Hometown: Augusta, Ga.
Birthday: Oct. 25, 1986
Experience: 1 year
College: Augusta State University
2011-12 Salary: $73,761
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2011-12 Season Outlook: In times of want, a surplus can seem an odd proposition. The Suns are lacking in many areas this year, but size — for once — isn’t among those flaws. Garret Siler provides depth at the center position and another large body on the roster. Unfortunately for Siler, the odds of him breaking through and taking significant minutes away from Macin Gortat or Robin Lopez are slim to none. Siler has been limited to garbage time during his brief career in Phoenix, and his weight has always been an issue. He arrived at camp this year in the best shape of his career, however, after a summer that included time spent working out with Marcin Gortat and Hakeem Olajuwon.
The book on Siler is rather blank, but his per 36 minute stats, while a very small sample size, are encouraging — 16 points and 10 rebounds per 36 minutes. Even in his limited minutes, Siler has been turnover prone, however.
Short of a major injury to Gortat or Lopez, Siler will have little impact on the Suns season. However, coach Alvin Gentry may find spots to get Siler some game time to see what kind of asset he has, especially if the Suns fall out of the playoff race. — Andrew Lynch
Biography: Rising quietly through the basketball ranks, Garret Siler was the surprise of the 2010-11 Phoenix Suns roster. After getting a late invitation to training camp and competing with a player with more experience and knowledge of the Suns’ system in Dwayne Jones, Siler displayed enough moldable talent to earn one of the Suns’ last roster spots.
Siler’s basketball journey began at Richmond Academy in Augusta, Ga., where Siler lived after moving from his birth city of Winston-Salem, N.C. Siler played well enough to earn a roster spot at Augusta State University, where he played four seasons. Siler earned a starting spot as a sophomore and led the nation (Division II) in field goal percentage on his way to an All-Peach Belt Conference selection, an honor he matched as a junior while leading ASU to the 2008 National Championship Game, which the Jaguars lost to Winona State. In his senior season, Siler led the team in rebounding, blocked shots and field goal percentage. His 78.9 shooting percentage also led the nation again as Siler and ASU made it back to the Final Four but fell to Cal Poly Pomona.
Siler went undrafted after finishing college and decided to play the 2009-10 season in the Chinese Basketball Association as a member of the Shanghai Sharks, which is owned by Yao Ming, who provided instruction to Siler. In 38 games he averaged 14.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. And no surprise, Siler led the team in field goal percentage, making 75.7 percent of his shots.
Siler got chances to stick in NBA Summer League play with the Pacers, Magic and Hawks, but the Suns were his ultimate landing spot. In his NBA debut Nov. 3, 2010, against the San Antonio Spurs, Siler tallied one point, one rebound and two blocks, the first of his NBA career coming against his boyhood idol, Tim Duncan.
Links to ValleyoftheSuns coverage of Siler: