Luis Scola a savvy acquisition for Suns franchise that is spending money smarter

Luis Scola will be taking his talents to Phoenix after the Suns won an amnesty auction for him. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Luis Scola will be taking his talents to Phoenix after the Suns won an amnesty auction for him. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The Phoenix Suns chose not to seriously negotiate with Steve Nash because they wanted to get younger and then aggressively pursued a handful of free agents in their early-to-mid 20s.

So how exactly does a 32-year old Luis Scola fit the rebuilding plan of a team with four power forwards already?

Suns PBO Lon Babby has said in the past that not every move this offseason will be for a player that gets the Suns to the “promised land.” Instead they will acquire players who will be “part of the process to get there,” and Scola is an ideal bridge piece who may one day turn into attractive trade bait.

That’s the way I see this Scola acquisition, and although it will be hard to really give a hard opinion on how good a move it is until we find out Scola’s price tag, presumably he was a bargain.

That’s quite difficult to find when you are a rebuilding franchise spending dollars on the free-agent market. Unless you have some sort of hometown discount or are a serious championship contender, free agents often will only sign with you if you make the best offer.

As you may know, teams must bid actual dollars under the salary cap for a player in an amnesty auction. Especially at this point in the offseason when so many signings have already taken place, not many teams have much cash to throw around, and most of those that do are not interested in a 32-year-old power forward.

But the Suns were able to parlay their cap space advantage into a player who just two years ago averaged 18 and 8 and is a career 51 percent shooter who is now a decent bet to become the Suns’ leading scorer.

Although the Suns are prohibited from trading Scola until next July 1 (and can never trade him to Houston), depending on where his salary comes in at they just acquired a very attractive future trading piece. Even as he ages a durable, productive and cheap power forward is the kind of trade chip the Suns have lacked in recent years when frankly there has not been much of interest to entice trading partners.

Or the Suns could just keep him as every young team needs a few vets to show them the way (although with Scola that way will be rather dirty), and having a starting four man who should get you at least 16-7 for cheap will allow you to utilize more resources elsewhere. If you remember the Suns’ last win in Houston, you know the Suns are getting a player who has perfected the art of flopping as well.

He’s also a bonafide starting power forward who could allow the Suns to pass on Robin Lopez and make Channing Frye the main backup at the center position, where he has thrived in the past. A frontcourt with Gortat, Scola, Frye and Markieff Morris is already crowded enough, especially since some think Beasley is best as a four as well.

I assume the Suns needed to amnesty Childress as a corresponding move to make space under their cap. Per Larry Coon’s salary FAQ, teams “must make the cap room available immediately upon being awarded the amnesty claim” and this can be done “by waiving non-guaranteed players, but not by making trades.”

In Saturday’s release, Babby said the Suns were waiting for Eric Gordon to pass his physical to restore their cap room. Assuming that has not happened yet, the Suns would only be able to bid a bit over $3 mil based on their cap predicament (if they maintained Lopez’s cap hold but none of their UFAs) before the Childress move.

However, if the Suns want to sign a quality shooting guard (and especially if they still want Lopez) along with the players they have already committed to signing, an amnesty was likely inevitable.

Babby said the Suns would not hesitate to use amnesty to better their team, and today we found out that was true as Robert Sarver swallowed hard and agreed to pay Josh Childress $21 million not to play for his team the next three seasons. That’s quite a chunk of change to just swallow for an owner who is supposedly so thrifty.

Although there was some merit in amnestying Hakim Warrick if the Suns felt they needed space this year, especially since Hak doesn’t really have a role on this team, in reality Childress was always going to be the amnesty guy, the only question was when.

The Suns could have used Chilly as a de facto “keeping powder dry” hold in that they knew they could wipe his salary from the books anytime in the next three years that they needed a bit more cap space. If they did not need the cap room this year, they could have spent another season trying to get something out of J-Chill on the court before potential swinging the amnesty hammer next summer.

I do worry that without that hold the Suns will not keep their future books clear enough, but the Phoenix Suns will be a better team with Scola rather than Childress and likely at a cheaper price to boot.

I will wait for the dust to clear on all of the Suns’ upcoming moves before delving deeper into their salary situation, but with the Suns’ second-highest paid player now on waivers the Suns will have $41 million in committed salary before factoring in Scola or Lopez but including Dragic and Beasley. No matter how much they offered for the Argentinean big man, they will have plenty of room left to sign O.J. Mayo or Courtney Lee and bring back RoLo if they so choose.

This also obviously opens up plenty of future cap space as starting next offseason Frye’s deal will be the only bad one left, and I still see him as a very useful albeit overpaid NBA player. In one fell swoop the Suns’ mistakes from the summer of 2010 have all but been eliminated save for one last season of Warrick.

The front office now must hope that none of the contracts signed this summer will become a similar albatross.

How the Suns got Scola

Due to some complicated CBA logistics, not many teams were likely eligible to bid on Scola.

Per Coon:

The minimum bid for a partial waiver claim is whichever of the following is larger:

  • The sum of the player’s minimum salary for all remaining years of his contract, except for completely non-guaranteed seasons (seasons with 0% salary protection) which are ignored for this purpose.
  • The sum of all non-guaranteed salary in partially-guaranteed seasons.

For example, if a 10+ year veteran is amnestied in 2012 with three years remaining on his contract at $10 million each season, and his salary is guaranteed 100% in 2012-13, 60% in 2013-14, and 0% in 2014-15, then the minimum bid for a partial waiver claim is $4 million — the unprotected amount in the partly-protected 2013-14 season, which is larger than the sum of the minimum salaries for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. Since the 2014-15 season is completely unprotected, it is ignored when determining the minimum bid amount.

As Eric Pincus explains over at HoopsWorld:

His final season is for $11.0 million with just $1 million guaranteed.

Therefore a minimum amnesty claim for Scola would start at the non-guarantee portion of exactly $10,041,037.  That amount needs to be paid over three years, so the lowest claim would be $3,347,012.

Few teams have that kind of cap space which may open the door for Luis to clear waivers completely.

This CBA rule may have allowed the Suns to steal a player of Scola’s quality for a relatively cheap price without too much bidding competition. As Marc Stein reported, the Dallas Mavericks are the only other team known to have put in a bid on Scola, but with their stated goal of keeping their future books as clear as possible I imagine they did not bid much more than the minimum necessary.

Suns fans now have a reason to watch the Olympics

The Suns missed out on Eric Gordon, who did not make the US Olympic team anyway, but Scola has starred for the Argentinean squad for years and will represent his native country in the 2012 Games as well.

Per the Suns’ release:

It will mark the third Olympic appearance by Scola, who helped lead Argentina to the nation’s first men’s basketball gold medal in 2004, and also a bronze medal in 2008.  He was the MVP of both the 2009 and 2011 FIBA Americas Championships, and averaged 27.1 points at the 2010 FIBA World Championships, the most by an Argentinian in tournament history.

Reunited with The Dragon

Scola and point guard Goran Dragic spent last season with Houston, so those two presumed members of the Suns’ starting lineup are already plenty familiar with each other.

According to the NBA’s advanced stats tool, Scola shot a bit better with Dragic on the floor (50.2 percent compared to 48.0). The Rockets outscored opponents by 1.5 points per 100 possessions with Dragic and Scola together compared to their plus 0.6 overall rating.

Tags: Luis Scola

  • http://NA $un$FAN

    I love this signing! Now sign Brown to a one year deal and play out the season and see how it goes… then with Warrick and Brown off the books next summer (and extra space not being used) it would allow us to target any of Harden, Iguodala, or Smith in Free Agency.

  • KayGee19

    Anyway u see it Scola was an excellent edition 2 the suns! Im giving a round of applause 2 the suns brass 4 the signings this year! Im still keeping a close eye on that SG position

  • John Devance

    wish we could swing a deal with nets sending frye or lopez for marshon brooks.there in need of a pf at the moment

  • Scott

    Happy to see the Suns spending smarter. :)

    It’s a good thing the Suns picked up Scola, because they will need a starting PF, and Scola can definitely play that role, especially in the half court at the ends of games.

    Morris did not thrill me in the Summer League opener. Granted, all the teams and players look pretty rough in their openers, but what I saw didn’t give me confidence that he could start. Which – without Scola – would leave Beasley as the logical starter, but there’s some question as to whether he’s best as a 4 or as a 3.

    Trading Childress for Scola, essentially, settles the issue. Scola can start at 4 and Beasley at 3. Dragic can focus on running the pick and roll with Gortat, and if nothing’s happening he can either throw it to Scola and let him create a short jumper, or pass it to the corner and let Beasley toss up a 3. If Dudley (or Mayo) should end up as starting SG, then the Suns have a defensive presence on the wing with an efficient offense to counter-balance Beasley.

    Also, with this acquisition the Suns get themselves into a situation where they may have 3 decent contracts they can put up for trade. Scola’s will be the most attractive as it is cap-friendly; Beasley’s short contract will be reasonable for any team that needs scoring from 3 and spacing at the 4; and Lopez should wind up being a reasonably priced big man who can run the floor.

    Which is all good. Because other than that, the Suns haven’t had a lot of options in trade lately.

    BTW, while I still favor as backup options Zoran Dragic, Martell Webster, and James Johnson, I have crossed John Shurna off the list. While he is a good shooter, his low release point is a problem. Though I know shooters don’t like to mess with their mechanics, I think he’d be best served by taking a year to practice shooting with a high release point, like Rasheed Wallace. It’s just too easy to block his shots in the NBA.

  • Mike

    So we got Scola for three years?

    This team is shaping up to be terrible, and not Bobcats terrible – Milwaukee terrible.

  • Scott

    Well, damn it. The Kings traded a 2nd round pick for James Johnson. :(

  • cdubbbb


    Morris looked great in the summer league game. He basically dominated the whole time he was on the floor on both offense and defense.

    And how could you favor Zoran Dragic as a backup option fir anybody? He has never played in a NBA game till this summer and was basically non existent so far for Houston. And I really doubt you have seen him play at all before now. Seems more like you have a man crush on the last name to me….

