PHOENIX — At this point in the offseason the Phoenix Suns desperately needed a shooting guard and Shannon Brown badly needed a team.
And thus one of the most polarizing Suns players (based on this site’s comments section at least) will return on a two-year, $7 million contract in which only half of the second-year salary is guaranteed.
When I first heard about the deal I was pretty bummed because I felt the Suns needed to do better at the two guard spot than a player who shot 42 percent and made some of his most played-in lineups significantly worse, as I wrote in my season review of Brown.
However, I was most disappointed about the second season that Brown said he was seeking in his exit interview. After learning only half of the $3.5 mil in that year is guaranteed I still don’t love this, but I’m not quite as down on the deal.
First off, if Brown impresses this season they either have him locked in at $3.5 mil for another year or have a decent piece of trade bait in that some teams could be willing to acquire a cheap scorer like him. Other teams may not mind trading for Brown to cut salary since they could cut him for half his price tag.
Moreover, due to the new stretch provision, if the Suns waive Brown between July 1-August 31 of next year, “then his remaining salary is paid over twice the number of years remaining on his contract, plus one,” in equal installments, according to Larry Coon’s CBA FAQ.
This means that Brown’s salary could be paid over three seasons, and if the reported numbers are correct he would only count $583,333 against the cap each year. This is such a miniscule part of the salary cap that in essence this is a one-year deal with just a modicum of pain paid out if the Suns don’t want him back next season.
With that in mind, as much as I have been on the “no multi-year contract” warpath ever since the Hornets matched on Gordon, this is essentially a one-year deal that pacifies Brown’s desire for a “multi-year deal.”
I understand Brown’s talent but just don’t feel he will ever stop being a ball stopper and jacking up so many bad shots. I’m sure he will be better in his second year in the system and he’s not such a terrible choice when considering the other possibilities left at the wing.
Obviously, I’d much, much rather have O.J. Mayo on a two-year deal with a player option that starts at $4 million, but reports have stated he wanted more money than that to play for the Suns, money that might not have been wise to hand out.
As much as I wanted Courtney Lee, I didn’t want the Suns to pay him $21.5 mil over four years when he’s really just another role player. I’d rather sign Brown to this glorified one-year deal than make that kind of commitment to Lee.
With the signing the Suns now have just over $10 million to do things like re-sign Robin Lopez and make lopsided trades during the season, and most importantly their cap space next season is largely preserved with potentially less than $600K coming off next year’s cap for Brown.
Now let’s hope Shannon takes better shots next season.
Hill wanted to be a Sun
Even after his good friend Steve Nash departed for Los Angeles, Grant Hill wanted to finish his career in the Valley, according to an Arizona Republic report.
Instead Hill signed a two-year, $4 mil deal from the Clippers after the Suns only offered a one-year, veteran-minimum deal at $1.35 million.
“Going into the free-agency period, I thought I’d be back in Phoenix,” Hill told the paper. “It’s safe to say the organization is in a rebuilding mode, and that’s a good thing.
“I didn’t think it’d happen this way. I guess I’m surprised that I’m gone. I’ve learned that when one door closes, another opens, and I’m excited about going to LA, but there’s a sadness about leaving this team and this community.”
This is kind of surprising after Suns PBO Lon Babby, Hill’s former agent, said in May that he’d “be extremely disappointed” if Hill played elsewhere.
I would be vehemently against a multi-year deal for the soon-to-be 40-year-old Hill, but with the Suns’ depth at small forward so thin and with all the remaining cap space this year, I would love Hill back for one year at say $3 mil right now to provide defense and leadership.
Suns shower Beasley with love from the outset of FA
As the clock struck midnight Eastern on July 1, teams around the Association were placing calls to stud free agents like Deron Williams, Steve Nash and Eric Gordon.
The Suns’ first call went to Michael Beasley, and that went a long way in getting Beasley to eventually sign with the Suns.
“It was very important to me,” Beasley said. “It made me feel wanted. It made me feel like I was still one of the best basketball players even though I know in my heart I am. Just to have that confidence from someone else, it just makes you feel good about yourself.”
Beasley said he had a couple other offers but didn’t meet with any other teams after being wowed by the Suns.
“They embraced not only me but they embraced my past and all they talk about is the future,” Beasley said. “Coach Gentry first thing he says to me is, ‘I understand you messed up, but I don’t care about that. I care about the steps you’re taking forward to move on.’ The meeting I had with them really made me feel good about myself, and that’s all a player wants.”
There has been some fear about how the Suns will be able to attract free agents to Phoenix without Nash, yet their success this offseason of nailing down commitments from their top targets (Gordon, Beasley and Dragic) should allay some of those concerns going forward.
Their “cornerstone” presentation to Gordon, the “coming home” theme for Dragic and the love they showed Beasley with made for smashing successes.
The Suns’ 2015 pick from the Lakers is only top-five protected. If it makes it to 2016 (doubtful, I know), it will be top-three protected.
Babby said the emotion must be taken out of decisions like the heart-wrenching Nash trade, and with only a 41-year-old Nash under contract for that 2014-15 season who knows if that selection could turn into a gem.