Hometown: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Birthday: April 30, 1980
Experience: 5 years
Draft: 2002, 56th overall by San Antonio
2012-13 Salary: $4,148,510
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Consult our advanced stats page for a glossary and discussion of the preceding metrics.
Season Outlook: Scola will bring what he has always been on the basketball court this season as a 32-year-old veteran with a well-defined game. He likes to set up on the low block and create for himself and his teammates. He’s an accomplished low-post player with a wide variety of crafty moves that have turned him into a devastating interior scorer even without elite athleticism.
Jared Dudley referred to Scola as a Boris Diaw-type of player in that the Suns can run the offense through him in the post, even saying he is “like another point guard.” Anybody who watched the Olympics this year knows what Dudley means, as Argentina often let Scola pick a defense apart from the post.
Scola figures to be the team’s starting power forward and should get major time and touches. His stats regressed last season and after playing in the Olympics he didn’t get much of a break this summer, but with a game that relies more on smarts and guile than athleticism he should age gracefully.
Although it’s doubtful that he repeats his career 2010-11 season in which he went for 18.3 and 8.2, Scola will be the kind of player the Suns give the ball to when they really need a bucket, and it would be no surprise if he averages something in the 16-7 range. – Michael Schwartz
Biography: Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1980, Luis Scola started his professional career in his homeland before shipping off to Spain in 1998, where he grew into his game with Saski Baskonia, a team that he helped reach the Euroleague Finals in 2001. San Antonio selected Scola with the 56th overall pick in 2002, but buyout problems with his contract kept him stowed in Europe until 2007.
He stuck with his European squad through his prime and led Saski Baskonia to three Finals Fours and two individual All-Euroleague selections in 2006 and 2007. After the 2007 season, the Spurs traded his rights to the Houston Rockets, for whom Scola played the next five seasons, including his career year in 2010-11 in which he produced 18.3 points and 8.2 boards a game.
The Phoenix Suns acquired Scola during the 2012 offseason after he was amnestied by the Rockets. The Suns won the amnesty auction for Scola with a bid that will pay the big man $13.5 million over three years.
Scola has been a staple of the Argentinian national team, leading his country to the gold medal at the 2004 Olympics and a bronze at the 2008 Games. The grizzled veteran earned captain honors for the 2012 Olympics, and along with Manu Ginobili has been one of the key players in the success of Argentina’s Golden Generation.
Links to ValleyoftheSuns coverage of Scola: