On the first day of free agency the Phoenix Suns’ big news of the day was … yes, that’s right, they announced their summer league roster and schedule.
Not exactly the same shock value as Detroit signing Ben Gordon and Charlie V for just south of $100 million, but it probably won’t have the same long-term ramifications either. (What is Joe Dumars thinking?!?)
As expected, the Suns’ roster for games July 13-19 in Vegas will include point guard Goran Dragic, shooting guard Alando Tucker and center Robin Lopez as well as draft picks Earl Clark and Taylor Griffin, both forwards, to give the team a nice starting five of veterans and draftees for coach Dan Majerle.
It will be really great to see how much more aggressive Dragic is after a half summer of work, if Lopez has developed any kind of an offensive game after working out with his brother and whether Tucker can show signs of developing into a legitimate NBA player one day (or at least legit trade bait).
Paul Coro reports that Dragic has added seven pounds and is down to 3.9 percent body fat. As a point guard with a year in the pros, I expect him to be the leader of this team and really start to prove his worth as a future PG in the NBA.
Clark should get a chance to show his versatile game and begin to see how he will fit in with his future teammates. I could see him throwing up some ridiculous box scores.
Still, summer league is more important for his rookie counterpart Griffin, who is playing for his spot on the Suns, or possibly a spot with somebody else if he’s eventually waived.
The roster is also loaded with a couple interesting names. Lee Cummard is a three-point specialist from BYU and originally Mesa High, where he won the Jackrabbits a state title. Micah Downs is also a long-range bomber who seems to have played for Gonzaga forever.
I always really liked Josh Carter when he played for A&M, and his combination of size (6-7), athleticism and shooting on the wing is intriguing.
And then, of course, there’s Chris Rodgers. My oh my, it’s been a little while since I typed that name. When C-Ro was a Wildcat, UA fans either loved him or hated him, and I just happened to love him. He’ll jack up the stupidest threes you’ve ever seen, but his in-your-face D should make for an interesting fit in summer league.
And by the way it was the first day of the offseason
OK, so the summer league stuff was the only tangible news, but that doesn’t mean the Suns weren’t dealing with more important things during the first official day of free agency.
Besides Kerr’s trip to Orlando to re-woo Grant Hill, The Arizona Republic reports that the Suns contacted free agent bigs Antonio McDyess, Channing Frye, Sean May, Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox, or in other words every FA big they have the slightest chance of signing.
What the Suns do with Amare and Ben Wallace’s deal will dictate which big they could use most, but without question they really need to sign one of the guys on that list, and on the cheap.
It seems like McDyess has been getting a good deal of attention, and judging by the way Smith didn’t really consider the Suns at midseason I doubt he’s a strong option, but Frye, May and Wilcox have been just disappointing enough in their previous stops that signing a one-year, low-money deal to redeem their value with their likely stat spikes in Gentry’s system could be agreeable to them.
Then again, that’s what Matt Barnes thought last year at this time, and it’s not like he’s exactly in line for much of a payday this time around.