The Phoenix Suns will waive recently acquired forwards Jared Sullinger and Mike Scott, according to The Arizona Republic’s Doug Haller. They also reportedly plan to sign guard Ronnie Price, who played for Phoenix last year and signed two 10-day contracts with the team before the trade deadline.
Sullinger, 24, is the biggest name here. The Suns acquired him from the Toronto Raptors moments before the deadline in exchange for P.J. Tucker, but their only motivation was the 2017 and 2018 second-round picks the Raptors included in the deal. Some people made the connection that Phoenix general manager Ryan McDonough was in the Boston Celtics front office when they drafted Sullinger No. 21 overall in 2012, but that doesn’t appear to be relevant here. The big man will likely clear waivers and might have to prove to teams that he’s in game shape before signing another contract.
This was obviously not what Sullinger had planned when he signed a one-year, $5.6 million deal with Toronto last summer. Ideally, he would have started at power forward and played some backup center, increasing his value on a playoff team and then signing a richer, long-term contract in the summer of 2017. Unfortunately for him, he broke his foot during the preseason and only appeared in 11 regular-season games for the Raptors. He has struggled to keep his weight down throughout his career, and he never quite got into proper condition after the injury.
Scott, 28, was acquired in a straight salary dump from the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday, as the Hawks no longer needed him after acquiring forward Ersan Ilyasova from the Philadelphia 76ers. The Suns apparently made the move simply because his $3.3 million contract helped them get closer to the salary cap floor. Teams in need of a stretch-four might take a look at Scott as a free agent, but his value has not been helped by the fact that he only appeared in 18 games for Atlanta this season and missed 23 of his 27 3-point attempts in those games.