    Anyway, I just read your comment and felt the need to dive into the discussion

  • Majestic One

    Scola is really a 2-year deal because he can be bought out for only $440K in the 3rd year. I would confirm when Scola can be traded by the Suns since I believe they might have only a 30 day restriction.

  • HoopsNerdUK

    Yes! We just got a starting-caliber PF on a bargain contract. While he’s not the defensive presence I wanted, I’m happy to see some inside toughness being added, at least in terms of rebounding and post offense.

    I’d love to see Morris become our starting PF eventually, but he’s not there yet. Hopefully his post defense will improve from going up against Scola in practice, and by the time (if) he’s ready, that last year of Scola’s contract is only guaranteed for $400k (if Gambo is to be believed).

    Will be interesting to see if we can keep Robin on a cheap-ish deal. Even if Frye is to move over to backup center, he’s out until January so we need another 5. Never hurts to have another big, as long as it’s not on a nasty contract.

    Now back to the plugging the SG hole while keeping space free for 2013 free agency.
    While I like Dudley, I don’t like him as a starting SG. It sounds like Mayo is too pricey at the moment and while I like Courtney Lee as a 3-and-D guy, I’m not sure I want us turning into the Rockets (+Dragic, Scola). Brown is an option, but not exactly ideal. With Chilly gone there’s another roster spot for a cheap wing… maybe Lighty or Tucker from the Summer League roster?

    What’s the cap situation? Is there some way the Suns FO can be creative and front-load a contract so we have enough space next year for a max player?

  • HoopsNerdUK

    I took so long to post that last comment that other guys covered the same points! Doh! Sorry for the repetition.

  • Scott

    @cdubbbb -

    People naturally see things in different ways, and I have no problem with your disagreement. What I saw was Morris fouling when he shouldn’t, being a bit slow, and so on. Maybe some of those things will improve as Summer League rolls on and the rust comes off. You saw him as being dominant, and I saw him being maybe a bit surprised at how close in talent he was to the other players.

    As for Zoran … I’ve only seen him play in one game, so the sample is exceedingly small. However, in my view he was decisively better than pretty much everyone on the court in terms of hustle, getting to his spots, and defending. His high IQ was obvious, as he could see what was developing and respond before the others. However, I don’t think he’s used to playing against NBA caliber opponents, and it will take him time to adjust to the greater speed and athleticism. And his offense was ineffective. But I wasn’t the only one impressed. He was a standout and drew a lot of positive commentary from the broadcast crew.

    If you missed the Rockets game in which Zoran played, his effect on the game was similar to that created by Meyers Leonard in the Portland v NO game. Leonard earned a double-double – which was more than what Zoran did – but he was running the floor better than just about anyone, and he used his presence to shape what was happening. Like Zoran, Leonard drew praise from the broadcast crew.

  • Scott

    @HoopsNerdUK -

    I agree with you, but I’m suspicious of taking on Courtney Lee. I’m not that familiar with him, but IIRC when I’ve seen him he’s not played well.

    Neither Lighty nor Tucker has impressed me yet, but I’d put them on the list. Matt Janning is still out there, and so is Redd.

    I don’t want to overpay for Mayo and thus have another contract that is difficult to trade. Likewise, I don’t want to have to pay too much for Lopez, because he needs to be paid relatively little in order to have trade value.

    For example, Darko Milicic was making just under $5m and was overpaid. There’s not a lot of difference between Darko’s and Robin’s stats.

  • Scott

    @Mike -

    “Milwaukee terrible” is probably an upward move from where the Suns would be after missing the playoffs and then losing Nash and Hill.

    I can see where adding Dragic, Beasley, Marshall, and Scola lifts the Suns up to Milwaukee’s level. They still need to add talent to challenge for a playoff spot.

    On the plus side, though, they’ve pruned off Chilly’s salary, leaving them with only Warrick and Telfair as dead wood, and they’re expiring contracts.

  • Elviro (from Italy)

    Scola is a great buy!
    My compliments to the Suns’ leadership that is moving very well in this off-season!
    Last season, I criticized the leadership, but today, I must say that we are moving really well!
    ok, Gordon is gone (if it was good or bad, only the future will tell …) and not our fault, but to take someone like Scola, gentlemen, is truly a great shot!
    I’m excited, I believe that Gortat will be fine and will do more in Morris hen!
    Now under the basket we are ok, we miss the guards … I hope you manage to do something with mayo, if you miss too would opt for a choice of replacement for this season and then head a few stars in the upcoming off-season …
    I do not know, maybe the abundance under the basket you could think of some trade …
    I read that Lopez in Portland … do not hear is that you can get them something good? Wesley Matthews could be achieved, even if I do not think that the yield (only) to Lopez?
    Anyway let’s wait and see what happens now with mayo, but the team that is coming out is really interesting:
    Dragic and Marshall in the director ensure a great future, Beasley and Dudley as small forward and dangerousness physical damage from the perimeter. Scola Gortat under the basket and have a safe and, in my opinion, they blend very well! Frye and Morris are different and alternative to our two men under the basket and we ensure dangerous from the perimeter so you can vary your play and expand the defense when you need it!
    I’m happy!
    I look forward to the next season and buy NBA2k13 …. ;-)
    But not before you understand what will be our guards for next season …
    Ps: thanks to the leadership that he finally freed of unnecessary and expensive as a player Childress, finally!

