July 2009 - Posts

The 14th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Earl Clark, officially signed a contract w/ your Phoenix Suns last Friday.

An established big-game performer, the 21-year-old Clark averaged 15.0 points and 8.0 rebounds and shot 56.8 percent from the field in NCAA Tournament games during his final two seasons at Louisville.

Clark adds versatility and athleticism off the bench, but it is unclear how well he'll perform in the NBA. He will be a welcome sight off the Suns' bench, however, as their lack of draft picks over the last 3-4 yrs has left us watching the same players over & over again.  Some new blood will be good for the team.

Rumors are that Clark will not play in the summer league, although the exact reasoning isn't exactly clear.  He would certainly benefit from the experience that the summer league provides, although the pre-season will provide him ample time to get use to the pro game.

Other Phoenix Suns News

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With the NBA's Summer League in full swing this week, amateurs and school organized basketball teams are also getting underway. As pro basketball goes, so usually does the average fan. When the professionals start playing, everyone starts getting more into the game - local leagues are organized, pick-up games started on playgrounds around the country and gyms/fitness centers a full of players saying "we got next".

If you're anything like me, your basketball equipment is probably in need of replacement - especially your ball. Sure, the ball is the easiest thing to replace, but how is your backboard doing? Time for a new net/chain?  Whether you're looking to fix up your existing equipment or move up to the next level, there is a decent site which should have everything you need - visit Basketball Products International.

More than the casual player might need, BPI has a full selection of products for small organized basketball leagues, junior & high school basketball equipment (e.g. scoring tables, glass backboards, etc.) and even serious outdoor leagues (portable backstops, etc.). BPI is for the serious basketball player that knows what he wants and doesn't want to overpay for it.

My personal favorite, from playing it up in my Jr. High & high school gyms, is the Spalding TF-1000. I spent hour upon hour shooting w/ that ball - by myself, scrimmaging 3-on-3 and even during tryouts for the school teams (I only tried out for high school). For about $35.00, as of this writing, you can pick-up this ball for yourself, although I'd only suggest you use it indoors. This ball's grip & feel are meant solely for indoor play - outside, the ball would get torn up.

Regardless of your needs, you should bookmark BPI to price compare and/or save until the season is closer upon you.

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The Phoenix Suns have reportedly reached agreement w/ free agents Grant Hill and Channing Frye, a former Arizona resident (UofA).  As is being reported by Paul Coro, Suns insider for the Arizona Republic, Hill is signing a 2-yr deal w/ a player option on the 2nd yr, while Frye is also expected to receive a 2-yr deal.

Here are the details on Grant Hill's re-signing:

Hill will return for a third season with the Suns by agreeing to a contract that will pay him $3 million this season with a player option of $3.24 million for 2010-11.

Hill could have received more money in NY, but a call from Nash may have been the key in keeping Grant a Phoenix Sun.

Here are some specifics on the Channing Frye deal:

Meanwhile, the Suns also have assurances from Frye and his agent, Rob Pelinka, that Frye will sign. That contract is expected to be a two-year deal, using the biennial exception or a contract that is nearly equivalent to it, using a portion of the $5.85 million mid-level exception. A biennial exception is worth $4.07 million over two years with a second-year player option.

I believe Frye will perform well in the Suns' system and look forward to watching in his 1st year w/ the team.  I was a fan of him at the University of Arizona and kept track of him in NY & Portland as well, so I have high hopes and encourage Suns fans to stay encouraged on this kid.

Not sure either of these moves are going to satisfy Amare Stoudemire, but Steve Nash also looks close to signing an extension that will keep him in Phoenix for a few more years.  Not that Nash's signing will encourage Stoudemire to quit talking about being traded, but it is a step in the right direction for the franchise nonetheless.

Neither deal really puts too much pressure on future acquisitions or the cap, since both players are basically going to cost about $7m total each year.  For two possible starters (although Frye won't start), that is a bargain any way you look at it.  Since the trade of Shaq, including the expected buyout/waiving of the players in that deal, the Suns expect to save about $18m next year overall.

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Big moves this summer, including your Phoenix Suns... unfortunately, the Suns traded away players for financial reasons & are not getting much in return. In addition, key free agents are looking elsewhere (Grant Hill, Matt Barnes), so the team is looking mighty thin in some key positions.

Most notable NBA trades & free agent signings of 2009:

  • Suns traded Shaq to Cleveland for Ben Wallace (waiving) & Sasha Pavlovic, a decent 6th or 7th man.
  • Hedo Turkoglu traded from Orlando to Toronto (w/ 3 other teams involved).
  • Former Suns player Shawn Marion traded from Toronto to Dallas (see above).
  • Ron Artest signs w/ the LA Lakers.
  • Trevor Ariza signs w/ the Rockets.
  • Ben Gordon & Charlie Villanueva sign w/ the Pistons.
  • Richard Jefferson traded from Bucks to Spurs.
  • Mike Bibby re-signs w/ Atlanta.
  • Anderson Varejao re-signs w/ Cavs.
  • Rasheed Wallace signs w/ Celtics.
  • Antonio McDyess signs w/ Spurs.
  • Vince Carter traded to Orlando Magic from NJ (Rafer Alston goes to NJ).
The Suns still have big decisions to make w/ forward Amare Stoudemire, as well as guard Steve Nash, who are both unhappy w/ the current situation and don't want to play for a rebuilding team.  They are hopeful that Grant Hill will re-sign, but they can't pay him much and he has a chance to end his career w/ a championship in Boston or a "different experience" w/ the Knicks.

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