Hometown: Friendswood, Texas
Birthday: June 21, 1983
Experience: 6 years
College: Utah Valley
2011-12 Salary: $854,389
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2011-12 Season Outlook: Price gives the Suns a proven competitor with a reputation for tough defense, something that’s been missing at the point guard spot. Suns assistant Elston Turner called him a “pitbull” who will “run through a wall for you” for a reason.
Based on his track record, Alvin Gentry knows Price will compete play in and play out, which should keep him in the rotation. He’ll start the season as Phoenix’s backup point guard but will have to fend off Sebastian Telfair to keep the job.
While Price’s on the ball defense and intensity is stellar, he certainly isn’t going to wow anyone offensively. In fact, according to John Hollinger, Price was one of the worst offensive point guards in the NBA a season ago. Price finished last season with a -2.48 pure point guard rating that Hollinger called “unspeakably awful.”
Price also finished second-to-last among point guards in assist rate, and fourth-to-last in turnover rate. He also turned in the worst field goal percentage among point guards, as he shot 35.2 percent from the field. To put it lightly, offense isn’t Price’s strong suit.
But assuming Price can set up the offense, limit turnovers, make the right reads and bring pressure and energy defensively, he should solidify himself as Phoenix’s backup point guard. – Mike Schmitz
Biography: Ronald D’Wayne Price grew up in Friendswood, Texas, and took the rugged route to the NBA that is telling of his defensive-minded, aggressive style of play.
As an unknown and undersized player — he stood 5-foot-8 as a senior — out of Clear Brook High School, Price played collegiately at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La., before transferring to Utah Valley State after his freshman year. With the Wolverines, Price averaged 24.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.6 steals per game in his 2004-05 senior season.
He went undrafted in the 2005 NBA Draft, but Price caught on with the Sacramento Kings straight out of college and through two seasons played in 87 games in a limited role. In 2007 as a free agent, Price inked a deal with the Utah Jazz, where he became former coach Jerry Sloan’s defensive hound off the bench. Price averaged more than 10 minutes of playing time in each of the past three seasons for the Jazz.
Through 319 NBA games played, the six-year veteran holds averages of 3.6 points, 1.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 0.6 steals in 11.2 minutes per game. He shoots 39 percent from the field for his career.
Links to ValleyoftheSuns coverage of Price: