Hometown: Les Abymes, Guadeloupe
Birthday: Feb. 7, 1982
Experience: 7 years
Draft: 2003, 11th overall Golden State
2011-12 Salary: $3,828,351
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2011-12 Season Outlook: When the Suns acquired Pietrus they thought they were getting a defensive stopper and a three-point sniper who would fit perfectly into their system since he thrived playing a similar style in Golden State. MP had his moments last season, but for the most part they ended up receiving a player who never saw a three-pointer he didn’t like and whose effort wavered at times on the defensive end.
Pietrus sprained his knee March 23 against Toronto, and if the Suns get their wish it might be the last time he appears in a Phoenix uniform. The Frenchman underwent minor knee surgery over the summer, which kept him out of EuroBasket play, and he was still ailing enough for a proposed trade to Toronto to be called off before training camp opened.
The Suns seem committed to Grant Hill and Josh Childress at the small forward spot so there does not appear to be any playing time available for Pietrus, who fell out of favor with the Suns by season’s end. The proposed trade to Toronto for a conditional second-rounder they likely would never see shows the Suns would prefer to have his $5.3 million expiring contract eradicated from their books than for Pietrus to provide additional depth at the wings and be available as a potential trading chip at the deadline. The prediction here is that Pietrus has played his last game as a Sun one way or another. – Michael Schwartz
Biography: Born in Guadeloupe, a French-Caribbean island, Mickael Pietrus traveled to the French mainland to begin his professional basketball career in 1999. After four seasons with Pau-Orthez in France, Pietrus was drafted 11th overall in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors.
In five seasons with the Warriors, Pietrus went from playing 14 minutes per game to 27. His best statistical year was in 2006-07 when he averaged 11 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.
After the 2007-08 regular season ended, Pietrus was signed by Orlando and played a significant role in the team’s 2008-09 run to the NBA Finals. He had 18 points off the bench in the Magic’s only win of the championship series.
In December 2010, Pietrus was traded to the Phoenix Suns along with Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, a 2011 first-round draft pick, and $3 million, for Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, and Earl Clark.
Links to ValleyoftheSuns coverage of Pietrus: