. There is actually an amendment in Carter's contract that allows his current team to waive him within 72 hours before the start of free agency, otherwise his $18 million salary becomes fully guaranteed.

The Suns and Carter amended the contract in June to delay the guaranteed-salary date in Carter's final contract year until after the lockout ended. Waiving Carter inside the first 72 hours after the league's schedule start of free agency Friday means that Phoenix would only have to pay $4 million to Carter and likely ensure that the Suns avoid luxury-tax territory this season even after trying to complete the re-signing of Grant Hill and moves with other potential free agents.

The Suns' plan, sources said, is to bring back Hill if possible and make a playoff run this season, then proceed to the summer of 2012 armed with salary-cap space to make major upgrades to the roster.

(This isn't exactly new news though. Back in June there were reports the Suns would buy out Carter but then that whole lockout thing happened.)

If you're like me, you just saw "$18 million" and couldn't believe why anyone wouldn't waive Carter before paying that. Also: Free Agency begins Dec. 9, so the Suns are getting this in with plenty of time.

But if the Suns are planning on keeping Hill and making a run, it seems that they are of the mind that Steve Nash would like to see his time through with the franchise. There have been rumblings that Nash would want a trade to contender, but that doesn't seem to be the case, yet.

So who could be after Carter? According to the report, the Bulls, Spurs and of course the Heat, who seem to be after every decent veteran available, will have interest in Carter. All those teams seem to be a quality fit for Carter and while he's not anywhere near the scorer he once was, he can still shoot from 3-point range and has a good 20-point night in his legs every now and then.

He's not worth $18 million, but he definitely could be a veteran gem for someone in the next couple weeks.
Posted on: November 21, 2011 6:01 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2011 10:57 am
 

Cedric Ceballos suffers 'series of heart attacks'

Posted by Ben Gollivercedric-ceballos

Former NBA All-Star forward Cedric Ceballos was hospitalized in Phoenix after suffering a "series of small heart attacks" on Sunday, the Arizona Republic reports.

"I feel blessed and very fortunate to be here today and to have made the decision to go to the hospital and get my symptoms checked out late last night," Ceballos said in a statement posted on the Phoenix Suns' official website. "I ask everyone to keep me in your prayers as I make my journey back to good health. Thank you everyone who has called and is concerned. While I want to respond and speak to everyone, I cannot right now, but will be in touch very soon. God bless you."

The Associated Press reports that Ceballos will undergo heart surgery.

Ceballos, 42, played 11 seasons in the NBA, including stops with the Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons and Miami Heat. Following his retirement in 2001, Ceballos went on to play in Israel, Russia and the Philippines, before returning to the United States to play in the American Basketball Association. Ceballos is currently a co-owner of the ABA's Arizona Scorpions.

A member of the 1995 All-Star team, Ceballos averaged 14.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game in his NBA career. He's best known for winning the 1992 Slam Dunk contest by completing a dunk while blindfolded.

Here's the video of his Dunk Contest victory via YouTube user sauhadjj3.


Posted on: November 19, 2011 3:48 pm
Edited on: November 19, 2011 10:07 pm
 

Goran Dragic signs with Caja Laboral in Spain

Posted by Ben Gollivergoran-dragic

Goran Dragic is taking his magical act back overseas during the NBA lockout.

Marca.com reports that the Slovenian point guard best known for an improbable explosion during a 2010 playoff game against the San Antonio Spurs has signed with Caja Laboral of the Spanish ACB league. The contract reportedly includes an NBA opt-out clause.

Dragic, who was traded by the Phoenix Suns to the Houston Rockets for Aaron Brooks back in February, will help fill in after Golden State Warriors wing Reggie Williams suffered a sprained right knee that is expected to keep him out of action for multiple weeks. He will join Washington Wizards forward Kevin Seraphin and free agent forward Joey Dorsey (who played for the Toronto Raptors last year) on Caja Laboral's roster.

Dragic, 25, averaged 7.5 points and 2.9 assists per game for the Suns and Rockets last season. He was set to make $2.1 million in 2011-2012 during the final year of his current contract. 

Prior to his entry into the 2008 NBA Draft, Dragic played for multiple teams in Slovenia, including Olimpija Ljubljana, who competed in Euroleague.

With ties to Europe, no major injury concerns and no future guaranteed money at stake, there's little risk in this decision. Should the NBA get its act together and save a portion of the season, Dragic pencils in as Kyle Lowry's back-up. Jonny Flynn, acquired in a 2011 Draft day trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves, will also compete for minutes on a rebuilding Rockets team under new coach Kevin McHale.
Posted on: November 10, 2011 3:23 pm
 

Mickael Pietrus using Shaolin monks to help knee

Posted by Royce Young

Kobe Bryant is trying out an experimental knee therapy where his blood is used to help grow ligaments. Or something.

But if you think that's out there, Mickael Pietrus is ready to raise you one. The Phoenix Suns' guard missed the last 12 games of the season last spring and didn't play for France in Eurobasket because of constant knee pain. He had arthroscopic surgery after the season.

Via the Sporting News though, Pietrus is trying something, uh, different, to ease that pain. He's going east. Far East.
Pietrus traveled to the Shaolin Temple in central China's Henan Province, where he tried “several traditional Chinese medicine therapies, including acupuncture, massage and some unique remedies administered by Shaolin monks,” the Chinese site What’s In Xiamen reported.

Shaolin Temple, a Buddhist monastery, has had its own hospital for over 1,000 years, according to the report.

Shaquille O’Neal has also sought treatment there.

Do what you got to do, I suppose. Some people just stick to normal rehab. Pietrus goes to China to get treated by Shaolin monks. Wasn't that the plot of Ace Venture 2? I forget.

But Pietus is just 29 and still has a number of good years in front of him if he can get healthy. He only played in 57 games last season between Orlando and Phoenix and with next season being a contract year, he wants to get as healthy as possible.
Posted on: October 14, 2011 3:01 pm
 

Sounds like Stoudemire's blaming Robert Sarver

Posted by Royce Young

Everyone is frustrated with the lockout. And therefore, everyone's looking for somewhere to point their finger.

Amar'e Stoudemire spoke with Newsday and naturally, the lockout. He was asked about his former boss in Phoenix, Robert Sarver, who is famously tight with his money, or at least in terms of NBA spending. And Stoudemire, who saw some $61 million go in his pocket from Sarver, didn't hold back on his old chief.

As to who the hardline owners are, Stoudemire said, "Sarver, for sure" and added that the Suns' owner "probably the main guy who is pushing for this lockout."

That right there, is fightin' words.

For good measure, Stoudemire added: "It wouldn't have been a big deal if he had just re-signed some kid named Stoudemire. Then he'd be in good shape."

Obviously his meaning is that the Suns wouldn't be struggling to make profits, I suppose. Amar'e thinks so much of himself that he'd take the Suns out of the red and into the black. Not just in the win-loss column either.

But this is the way with lockouts. The longer it goes, the nastier it gets. And there's probably a good amount of truth to what Stoudemire is saying. Reportedly, Sarver and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert have to of the loudest voices pushing for a hard salary cap. It's natural that some owners are going to express their point of view louder than others. Like I don't think Clay Bennett has necessarily been involved a ton in the discussions. But you can bet Sarver, who's very conscious of his money and business, is going to get every last word in.

Which means I'm sure he'll have a response for Stoudemire.
Posted on: September 26, 2011 10:16 pm
Edited on: September 26, 2011 10:20 pm
 

Warriors name Rick Welts President and COO

Posted by Royce Young

Just a few weeks after resigning his post as President and CEO of the Phoenix Suns, Rick Welts has been named the Warriors' new President and Chief Operating Officer.

It's a bit of a curious move as Welts resigned his position with the Suns because of a personal issue. Via the Arizona Republic, Welts said he wasn't leaving for another job, but another city. Welts, who announced he is gay over the summer, has a new relationship in Sacramento. (Sacramento is not where the Warriors play, obviously.)

Welts said at the time, "The most important thing for me is to get my personal and professional lives better aligned. They've probably never been aligned. I'm 58 years old and it's time to do that.

"This isn't one of those departures to see greener pastures. It really is completely a personal situation. These guys have been tremendously accommodating and any other inference than that is absolutely crazy."

A bit curious, I have to say. Obviously I don't know the details and I'm not going to speculate, but it's hard not to raise an eyebrow.

Welts said in a press release, "It’s hard to express how excited I am to embrace this opportunity and be part of a collective group in building the Warriors into a championship caliber organization. I’ve been most impressed with Joe Lacob and Peter Guber’s vision and desire to do something great. Not good, but great. Many of the ingredients are here – the Warriors’ rich history, the team’s amazing fan support and the strength of the Bay Area as a sports market. We have a lot of work to do and I can’t wait to get started.”

Maybe it was an offer he couldn't refuse. Who knows. But it's hard not to wonder. He seemed to really try and hammer home that he wasn't leaving for another job. And yet 17 days after resigning, he's taken a new job.

Other than the big news he made months ago, Welts is probably most famously known for being the mind behind the NBA's All-Star Weekend as well as a primary promoter of the 1992 Olympic "Dream Team." (Welts is credited with coming up with the name.) He is also credited with being a major part of the WNBA's creation in 1996.

Welts has been with the Suns since 2002 and was primarily in charge of boosting ticket sales and relieving then general manager Jerry Colangelo of some of his day-to-day business duties.
Posted on: September 24, 2011 2:36 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2011 2:36 pm
 

First up for each team in a post-lockout world

Posted by Royce Young



So the lockout could be ending soon, depending on who you're listening to. Maybe it extends into the season, but if it doesn't and a deal gets settled in the next few weeks, we're going to have one heck of a free agency period. Really, no matter when it's settled, we're going to have one wild free agency period.

(Unless we were to miss all of 2011-12 and you combined this class with next year's group. Now that would be something.)

If you thought the summer of 2010 was a frenzy, try cramming it all into a two-week period. Maybe I'm just thinking of how horrible it'll be for me. Regardless, you can be sure that all 30 teams have a pre-written itinerary on what they want to accomplish once the lockout is lifted. They have been planning, plotting and preparing to target the players they want or finish up a few final transactions on the roster.

But what's the first order of business for everybody? What's the priority, the thing that each team wants to get done right away? Here's a stab at each team's top job.

Atlanta Hawks: It really appears that the Hawks are ready and willing to let Jamal Crawford walk, but there's still a decision to made whether or not they want to compete for him in the free agent market. He was a key part of the team that made a somewhat surprising run to the Eastern Semifinals and re-signing him could be a priority. Problem is, they don't really have the funds for it.

Boston Celtics: What happens with Jeff Green? The Celtics have already tendered him a qualifying offer, but someone surely will extend him an offer sheet. The Celtics have issues at center still and Glen Davis is unrestricted, but figuring out Jeff Green's situation is probably weighing heaviest on Danny Ainge's mind.

Charlotte Bobcats: The Bobcats made a big splash in the draft, but if that's going to matter, they've got to get Bismack Biyombo on the team. His buyout could still be a major issue and though he says he'll be on the team when training camp starts, that's definitely up in the air.

Chicago Bulls: Wing scorer. Say it with me, wing scorer. Derrick Rose needs help (and an extension) in a big time way and it's up to Gar Foreman and company to find that help. Jamal Crawford maybe? Caron Butler? J.R. Smith if he wasn't in China? Someone has to give Rose a little offensive help and that's the top priority for the Bulls.

Cleveland Cavaliers: First thing? Putting Baron Davis on the scales to make sure he doesn't weigh 300 pounds. After that, there isn't a whole lot to be done in Cleveland. The club's rebuilding around their two lottery picks and you don't want to crowd the roster in a way that stunts their development.

Dallas Mavericks: The defending champs have a whole lot on their plate once the lockout ends. Caron Butler's contract is up. So is J.J. Barea's. So is DeShawn Stevenson's. So is Brian Cardinal's (just kidding -- well it is up, but you know what I mean). But the first order of business for Mark Cuban is to get Tyson Chandler re-signed. Not just that though, but to get him re-signed to a number that makes sense for the make-up of the roster.

Denver Nuggets: Despite the lockout, the Nuggets have kind of been gutted. J.R. Smith, Kenyon Martin and Wilson Chandler are in China until at least March. Danilo Gallinari signed in Italy but has an NBA out. But all of that doesn't matter near as much as getting Nene re-signed. Without Nene, it doesn't matter. With Nene, there's still something worth building around.

Detroit Pistons: The Pistons are kind of trying to quietly usher out the old and bring in some new. Tayshaun Prince is a free agent, but I don't think they care. What'll be most interesting is how they handle Rodney Stuckey. The Pistons drafted Brandon Knight in June with Stuckey already their point guard. Do they want Knight to take over? Do they want to play them together? Share the role? Sorting out Stuckey's future is definitely what Joe Dumars has to do first.

Golden State Warriors: The Warriors could be players in free agency, but really, it's about deciding once and for all if Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry really are the backcourt tandem of the future for the team. If there's a time to move on, it's now when both of their values are still high. The Warriors flirted with dealing Ellis last season but it didn't happen. They're probably planning on revisiting that.

Houston Rockets: First order of business: Properly sending off Yao with a jersey retirement ceremony. After that, the Rockets are fairly settled, though you know Daryl Morey is just itching to pick up a phone and start transacting once the lockout's over.

Indiana Pacers: The Pacers have a number of expiring deals and aren't likely looking to re-sign them (maybe Josh McRoberts, maybe Jeff Foster). Larry Bird has been hunting more pieces to add to his mediocre roster for a while and you can be sure the Pacers are going to target some of the bigger free agent names in this class.

Los Angeles Clippers: Eric Gordon is ready for an extension, but the Clippers better be ready to match any offer DeAndre Jordan gets. You might not think that's a big deal, but forget Chris Kaman. The future of the Clips frontcourt is Blake Griffin and Jordan. You seven-footer from Texas A&M finally started figuring himself out a little last season and he's not far off from becoming a major defensive impact player.

Los Angeles Lakers: Shannon Brown's unrestricted, but he's really not that much of an impact player to be that concerned with. The Lakers might have to focus on how to re-structure the roster to suit a new CBA that could greatly cut into their total salary. Will they have to move Lamar Odom? Metta World Peace? But first things first: Giving Kobe and Mike Brown a proper introduction and letting them figure out the direction of the offense.

Memphis Grizzlies: Marc Gasol. That's it for Memphis. It'd be nice to get Shane Battier back, but it's all about Gasol.

Miami Heat: It's kind of been overlooked, but Pat Riley and the Heat have a busy couple weeks waiting on them. Mike Bibby, Jamaal Magloire, Juwan Howard, Erick Dampier and James Jones are all unrestricted and Mario Chalmers is restricted. It's decision time for the Heat. Do they start restocking with veteran talent or look to get younger and develop?

Milwaukee Bucks: That first practice in Milwaukee is something Scott Skiles has probably been thinking about for a while. "Brandon, this is Stephen. Stephen, this is Brandon." The Bucks have some new talent as Stephen Jackson joins Brandon Jennings, but how will they get along?

Minnesota Timberwolves: Here's what David Kahn's to-do list looks like: 1) Hug Ricky. 2) Hug Darko. 3) Overpay a questionable free agent at a position you already have three guys. What it should look like: 1) Convince Kevin Love somehow to sign an extension. 2) Get rid of Michael Beasley and let Derrick Williams have the starting small forward spot all to himself. 3) Tell Rick Adelman to do his thing.

New Jersey Nets: Kris Humphies is an important piece of business but his re-signing goes hand in hand with the larger thing: Proving to Deron Williams that this is a place he wants to re-sign. The Nets have to take advantage right away of showing Williams they're serious about winning. And you do that by getting him some immediate help.

New Orleans Hornets: It's all about David West for the Hornets. Yes, he suffered a major knee injury last season. But he chose to become an unrestricted free agent and a team like the Nets is likely to come calling quickly. Can the Hornets hang on to Chris Paul's buddy?

New York Knicks: The Knicks have a little bit coming off the books but really they need to try and resist the urge to do something drastic in this free agency period. Which they will because of the big names coming up in 2012. Still, they want to field a solid team for this season -- and Mike D'Antoni needs them too -- so adding a quality veteran to help on the inside would be good.

Oklahoma City Thunder: The young Thunder roster is pretty much entirely set up. But Sam Presti has something to do right away once the lockout ends -- get Russell Westbrook his extension. Presti brought Kevin Durant his at midnight last July to make sure there was no doubt about locking up his superstar. Presti better be stalking Westbrook's house on the whim he lockout ends so he can extend the same treatment to his other star.

Orlando Magic: First order of business for Otis Smith and the Magic? Resume begging Dwight Howard to stay. One way to show it would be to get him some help, but Smith sort of laid those cards on the table last year in the Gilbert Arenas/Hedo Turkoglu trade. So it's back to convincing Howard there's a plan for the future and that it'll get better.

Philadelphia 76ers: Someone is ready and willing to give Thaddeus Young a serious offer, so the Sixers better be ready to match anything and everything.

Phoenix Suns: Steve Nash's trade value will be highest at the beginning of the season, so it's up to Lance Blanks and Robert Sarver to figure out if they're ready to move on. Aaron Brooks is a restricted free agent so if the Suns lock him up by matching an offer sheet, that'll be an indication that the Suns are preparing for life without Nash.

Portland Trail Blazers: The Blazers are in love with Nicolas Batum, so extending him could be the first order of business, but really, the Blazers need to find a new general manager first. And whoever that guy is needs to decide that if for the off chance someone gives Greg Oden an offer, if he's willing to match. Oden already has an $8.8 qualifying offer, which is huge, so once Oden signs that, he'll likely be signing with the Blazers for another year.

Sacramento Kings: The Jimmer-Tyreke backcourt is going to be an interesting experiment, but Marcus Thornton is quietly one of the more intriguing free agents out there. The Bulls are likely looking at him long and hard right now. He's restricted, so the Kings could keep him, but the question is, with Tyreke moving off the ball for good and Jimmer handling the point, is it worth paying Thornton to just have him come off the bench?

San Antonio Spurs: Um, I guess just resume the typical day-to-day of the Spurs. Gregg Popovich is the longest tenured coach with a team and R.C. Buford probably isn't looking to go do anything drastic in this market. The Spurs are definitely aging, but there's not a lot to be done about that right now.

Toronto Raptors: Assuming the Raptors actually have Jonas Valanciunas for next season, Dwane Casey and company have to figure out if he's ready to cover for Andrea Bargnani on the inside. Can those two really play together and handle enough rebounding and defensive duties? The Raptors are in a place where they have to wait and see with some young players and aren't likely targeting any big names in the open market.

Utah Jazz: Most likely, Andrei Kirilenko won't be re-signing with the Jazz. So Kevin O'Connor will have to make a choice when the lockout's over: Does he try and restock a roster that can maybe squeak out the eight-seed, or does he commit to rebuilding around Enes Kanter, Derrick Favors and others and just let them play it out? The Jazz would love to get some wing scoring help, so O'Connor will probably at least look that direction, but we'll have to see how serious he is.

Washington Wizards: It's not an earth-shattering decision, but Nick Young is a restricted free agent. And with his scoring ability, someone is ready to pay him. Do the Wizards want to keep him? Do they want to look elsewhere and maybe target say, Marcus Thornton? Or do they just let Young walk and see what Jordan Crawford's got?
 
 
 
 
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