Feb 11, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns center Channing Frye (left) against Miami Heat forward LeBron James at the US Airways Center. The Heat defeated the Suns 103-97. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

NBA free agency: Suns wait on LeBron James, work on Frye


Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver told The Arizona Republic’s Bob Young that the team will remain patient with LeBron James. And considering the lack of noise surrounding the Suns, that might be very true.

There have been a number of rumblings as the Suns reach out to agents of other players, but nothing substantial. There is no public knowledge of Phoenix ending up on the doorstep of any other big-name free agents, which might be a sign Sarver and crew aren’t joking about making James a priority.

“We are in a good position,” Sarver told Young. “We have a lot to offer, too, with the depth of our roster compared to some of the other teams. We think we have a favorable opportunity, but obviously he’ll make his decision when he wants to make it.

“He’s a smart player and a smart businessman. He’ll look at the facts and make a decision.”

This doesn’t appear to be Phoenix making a highlight reel of James in a Suns uniform or playing to his interests.

Really, his only interest has always been the business of basketball, and the King acting as a more mature free agent is reactively getting a business-like approach from the Suns, who are banking on his smarts selling him enough to meet with them.

As other teams go full-bore into chasing Carmelo Anthony, the Miami Heat have been hoping to put together a few pieces enough to convince its Big Three to return. The catch there is that James wants a max contract, meaning it’s on Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to help out the team’s pay roll. They will do that. According to ESPN, Miami is telling other free agents it’s working with $12 million in extra spending.

That still might not be enough to make any significant changes.

The Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets could indirectly help the Suns out in their chase for James. Kyle Lowry, a target for those three squads as well as the Heat, is mulling an offer with the Raptors, and he alone might be offered close to that full $12 million in annually salary. Marcin Gortat, who was briefly mentioned as a Miami target, signed a contract to remain in Washington — more on that later.

Essentially, it feels as if the Suns will be waiting on the Heat to either secure James or not. Phoenix certainly has made it known they’d like to speak with James both through the media and also through his agent, Rich Paul, who is likely deep into discussions with the team about Eric Bledsoe’s future.

Suns fans might not want to hear their team is at the mercy of the Heat and James, all while falling behind in the chase for other free agents.

Sarver has made it clear he wants to spend, but this shows the Suns aren’t going to panic and aren’t going to put their eggs in a Plan B basket without doing everything to sit down with the King. Even if James sticks with the Heat, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reports that he might only accept a one- or two-year deal. The Suns could sit tight with a similar roster to last year and could maybe make another hard run at James next season — you never know.

Sitting tight could also help James zero in on them as an option. He’s been completely off the radar since free agency began, and Windhorst reports interested teams are moving on with more realistic options.

Not the Suns. They apparently want to see this through longer — I know it’s only 24 hours in — than most.

Re-signing Frye looks better after 24 hours

It’s 24 hours into the free agency period and the Suns look in line to re-sign forward Channing Frye. The Golden State Warriors added point guard depth with the signing of ex-Net Shaun Livingston, and that ate up their mid-level exception and hard-capped them (Read more about it at Larry Coon’s CBA FAQ).

The Warriors couldn’t sign Frye as a free agent to anything but a veteran’s minimum. Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reports Phoenix is working on a contract with Frye, who based on his Instagram account appears to be enjoying a European vacation and letting this sort itself out.

Considering the Warriors met with Cavs stretch big Spencer Hawes, perhaps Frye wasn’t as much on their radar as we assumed. That the Dubs can’t sign Hawes, either, means Cleveland could be more likely to re-sign their big man — they’ve talked about it – which would take the two mentioned suitors of the Suns’ free agent completely out of the picture.

Gortat gets paid

In October of 2013, the Suns shipped a few extra bodies, a point guard picked in the lottery and a player that would be signing a five-year, $60 million contract the next summer to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Emeka Okafor’s bloated contract and a first round draft pick that last week became Tyler Ennis. Maybe the biggest part of that move was the right for Phoenix to start Miles Plumlee at center.

The Suns don’t regret any of the above.

Gortat would be the man who signed himself into a massive contract on Tuesday. He’ll return to the Wizards on a deal that’s already received a bit of scrutiny from cap-master Mark Deeks, the owner of ShamSports.com and writer for SB Nation. And about that first round draft pick: Kendall Marshall tweeted about Gortat’s new contract. Take this for what it’s worth.


Tags: Featured Popular

  • TC

    The Suns used the pick they received from the Pacers to draft Bogdan. The Washington pick was used to draft Ennis.

    • http://www.valleyofthesuns.com Kevin Zimmerman

      Yeup, lazy mistake. Fixed, thanks.

  • HushPuppy

    Is it just me or does it seem like people are getting way overpaid already? Meeks for 7/year? Bradley for 8(!!!)? Gortat for 11 is steep too, I hope we use our money smart, not just spend on role players because we have money and other teams seem content to throw money like before the last lockout.

    • Voqar

      Happens all the time in the NBA. Hopefully our new and improved management don’t jump in on the silliness.

  • SN13PS

    At this point, seeing the money that’s being thrown around to these mid-level free agents, I’m of the opinion that the Suns either land the big fish or just re-up their own free agents (Bledsoe/Tucker/Frye) and see where that stock roster (plus the likely improvement of in-house youth like Goodwin, Len, etc.) takes them next season.

    The last thing I want is for them to offer substantial contracts to guys like Hayward, Parsons, Ariza, etc. just because they can. Better to keep the cap flexibility heading into 2015, especially with Dragic up for a new deal after next season concludes.

  • southphilly

    The last thing I look forward to is the Suns signing Frye. I cannot go through another season of his non existent defense and rebounding..He brings nothing to the table unless he is hitting his three which is sometimes on and sometimes off. He was horrible down the stretch and got physically abused by many players.

    • Voqar

      He helps open up the court for our guards to drive due to being a shooting threat. I don’t think he’s worth more than he’s making now and yes, he’s been woefully inconsistent with shooting (still a threat but I’d like it if he actually HIT more wide open perfectly setup shots).

    • 4everis2long

      I agree with you South Philly. We need a defensive minded power forward in a big way. If Frye is signed I guess it will be him and Markief again. Does not look promising IMO. I think both Markief and Frye are role playing reserve power forwards. I cannot believe the Suns feel they can win 55-60 games with Frye starting at the 4 spot. Maybe they have a potential deal where they will be trading Markief.

  • Voqar

    It’s entertaining to consider LeBron as a Sun and it would be a crazy strong team, but I don’t see it happening even if it is one of the better opportunities.

  • 4everis2long

    I see there is rumor as to who the Suns have contacted as free agents. The list includes Ed Davis and Parsons from the Rockets. I certainly like these two as possible additions.

    • JT3

      I’m reading that Suns are going hard after Pau Gasol which I certainly don’t like as one possible addition. Either one Frye or Gasol – Is it possible to actually come out of FA a worse team?? lol