  • bk

    Yes….. it should be the end of Lopez as Suns. Right now, either Frye or Morris will be unhappy in their playing minutes if they can only play as PF to share the minutes with Scola.

    Somehow, it proves that the Eric Gordon pursuit is a bad move so they have to amnesty Childress here. I think the FO needs to admit that so that they won’t do it again next time.

  • frenchysunsfan

    Great signing, Scola is one of the most underrated player in the league. He will also help Markieff’s development with his experience.
    Just waiting now for our next SG, I think the FO should give Mayo 8-9 M$ per year.

  • shazam

    i hope we now have trade bait because to paraphrase phil jackson …this team looks clumsy

  • steve

    I mentioned this in the last article, but I’ve taken the time to look at Scola’s stats, and I’ll defend my position a little bit.

    First off, I have never said Scola is a bad player. Personally, I don’t like his game, but he’s still not a *bad* player. However, I keep hearing the same cliches thrown around to describe him as “one of the most underrated players in the NBA.” He isn’t.

    I would actually argue that he’s OVERrated. He made over $16M the past two seasons to put up numbers that were marginally better than league-average numbers. There is a reason Houston used the amnesty clause on him.

    Here are some of his numbers from last year, for those of you who haven’t looked them up:

    PPG – 15.5
    RPG – 6.5
    APG – 2.1
    STL – 0.5
    BLK – 0.4
    FG% – 49.1
    FT% – 77.3
    MPG – 31.3

    TS% – 52.6
    eFG% – 49.1
    ORB% – 6.8
    DRB% – 17.3
    TRB% – 12.0
    STL% – 0.9
    BLK% – 0.9
    TOV% – 13.6
    USG% – 24.8
    ORtg – 102
    DRtg – 107
    OWS – 1.8
    DWS – 1.6
    WS – 3.4
    WS48 – 0.080

    Those numbers, like I said, are not terrible, but they’re not very good either. Scola gets praised for his rebounding abilities, but I simply don’t see why. Channing Frye gets hammered by fans and the media for not being able to grab boards, but he actually grabbed boards at a higher rate than Scola last year (and Frye’s rebounding is trending upward while Scola’s is trending down). Scole gets described as being scrappy and physical, but Frye grabs more boards, gets more blocks, and produces more steals.

    I don’t even think Frye is worth having around as a starter, and I’m only comparing the two because it seems as though Scola is Frye’s “replacement” while Frye recovers. It just seems as if everyone is thinking Scola is a legitimate NBA starter who is going to produce like crazy when he’s out on the floor. I just don’t see that happening. He’s an average player. If the Suns paid average or less-than-average money for him (which seems likely), then I’m happy with the signing. But let’s be realistic. It’s highly unlikely Scola is going to have a huge impact on the floor for the Suns (at least not any more significant than the other PFs).

  • Ty-Sun

    To me the only reason this team might look “clumsy” is because it’s incomplete. The Suns still need another 2 and another 3 if the Suns can’t get Mayo and Dudley has to continue as the starting 2. Lee would only be worth signing if it was a relatively cheap and short (2 years at most) contract. I’d like to see backing up Beasley rather than starting at the 2 or sharing time with Lee there. Bringing back Brown for another year might be an option or Redd if some other team doesn’t snap him up for their bench.

  • Greg

    Scola may not be a great rebounder, or a great defender, even though his post defense is very tough. However, I argue when you say he won’t make a huge impact. Who was their low-post threat? Gortat? He is a an agile footed center that prefers less banging and more of his game is in the pick and roll and short shots from 12-14 out. Scola has a mid-range game, but he loves banging down low and scoring with avariety of impressive post moves and scoop shots. He isnt athletic, can’t dunk, but that is a good thing looking forward, as he ages his game isnt decided on athleticism. So the next three years I see a decline (contract through age 35) but not a huge one because his game won’t be affected. My point is, Scola is a post presence the Suns havn’t had, and his game will not interfer with Gortats at all. He also offers a competitiveness and toughness the Suns don’t have on their roster. His leadership and experience will help the young guys along the way, and his work ethic will rub off on guys like Beasley. Not every contribution for a team is shown on advanced metrics, and those metrics (from with Houston) don’t show how well he can possibly fit into the Suns new offensive approach. I agree he isn’t a stud, but he will do things for the Suns that we can’t see with his Houston metrics/stats.

  • Greg

    @ Steve continued, If you watch Scola, he has similar rebounding qualities to Lopez, he doesnt grab a ton of boards, and that is probably due to his lack of athleticism. However, similar to Lopez, Scola always has his body on a man, and he boxes out hard, the type of tough box-outs that really grind post player down. So even though he isn’t grabbing rebounds, he is still effective in the rebounding game, his guy doesn’t grab the board instead of him. Rebounding is a stat that doesnt account for how many rebounds a player grabs that are just easy defensive boards because the other team quickly gets back on D, I don’t have proof, but Scola’s rebounds are more physical and more meaningful then Frye’s in my opinion. I would also be curious to see a statistic of Houston’s overall team rebounding in comparison to when Scola is on/not on the floor. As I said, your metrics don’t account for alot of stats/factors that there aren’t stats for.

  • Mel.

    … at this point, I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around all the nay-sayers and armchair critics who are bombing on the Suns for making moves.

    Whether it’s collecting trade assets (To be fair, the Lakers were ready to junk Gasol to the Rockets for about as much as the Suns currently have in their frontcourt) or just incremental steps in finding a playing culture in the post-Nash years, it’s still a HELL of a lot more than I was expecting, in terms of progress. My postseason prediction was that Steve’s departure would result in a concerted tanking and all kinds of double-speak about next year’s FA crop and “looking towards the future.” That’s the reality of the NBA midcarder, in the league’s current shape: teams like Portland and Houston are willing to completely crumple and detonate a decent core in the name of mortgaging their franchises for that “one big FA fish,” without so much as a blink.

    Instead of gutting the roster, Phoenix shored up its edges. Is it a championship-caliber squad? No. Not even if you measured it up against a rose-flavored LSD trip.

    Is it a team that’s going to (ideally) hold its own for the foreseeable future, and threaten for a 6-8th seed in the West? Provided that these pieces gel, then I’d say “yeah.” We’ve gone from assembling a playing culture based on the nightly heroism of a 40-year-old Hall of Famer to a blueprint based on youth, and chemistry. And moreso, when and IF a keystone superstar becomes available, we’ve got more than our ever-expendable draft picks and Marcin Gortat to toss onto the table.

    And if nothing else, the logic and relative thrift behind these signings is absolutely nothing like the horrific bender that the FO went on when STAT left. The fact that they aren’t taking their fanbase into another season of ill-advised “if we can just get six average players to fill the position of the guy leaving, then we’ll be FINE”-type idiocy is reason alone to rejoice, even if you’re still (rightly) skeptical about where we might go from here.

  • Ty-Sun

    One other thing I like about Scola is that in 5 seasons in the NBA he’s missed a grand total of 8 games. Probably because he plays smart instead of relying on athleticism. Actually, for a PF who plays below the rim, his stats are pretty impressive.

    He’s not going to be a game changer or the go-to guy for the Suns but I do think that he’s going to be the RELIABLE guy who plays hard and smart every night for them. AND if he can teach Morris some of his moves – both in scoring and rebounding – then Morris could become a much better overall player.

  • Greg

    @ Ty-Sun, people have been talking about Scola’s “rickety” knees, despite the positive you pointed out of only missing 8 games in 5 years. This is also a positive for the Suns, because if there is a training staff that can get those knees feeling as fresh as possible every night, its the Suns. So we may see a modest increase in production, assuming he gets the minutes and assuming he gets the shots. (Beasley/possible signing of Mayo/Goran, three guys who are going to take a ton of shots combined) Prior to the Scola signing I’ve heard that Oden wants to play this year. He is a guy people consider a bust and a failure in comparison to Durant, which is all true. However, the poor guy can’t help his kneees are 80 years old, when he has been on the court he has shown flashes of the talent that made him number 1 overall. I would have liked to see the Suns take a 1 year non guarenteed deal on him and see what the staff could do with his knees. But, this was prior to the Scola signing

  • Greg

    Amare had the microfracture knee surgury as well, even though I think Oden has had 2 of them, but Amare returned to dominance after his surgury with the Suns

  • Jason A.

    If we get Courtney Lee it will indeed be a bit uncomfortable to have 3 of the Rockets’ 5 starters on our team, but I find this article from 3/27/12 to be very interesting:

    “Despite their remarkable play as of late, it would be silly to insist that Dragic is an altogether superior player to Lowry or that Lee is better than Martin on an individual level. Yet something in the specific synergy of those two reserves has allowed Houston to unlock its offense; when Dragic and Lee are on the floor, along with Luis Scola, Chandler Parsons and Samuel Dalembert, the Rockets offense scores at the ridiculous rate of 117.8 points per 100 possessions, per’s statistical database. Those five compose Houston’s second-most-used lineup this season, and they also rank as one of the Rockets’ most effective units overall.”

  • Russell

    @Steve I noticed that you said Scola made 16 million the last two years, yet you only put up his #’s from last year.

    How about you put up the guy’s numbers for the last 3 years?

    For3.5 million a year we are getting a guy who is going to give us 15-16pts at the PF position with 8.5 rebounds per game. No one else on the team can do that for us at PF.

  • Russell

    Luis Scola Stats the last few seasons:

    2009-2010: 33 minutes PG: 16.2/8.6 reb/51% FG
    2010-2011: 33 minutes PG: 18pts/8.2 reb/50% FG
    2011-2012: 31 minutes PG: 15.5pts/6.5reb/49% FG

    His per 36 minutes avg for his career is 17.3pts/9.2reb/51%FG

    For 3.5 mil per a year over the next 2 years (3rd year not guaranteed) this is a complete steal. The guy can rebound and he can score.

    Go get OJ Mayo on a 4 year 30-32million$ deal. The Suns are going to be good.

  • steve


    Apparently you didn’t read this far into my post:

    “If the Suns paid average or less-than-average money for him (which seems likely), then I’m happy with the signing.”

    I wasnt aware that the details of the Scola signing have been made public. If those are indeed the numbers, then I’m happy with the signing.

    And if you want to gripe about me mentioning his pay for the last two seasons and only including stats for last season, how about this. He made $8.5M for the stats I listed. That’s WAY overpaid. Again, there is a reason the Rockets used the amnesty clause on him.

    Is that better?

  • Ty-Sun

    Yeah, Mel, I pretty much agree. The moves that the FO have made this year are amazing considering the moves that they’ve made in the past. I hated to see Nash go as much as anyone but the Suns were locked into trying to play a style of ball that best suited Nash while he was here. Now they aren’t. SSOL is gone and actually has been gone for a while.

    If Gentry takes these new players and tries to make them play the same style of ball that the Suns played last year THEN I will say that he needs to go. I don’t think he’s that dumb though. I think we’ll see a more deliberate, structured offense this season but one that will also take every chance to fast break that they get.

    And, depending on how the final roster actually fills out, I think that the Suns bench will be much better this year. With Marshall running the show I think they could be able to bring back fond memories of the old bench mob that we all remember.

    But it’s all a gamble anyway and very dependent on who that Suns finally wind up with at the 2. If they Suns wind up with Mayo, I’m psyched at the possibilities this season. If it’s Lee or someone else, not so much but still hopeful. If they strike out and Dudley remains the starting 2 with Brown or Redd to back him up with some yet to be named 3 backing up Beasley, I’m even less enthusiastic.

    It’s the unknowns that intrigue me about this year’s team though. Will Dragic really shine as our starting PG? Will Beasley finally live up to his potential? Will Scola fit in? Will Gortat step up or fade away without Nash running the show? Can Marshall run the 2nd unit effectively? Will Morris step up and improve his game? How will Gentry adapt the offense and defense to utilize all the new players?

    I could go on and on with even more unknowns but I’ll end this post by saying that those things are what makes this season so very interesting!

  • Russell

    Here are details of the signing:

    Luis Scola gets 4.1, 4.5 and 4.9 million over next three years from Suns but only 440K is guaranteed in year 3. Great addition for Phoenix.

  • Russell

    basically 4.3 mil per a year over the next 2 years for Scola’s production is an absolute bargain.

  • Ty-Sun

    No argument, Steve. The Rockets were overpaying him. Just like the Suns are overpaying Frye and Warrick and were overpaying Childress… and just like how almost every other team in the NBA is overpaying someone on their roster. But the Rockets mainly amnestied him because they are determined to clear out as much cap space as possible to make a play for Howard. Scola’s contract wasn’t a good one but wasn’t a terrible one either. As long as the Suns picked him up for less than $4 mil a season, I can live with that.

  • Ty-Sun

    Hmmm… not too bad but I still think that the Suns overpaid for Scola a little. But since the 3rd year isn’t guaranteed then perhaps it is a good deal.

  • Rob

    Re: Why Houston Amnestied Scola

    FWIW, I think Houston amnestied Scola because they are looking to shed some salary for their potential signings–Lin, Asik–and they are clearly (to me) looking to get younger and “bottom out” if they can’t get Howard. Keeping Scola would not help them save money, get younger, acquire Howard, or lose as many games as possible. Also, for Scola’s average(and arguably declining) production and high salary, he’s not a very good trade chip.

    Why would the Suns want him? Like Steve said, if he’s cheap, then it’s a decent deal…


    So many cry baby fans on here. ENOUGH ALREADY. SUNS are doing 10 times better than I thought they were going to do. If we get mayo , we will be better then clippers , mavs , jazz, rockets , grizz, potential of 4th seed. Way better than last year. NUFF SAID

  • Artur Mascarenhas

    Above all things already said, Scola is a great GO-TO GUY. You feed him the ball and he will give you 30 PPG. And this is something the Suns are lacking for a while.

    Great sign, no doubt about it.


    Mayo = 4th seed
    Lee = 6th seed
    No sg = 8th seed
    No sg and no scola = missed play off

  • Ty-Sun

    I don’t think Scola can give the Suns 30 points per night BUT, depending on the situation, yeah he could give you 30 points on a certain night. I think Beasley and Dragic could do the same depending on the competition and the matchups. THAT is what I like about the way this team is shaping up. Including Gortat, the Suns already have 4 players that could score 30 points in a game. None of them will average anywhere near 30 but the Suns have a LOT of potential 30 point a night scorers. The key might be in determining who to feed the ball to on any given night. And Dudley and Frye have had their nights in the past too so you can’t count either of them out as being “the guy” occasionally.

    At this point I’m not willing to guess whether this Suns team will be a bust, a home run or something in between… but it has a lot of potential to go either way.

  • Mel.

    “At this point I’m not willing to guess whether this Suns team will be a bust, a home run or something in between… but it has a lot of potential to go either way.”

    Totally agree. But as covered in the posts above, if the result is a total schmozz, I can at least give the FO credit for trying. The temptation to totally brick out and hope that an FA like James Harden will somehow be lured into a gutted, morale-dead roster next year is a hell of a lot less realistic than at least trying to keep some promising pieces in play, in the off chance that they CAN convince him to consider a future in a Suns’ jersey.

  • PennyAnd1

    I love this sign for sure bro! With Gortat & Scola working the boards like hungry animals would sure be exciting.

    Then I read an article that Beasley would be affected with this move. I hope he isn’t. Beasley just need to use his height advantage at SF (although past record says he hasn’t). This groupd would’ve been awesome had Gordon came & Nash stayed.

    So now here is my lineup:

    C: Gortat, Lopez
    PF: Scola, Channing Frye
    SF: Beasley, Morris
    SG: Mayo, Dudley
    PG: Dragic, Marshall

    BUT PLEASE!!!!!!! NO!!!!!!!!!! don’t sign back BROWN! He is a momentum killer and lacks teamwork.

  • Ty-Sun

    Yep, Mel. The best way to lure someone like Harden to the Suns is to show him a team that is ready to take the next step into contention by adding him! If the Suns can’t land Mayo, then Harden next year might be a possibility because the Suns will have an obvious hole at the 2, one that Harden might think that he could fill.

    The FO seems to be trying to build a team that will attract a high level FA, the “go-to guy”. They probably won’t get that guy this year but they are making moves to at least attract him next year.

  • Greg

    @ pennyand1 You do know they couldnt added Goran, Scola, or Beasley if they retained Nash and signed Gordon? Morris and Beasley CANT be your 3′s. Beasley is better as a 4, much better as a 4 thru-out his career, but they signed him to play the 3 and Scola has locked him in at the 3. I am ok with that, he can be a big-time scorer from the 3 or 4. His defense on perimeter is lacking, despite his length. Morris is even slower and is actually shorter then Beasley. Opposing 3′s that have any speed would destroy both of them. Lopez is gone, frye will back up center and morris will back up scola. Bench combo of dudley frye morris hit tons of threes, and probably be a streaky group being led by rookie pg. but if that group is on? watch out for the suns. Brown would be a nice option off bench if price is right, but they cant reach on him. Mayo signing would likley negate a brown signing, but a Lee signing we could see Lee and Brown on short contracts.
    @Tysun, I agree, obviously 3.5 mil for scola would have been a little nicer, but 4.1, 4.5, 4.9 mil per year will easily be payed for itself. Not an “overpay” in any way shape or form. if they payed any less they probably would have lost the bid. Its a great deal, he can be gone in 2 years if he declines/it doesnt work out as planned. his role will be valuable to the suns: a tough, competitive, low post presence. Gortat really isnt a low post guy, he likes hanging out up to 14 feet away, he isnt a banger like scola. its a perfect fit, and perfect price. no other power forward in the world who averages 15ish and 7ish a game can be had for under 5 million.

  • Lloyd Cadle

    Last Saturday morning I was driving to work and flipping the radio dial. I came accross two guys on radio station 1060. They were ripping the Suns FO and saying they have no clue whatsoever in what they are doing. One of them said, “the Suns have no leadership at the top.”

    I’m sorry, I don’t know their names. Anyway, one of them said that the Suns should quickly do a sign and trade agreement with NO so that they could at least land Gordon.

    Here they are ripping the Suns FO for not knowing what they are doing and these nit-wits didn’t even do their homework before going on the air. If they had done their homework they would have realized that the Suns could not have completed a sign and trade last Saturday.

    It is okay to rip the Suns, but the guys on 1060 on Saturday morning know even less what they are doing than the Suns FO!

  • nate

    I don’t like a Mayo signing. Underperformed for years with the Grizz, will probably be overpaid as a FA this year and the Suns will be locked in with him with little cap flexibility if we do sign him…it would ensure a few years languishing in that middle-of-the pack, Milwaukee territory, fighting for a lower rung playoff spot but with no chance of taking the next step. The fact is that teams almost never go from middle-of-the-pack to great–it’s from the bottom or really good to great.

    Let Dudley ride it out this year at shooting guard, or get a more affordable option short-term (I wouldn’t be opposed to Lee on a 1 or 2 year contract) and see what we can do in the future. This team isn’t going to win it, guys, even though I am very happy with what the FO is doing.

  • Ty-Sun

    Yeah, Lloyd. I hear and read a LOT from people who really seem to have no idea what is really possible in the NBA and elsewhere as well.

    The Suns should renege on the deal with LA, bring back Nash, then sign Dwight Howard, then sign LeBron James, bring back Amare and then the Suns’ Warlocks could somehow rejuvenate Michael Jordon to his 20-something year old self and entice him to playing for the Suns too.

    A great wish list but just wishes.

  • Andy

    I think Greg is right on – one thing I’m really concerned about here is that this seems to signal we think Beasley is going to spend more time at the 3 than the 4, something that’s been a recipe for trouble for him in the last couple of years. Not only has Beasley played more poorly at the 3, we’ve seen a lot more data there. The “upside” argument becomes a lot less meaningful when we’ve seen what he can do “turned loose” at the 3 so often in the past. I’ve already expressed my concern about this turning the Suns into a capped-out, borderline playoff team a la the Rockets in the previous thread. I won’t spend too much more time on that, suffice it to say that I do not see any sort of coherent long term plan in our moves this summer. Also, to the people who say we won’t resign Lopez and will instead use Frye as a backup 5, while I agree with that idea, I’ve seen elsewhere on this board that Frye is out until December or later. If that’s the case, that really doesn’t leave much behind Gortat for the first half of the season. I guess we can sign a minimum center for that half season, but is acquiring our 5th “natural” PF, so that we’re using scraps at the 5 for 10+ minutes a game the best use of resources?

    While I don’t disagree that there could be some value to be had in the Scola signing, I’m not sure that it rises to the level of can’t miss “bargain” – especially now that we know its over 4 million a year. (Admittedly, the last year buyout is nice, and makes him a more valuable trade chip later on.) First, to the idea that Scola can regularly get 30 points – he’s scored more than 30 points 4 times in his career, exactly 30 another 4 times. That means that out of 386 career games, he’s scored 30 or more points 8 times – about 2 percent of the time. So, I think I’m with Ty-Sun, while Scola might be a guy who can conceivably have a 30 point night, he’s not really any sort of dominant, go-to scoring threat. Last year both Gortat and Dragic scored more efficiently that did Scola. Slotting him in ahead of them as our likely leading scorer doesn’t necessarily feel like progress. And, perhaps more importantly, the last time Scola went over 30 points was back in January of 2011.

    This brings me to my next point – there are a lot of indications that Scola is in decline. Saying “as recently as two years ago” he did something, or that “over the last 3 years” he played at a certain level is a lot less valuable if we have reason to believe he’s on the downward swing. And, sadly, it sure looks like it. He started his NBA career at 26. Since that point, here are some of his major stats:
    WS: 6.5, 8.6, 6.3, 5.5, 3.4
    WS/48: .154, .165, .114, .110, .080
    eFG: .515, .531, .514, .504, .491
    reb%: 19.3, 23.4, 32.6, 21.6, 17.3

    That is to say, in a lot of important measures, he peaked in his year 27 season and is on a fairly steady decline since. This isn’t a huge shock for a 32 year old power forward. And it doesn’t even necessarily mean he won’t be worth 4 million a year for the next two years. But it does mean that we have reason to doubt that we’re getting the Scola we’ve seen up to this point in his career, or even the Scola we saw last year, for the length of this deal. So, for that reason, I’m hesitant to just plug in even the 15/7 numbers a lot of people are citing as his floor for the next two years.

    Finally, @Michael, I’m honestly really surprised that this is your take on this move. Given our recent discussion, where you cited the Hawks and I cited the Rockets as negative examples, in which we both seemed to agree that filling up the cap with more average players wasn’t the way to go. Does a price tag of over 4 million for the next two years (basically wiping out Hak’s expiring contract next year) for an aging Scola really rise to the level of the sort of “can’t pass up” move you seemed to think the Suns should hold out for in exchange for further dirtying the long-term cap waters? It’s certainly possible that Scola plays more like he did 2 years ago than a year older than last year, and that we can flip his then-significantly underpaid and low risk contract for some major assets. That’d be great, but I do think there’s more risk to the long-term picture here than initially meets the eye.

  • Lloyd Cadle

    Ty-Sun -

    The Saturday morning nit-wits on 1060 should have at least known that once Gordon signed an offer sheet with the Suns a sign and trade was no longer a possibilty on Saturday.

    How can guys go on a radio program so unprepared to do their jobs?

    At least guys like Doug & Wolf and Gambo & Burns do their homework and certainly the guys on this website more than do their homework.

  • Scott

    I was just looking at Houston’s roster. They’ve got a serious mess on their hands. I’m trying to parse it.

    C – Donatas Motiejunas, Jerome Jordan, Greg Smith

    PF – John Leuer, Josh Harrellson, Terrence Jones, Patrick Patterson, Furkan Aldemir

    SF – Royce White, Gary Forbes, Marcus Morris, Diamon Simpson

    SG – Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, Chandler Parsons

    PG – Courtney Fortson, Toney Douglas

    That’s 17 players before PG Lin and C Asik join.

    If the Rockets can make like Saw 8 and cut off their least productive members, I guess they’ll cut/trade: C Greg Smith, PF Patrick Patterson, SF Marcus Morris, SF Diamon Simpson, and stash PF Furkan Aldemir overseas. That will bring them down to 14.

    They could make moves to strengthen the PG spot, but otherwise they don’t look horrible after making the necessary cuts.

  • nick

    i see the rotation like this…

    C: Gortat , frye
    PF: Scola , Morris
    SF: Beasley, warrick
    SG: Mayo, Dudley
    PG: Dragic, Marshall , telfair

    id rather have someone else as beasleys back up but unfortanatley ,warrick is the only person left after him…