Anthony Tolliver reaches two-year, $6 million deal with Suns

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The Suns allowed Channing Frye to walk in free agency this summer, and the loss of his abilities, especially on the offensive end floor, was likely to impact the team in a greater way than casual observers might have expected.

Frye played the stretch-four role, knocking down three-pointers at enough of a clip (37 percent) to help space the floor for his team’s high-powered offense, one that often featured Goran Dragic creating by gaining dribble penetration inside.

Phoenix made a move aimed at replacing that level of production, at least in part.

From Shams Charania of RealGM:

Free agent Anthony Tolliver has reached agreement on a two-year, $6 million contract with the Phoenix Suns, league sources told RealGM. …

On the first day of free agency, every NBA general manager received a hard copy 20-page presentation highlighting Tolliver as the 15th best three-point shooter in the league, his 48.2 percent three-point percentage in the fourth quarter and the strong plus-minus ratios in his career. …

“The Suns are an up tempo team, and when I was with Golden State I had a similar style. 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.”

Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic reports that the contract is only partially guaranteed for $400,000 in the second season.

Tolliver played in Charlotte last season, where he shot a career-best 41.3 percent from three-point distance, and averaged 20.3 minutes per contest in 64 appearances.

Frye did more than just shoot threes — he could score from plenty of areas on the floor when given the opportunity, got his fair share of rebounds, and was decent enough in defending the pick-and-roll (or at least slowing it) on the perimeter.

But if Tolliver can continue to knock down threes at the rate he has recently, his presence will at least fill part of the void presented by Frye’s departure.

 

LeBron James blows wide-open dunk (video)

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J.R. Smith (slightly out of context): “We don’t start paying attention until after All-Star break.”

Report: Raptors’ Delon Wright out a month

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Raptors guard Delon Wright dislocated his shoulder, but at least he won’t need surgery.

Raptors media relations:

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

The Raptors (11-5), off to a surprisingly strong start, are second in the Eastern Conference. They’ve bought themselves margin for error. All in all, a month-long absence for Wright isn’t so bad.

Wright had been a key part of an excellent all-bench unit that included Fred VanVleet, O.G. Anunoby, C.J. Miles and Jakob Poeltl. Two-way player Lorenzo Brown has assumed Wright’s role, and Norman Powell – returning from his own injury – will provide a boost. Toronto can also stagger Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan more.

The chemistry of the bench mob was something to behold, but the Raptors should withstand this.

Report: Clippers PG Patrick Beverley out rest of season

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Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley underwent knee surgery – never a great sign.

The prognosis is about as bad as could be expected.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

This injury isn’t just a setback for this season. It could derail the Clippers’ long-term plan.

They’ve already lost nine straight, and Danilo Gallinari and Milos Teodosic are injured. If they fall further out of playoff position, they could become sellers before the trade deadline, especially with DeAndre Jordan ($24,119,025 player option for next season) and Lou Williams ($7 million salary on expiring contract).

Health was always the major question with this team, and it won’t soften as Blake Griffin and Danilo Gallinari age through lucrative contracts.

The final year of Beverley’s contract is guaranteed for just $5,027,028 next season, and the 29-year-old will spend most of the summer recovering from this injury. That salary is probably low enough that the Clippers will keep him without hesitation.

Until then, down a couple point guards, the Clippers have no choice but to continue leaning more on Austin Rivers. That also means greater roles for second-round rookies Jawun Evans and Sindarius Thornwell. That’s just too many players facing outsized responsibility.

The Pelicans, Grizzlies, Jazz and any other team competing for the final playoff spots in the Western Conference ought to feel better about their chances. They’re still competing with each other, and it’s doubtful all three make it. But Beverley’s injury helps clear the way.

The Clippers, who didn’t want to take a major step back after Chris Paul‘s departure, must confront an even more uneasy reality.

Giannis Antetokounmpo out for Bucks-Suns Eric Bledsoe revenge game

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Giannis Antetokounmpoone of the NBA’s best players – won’t help new Bucks teammate Eric Bledsoe in a revenge game against the Suns tonight.

Not only is Milwaukee missing Mirza Teletovic and John Henson (and Matthew Dellavedova and Jabari Parker), Antetokounmpo is out.

Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Antetokounmpo will miss Wednesday’s game against the Phoenix Suns due to right knee soreness.

Antetokounmpo says his knee soreness is the same injury he dealt with in the off-season, which caused him to withdraw from the Greek national team.

“It feels good,” Antetokounmpo said after sitting out shootaround. “I’m just trying to be careful with it and not make any damage. That’s it, because it’s a long season and I’m trying to be careful.”

The Bucks have been outscored by 18.6 points per 100 possessions without Antetokounmpo this season (and are +2.3 without him). Phoenix isn’t good, but neither is Milwaukee without Antetokounmpo.

I don’t think Bledsoe will mind a chance to get more aggressive tonight, though.