Phoenix Suns release Mickael Pietrus

To nobody’s surprise the Phoenix Suns waived Mickael Pietrus today after he agreed to a $4.2 million buyout of his $5.3 million salary, according to The Arizona Republic.

Moving Pietrus was something of a foregone conclusion after the team attempted to trade him to Toronto earlier this month before the deal was thwarted by the Frenchman’s injured knee. Pietrus did not take part in Phoenix’s training camp, and by making this move the Suns are saying they feel they would be better off with Pietrus away from the team.

“Both Mickael and us realized it’d be beneficial for both parties to part ways,” Suns president of basketball ops Lon Babby told The Republic. “There’s an expression that, ‘All’s well that ends well.’ In this case, all’s well that ends.”

Added head coach Alvin Gentry, “In order for it to be a good fit, you’ve got to want to be here and I’m not sure he was ever fully engaged about being here.”

Having released Vince Carter earlier this offseason, Marcin Gortat remains the only piece from the blockbuster trade with Orlando last December but in conjunction with jettisoning Hedo Turkoglu from their books it still looks one-sided in favor of Phoenix.

ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that Boston, New York and the Lakers could be interested in Pietrus if he clears waivers.

Tags: Mickael Pietrus

  • sun-arc

    wish he could have been more of a professional. He could have been a good, important person on this team.

  • JT’s Hoops Blog

    Keeping Pietrus on the team would not have helped them anyways. his skills and athleticism were fading and he started to think that he was a jump-shooter (which he in fact isn’t)

  • Scott

    We’ll see if any team really wants him after looking at his knee. It’s possible he has some issue that will keep him more or less permanently sidelined.

  • sun-arc

    first they should look at his shot selection. I bet its worse than his knee… I mean, his injury can’t be as ugly as his shooting.

  • Scott

    @sun-arc -

    Heh. OTOH, they say shooting comes from the legs, so if his lower body isn’t right, maybe the shots he could have made before simply won’t go in now.

    But yeah, I think he has responded to his fading health with increased aggression.

  • bk

    It means that the roster is trimmed to minimum 13.

  • Scott

    BTW, Suns got clobbered again by Nuggets in pre-season.

    Three players that seem to kill the Suns when they step on the court: Telfair, Childress, Brown.

  • Scott

    BTW, note that buying Pietrus out saves the Suns their amnesty, which they could – theoretically – still use on Childress.

  • steve

    I think Childress wants out anyways, to be honest. A free $30M with the chance of going out and getting ANOTHER contract on top of that? It’s not the honorable thing to do, but it looks like that’s what Childress is aiming for. Last season, I remember the game where he pestered the Lakers to no end with offensive boards, and he was hustling all over the place, playing ball the way he does… now he doesn’t look engaged at all. I really think he’s trying to get amnestied, and in some ways, I can’t blame him.

  • Zak

    I doubt they will amnesty Childress any time soon. Unless there’s another player on the market that the Suns need the salary and/or cap space to bring onto the team then there’s just no need to do it now… and I can’t think of anyone else that the Suns might try to bring in right now who wouldn’t be just another role player this year. If this year is another bust season for him, then they can still use the amnesty next year.

  • Michael Schwartz

    Teams can only use the amnesty clause during a specified period of time, which I believe has passed, and in any case Childress is going nowhere this year. But yes, if he doesn’t become a legitimate rotation player this season with all the opportunity he now has then you’ve got to think he will be amnestied next year.

  • Nathan

    Not sure why we didn’t hold onto him until he was healthy enough for a trade. It’s not as if we need the cap space this year, and there’s plenty of teams who need a floor-spacing wing who can defend. Chicago, LA, Boston, Memphis, etc. are starving for role players like this. We could have secured more than a conditional second-rounder, and now we don’t even get that.

  • Zak

    @Nathan – I think it was because he really wasn’t good “trade bait” considering the bad knee that was reason enough for Toronto to void their trade for him. He obviously wasn’t included in the team’s plans for this year (otherwise they wouldn’t have tried to trade him to Toronto) so why not let him go and at least open up another spot on the roster for someone they think might contribute this year.

    Yeah, there are probably several teams willing to take a chance on signing him even with a gimpy knee but very few which would be willing to trade anything of real value for him. And there’s no guarantee that his knee will ever be really healthy again which might have also figured into management’s decision to buy out his contract.

  • B. Cray Z.

    Guys & gals, I have a plan. What got us a JR boxout away from the finals in 2010?

    Not STAT, but our killer bench unit. Suns can keep trying to remanufacture that with a hopeful but ineffective collection of disparate parts OR we cab learn from Kerr. What did Kerr do best? Kerr was the best at admitting his mistakes & learning from them. Kerr further took immediate action that would not only show humility & open-mindedness, but would be sensitive to what would work best to maximize the chemistry of the team & the energy which with they would come to play each game. Shaq & Porter maske for bad chemostry? He got rid of them. From that standpoint, getting rid of VC & MP is also for the best.

    Suns NOW NEED to take this action further. Time to get real. With the right rotations & former bench players back, our team could get back to a TOP 4 seed team in the West. What does Gentry say that our team needs the most? A go-to scoring 2 guard that will help take some of the pressure off of Nash when it comes time to close out each game. When Gentry was an assistant & when he first became head coach, his most reliable go-to scorer that would compliment Hash to close out each game was LB. Many of us remember his clutch 4th quarter shooting. Make the team (especially Nash & Hill) know that we have learned from our mistake & trade Josh to get Barbosa back. Have him start & finish along side Nash. They are just about unbeatable when they play at the same time. They know each other’s every move (& after wrist surgery on his right hand Barbosa can now go either right or left). Come back home Brazilian Blur! That would move

  • B. Cray Z.

    Sorry about that! My computer wasn’t up to the task at hand. As a result, I will need to now continue, even without the opportunity to give what I have already written a proof read. Typo City, with particular apologies for Nash coming out as “Hash.” That would move Dud back to back up Hill. He is a leader & will do well as a 6th man heading up our bench unit. Next we reenergize that bench unit by trading Bassy to the Dubs. Just as the Raptors could use a defensive minded wing, the Warriors could use a back up point. Louis come back! We need a hard nosed back up 4. Sign him to a contract expiring when Dud’s does (at a back loaded $ 2 mil. average per year) . The difference between his pay & that of Josh will net to save us even more cap space next year. Then trade Brown to Houston for Gogi. Come back Gogi! Just not as a back up point . Suns already have Price & should recommit to the Z Man when our medical people think that he’s ready to play. Gogi is most natural, relaxed & confident playing off the ball. Make him a shooting guard & watch him shine & be available to finish the game with Nash if LB gets hurt. Move Frye back to the bench unit to back up Gortat. This reunites our killer bench unit. Who is going to start at the 4? That can be decided between RoLo, Morris & Hakim but finish with Dud & Frye to give Nash other options to close out the game if LB/ Gogi are cold.

    MUST reunite our killer bench unit. Let’s go SUNS!!!!

  • Zak

    @ B. Cray Z. – Louis A. was recently traded to the Pacers so getting him back isn’t an option (and I hated them letting him go in the first place). A Brown for Dragic trade works by the numbers but the question remains why Houston would want to make that trade. Trading Childress for Barbosa only makes sense for the Suns. Again, it works by the numbers but I doubt Toronto wants to take on Childress’s multi-year contract considering how he played last year. I’m not actually against a lot of your suggestions, I just don’t see some of them being possible.