Feb 4, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Charlotte Bobcats power forward Anthony Tolliver (43) reacts after a three point basket against the Golden State Warriors during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. The Charlotte Bobcats defeated the Golden State Warriors 91-75. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

NBA free agency: Value big men for the Suns to consider

Channing Frye’s decision to leave Phoenix opened the need for the Suns to fill a roster spot. Moreover, it requires them to determine whether they need to find a stretch power forward to replace him.

There’s an argument for the Suns to stick with the status quo. Markieff Morris could slide into the starting spot, and brother Marcus could play as a combo forward and floor-spacer. Phoenix would of course miss Markieff’s ability to attack the opponents’ second units in the post, but the issue remains that Jeff Hornacek’s squad would probably need another rotation player — Marcus will still have his minutes to fill at small forward.

Frye’s $8 million per year he’ll earn with the Orlando Magic was actually an unsurprising amount that ESPN’s Amin Elhassan predicted he’d make in his July 4 average annual value (AAV) piece.

So let’s say the Suns don’t want to ruin cap flexibility for next summer by spending all the money Frye’s departure opens up. They’ll still need to fill the roster with capable free agents unless 50th overall pick Alec Brown shines enough during summer league play to warrant a roster spot.

Here’s a short-list of players that would come with reasonable contracts. And yes, there’s a bit of emphasis on finding the Suns another stretch big man.

Value free agent options

Ed Davis ($5.7 million suggested AAV): Davis’ stock was high as ever when the Memphis Grizzlies acquired him two seasons ago in the Rudy Gay deal. With the Raptors, he had averaged 9.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in 2012-13 while acting as a dangerous rim-rolling threat (he’s likewise an excellent defender of rim-rolling bigs). Davis was one of the best pick-and-roll men last season in limited minutes for the Grizzlies, but how he’d fit with the Suns remains to be seen. Perhaps he would be the best fit alongside a second unit where either a Morris twin or Alex Len could provide a bit of spacing. Phoenix would hope it can help the 25-year-old Davis break out (again) and probably wouldn’t sign him unless he comes at a reasonable price.

Jordan Hill: The market price for Hill is probably not far from Davis’, though he’s a little bit older and more well-understood in regards to his potential. A consistent rebounder, especially on the offensive end, Hill has the ability to score on isolations the post. Hill had been developing a mid-range game with the Lakers, so he’s not completely one-dimensional. He’s been linked to Phoenix in the past and would be a safe bet to crack the rotation. Like Davis, signing Hill would probably require a multi-year contract.

Mike Scott: Scott shot only 31 percent from three-point range last season, but he was closer to a 35-percent shooting on pick-and-pop and spot-up situations, according to Synergy Sports. He is a restricted free agent the Atlanta Hawks might match, meaning he could come at a relatively inflated price. Nonetheless, the 6-foot-8 big man would provide the Suns with depth.

Anthony Tolliver: A volume shooter who hit 41 percent from three-point land in Charlotte last season, Tolliver took nearly four treys per game and like Scott played a key role as a backup power forward. Tolliver was one of the NBA’s most effective spot-up shooters and also could have been used more in pick-and-pop situations by the Bobcats. He is not restricted in his free agency and it’s possible the Suns could get him at a reasonable price.

Brian Cook: He’s 33 years old but like Frye has some perspective to his basketball career. Cook is playing in the NBA Summer League after stepping away to take care of his wife, who has been fighting cancer for the last two years. Cook had a number of 40-percent three-point shooting seasons with the Lakers, Clippers, Rockets and Magic. At a vet’s minimum, he very well could thrive with a young Suns squad.

Byron Mullens: He hasn’t had one solid three-point shooting season, though in just 18 games with the Sixers last year shot 40 percent (including a 4-for-7 performance against Phoenix). This was suggested as a joke on a blog comment here at VotS, but if it comes down to the Suns simply needing a body, it could be between a guy like Mullens and one of the best shooters in the world.

  • Carlo Caoili

    Anyone, EXCEPT Byron Mullens

  • EarlBlackJesusMonroe

    If they want a “stretch” four that badly, then sign Alec Brown THIS season. Add Jordan Hill or Ed Davis and lets move on already.

    • DBreezy

      If they go for a stretch 4 I’m sure they’ll want him to be a rotation guy which Alec Brown won’t be this season. It’s not so much that they specifically need a stretch 4, but they need a front court player that will shift the defense some kind of way in the half court. It could be a stretch type like Frye was or dominant inside force type like Amar’e was. Unfortunately the realistically available options don’t fit either role better than those guys did offensively. They may have to (yet again) live for another day on this one. Or perhaps Hornacek has a different half court offensive plan to handle this?

  • Cameron Hughes

    What about looking into trading for Donatas Matiejunas? If Bosh takes the Houston offer the rockets are going to need to clear some cap space. Offer the Minny 1st for Matiejunas. He fits the stretch profile, is young, and still leaves the Suns with cap space for next year. He also has a decent post game. The Rockets are gonna need to package a 1st round pick with Lin to move him, why not give them the Minny one. Seems like an under the radar transaction that would work out great for both parties. It also would give the Suns insurance if Keif ends up not resigning. Go Suns.

  • DBreezy

    Melo is staying with the Knicks according to NBATv.

    • 4everis2long

      That is good to hear DB. Although Melo to the Lakers would not have made them championship contenders, they would have been playoff relevant. We want their top 5 lottery protected pick to be good as gold next summer.

  • zachi

    wake up and start signing

  • DBreezy

    How about John Henson, Jared Sullinger, Terrence Jones, Miles Plumlee, Perry Jones III, or Andrew Nicholson?

    • Robb

      I’m in love with Terrence Jones in a basketball type of way. I think his game would fit in well with the Suns … heck I think it’d fit in well with any team really.

      • DBreezy

        He would, I was just giving a sampling of PF’s that Blanks passed on to take Marshall in 2012 including current Sun Miles Plumlee.

        • 4everis2long

          Do not get me started DB on that draft. You are obviously trying to put me on medication for high blood pressure.

          • DBreezy


          • 4everis2long

            Yikes, I start shaking by the mentioning of his name.

          • DBreezy

            Broussard also reporting that the Nugs are close to terms with Mike Miller. Would continue a strong summer for them.