With Channing Frye off to Orlando, the Phoenix Suns filled their need for a stretch power forward by signing free agent Anthony Tolliver to a two-year, $6 million contract, reports RealGM. The second year of the deal, worth $3 million in total, is only guaranteed for $400,000, reports the Arizona Republic’s Paul Coro.
The news comes a day after Frye told Coro that the Suns were “preoccupied with other things” regarding his free agency, leading him to join the Magic on a four-year, $32 million deal.
Reading between the lines, then, it seems clear that Phoenix knew Frye’s importance within the offense but believed it could find a more reasonable contract elsewhere. They’ve added to their need for frontcourt depth, placing Tolliver with Markieff and Marcus Morris.
Tolliver shot 41 percent from three-point range for the Charlotte Bobcats in 2013-14 and took 3.9 attempts per game. He averaged 6.1 points and 2.6 rebounds in 20.3 minutes per outing.
“The Suns are an up tempo team, and when I was with Golden State I had a similar style,” Tolliver told RealGM’s Shams Charania. “I’m able to produce at a high level and this style compares to that Golden State team. I can play the three as well, but my natural position is four, rebounding, hitting open shots. The Suns made it clear I’m coming to play the four. Phoenix is a great city, a great family city.”
With Golden State in 2009-10, Tolliver averaged a career-best 12.3 points and 7.3 rebounds in 32.3 minutes per game. Since playing those 44 games with the Warriors, he hasn’t played more than 21 minutes per game in any other season.
The good news is that Tolliver’s shooting strengths from last season seem to be right where the Suns would like them to be.
Tolliver shoots 44 percent from beyond the arc on both wings, which is where he’ll likely be popping off picks for point guards Goran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas and, likely, Eric Bledsoe. The 29-year-old out of Creighton comes with a relatively inexpensive price tag but with consistency issues. His overall field goal percentages have wavered throughout his six NBA seasons, and only twice has his three-point shooting been above 34 percent.
Phoenix likely can give him every opportunity to let it fly, and it comes at less than half the price of Frye, who last year took 5.3 three-pointers and shot 37 percent from long-range.
Tolliver becomes the Suns’ third free agent signing. Phoenix re-signed restricted free agent P.J. Tucker and also worked out a sign-and-trade with Thomas.