Former Magic coach Scott Skiles gave up on Elfrid Payton. Former Orlando general manager Rob Hennigan, who believed in Payton, got fired. And now Hennigan’s successor, Jeff Weltman, has given up on Payton.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
This is a tremendous buy-low move by the Suns at a position of need. Brandon Knight‘s ghost wasn’t getting the job done at point guard. Payton might.
The 23-year-old has shown promise, but his clunky outside shot is a severe limitation. Still, his defense and penetrating ability could complement franchise player Devin Booker in the backcourt.
Orlando clearly didn’t want to pay Payton in restricted free agency next summer. Better to get a second-rounder for him now rather than just let him walk for nothing.
PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Suns have signed guard Isaiah Canaan after receiving an injury hardship exemption from the NBA.
Canaan will be available Wednesday night against the Toronto Raptors.
Under the exemption, the Suns added Canaan because they have four players on the roster out for two weeks or more. Star guard Devin Booker is out with a groin injury, and Alan Williams, Davon Reed, and Brandon Knight have serious knee injuries.
The 6-foot Canaan has averaged 8.4 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 20.2 minutes in 186 games in five seasons with Houston, Philadelphia and Chicago. He appeared in one game for the Rockets this season. On Tuesday night in Prescott Valley, Canaan had 18 points and six assists in the Northern Arizona Suns’ G League victory over Santa Cruz.
Canaan was a two-time Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year at Murray State.
Suns general manager Ryan McDonough has been extremely harsh publicly to Eric Bledsoe.
The organization apparently wasn’t much kinder privately when Bledsoe requested a trade before the season.
Chris Haynes of ESPN:
The 27-year-old point guard had met with Suns owner Robert Sarver and McDonough during the preseason and requested a trade, sources told ESPN. Frustrated with the direction of the team, its whiffs in free agency and questionable personnel moves during his four years with the franchise, Bledsoe expressed that it was time he moved on, sources said. Bledsoe was then told by management, according to sources, that the team had underperformed ever since he was given starting point guard responsibilities.
The Suns have struggled since trading Goran Dragic to make Bledsoe the clear starting point guard, but they mainly got draft picks that have yet to convey for Dragic. They also traded Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris and Isaiah Thomas for primarily draft picks. Their expensive acquisitions – Brandon Knight, Tyson Chandler and Jared Dudley – have underwhelmed. Their young players, even Devin Booker, haven’t yet learned the nuances necessary to contribute to winning. They’ve finished seasons tanking.
In other words, Phoenix has given Bledsoe a supporting cast ill-equipped to win then apparently blamed him for not winning.
This report appears to be coming through the lens of Bledsoe’s camp. McDonough and Sarver might portray the conversation differently.
But if this is a glimpse of how Bledsoe feels, no wonder he wants out.
Phoenix Suns point guard Brandon Knight could be out for the 2017–18 NBA season with a torn ACL in his left knee.
That’s according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi, who released the news on Tuesday afternoon.
Knight, 25, has roughly three years and $45 million left on the contract he signed in 2015.
Knight has been speculated as a potential trade chip for some time, but with him out it is unclear whether Phoenix will want to make a move with the players currently on their roster.
Knight averaged 11 points, 2.4 assists, and 2.2 rebounds per game for the Suns last season in 54 contests.
James Jones spent 14 years in the NBA, was a trusted sidekick of LeBron James and with that has been to seven straight NBA Finals had has three rings. It’s been a good career, one where he was back in the Finals with the Cavaliers last season.
Now he’s stepping out of that uniform — and into a suit. Or, at least a pair of khakis and a Phoenix Suns’ polo shirt.
On Wednesday the Suns announced that they have extended the deal of general manager Ryan McDonough, and created a new role in the organization for Jones, the new Vice President of Basketball Operations.
“James has a wealth of experiences that will greatly benefit our organization,” McDonough said in a statement. “He is a three-time NBA Champion and has been one of the top executives with the National Basketball Players Association over the past few years. We welcome ‘Champ’ and his family to our Phoenix Suns family.”
Jones has a good basketball mind and can help the Suns evaluate both players in the league now and college guys coming up. At the press conference announcing the moves the Suns as an organization preached patience and development, things Jones can help with (if they stick to that plan, the Suns don’t always stick to the plan).
Also, make no mistake this is part of the “we’re going to make a run at LeBron next summer” potential in Phoenix. The Suns often swing for the fences, have the ability to have max cap space (moving Brandon Knight or Tyson Chandler for an expiring contract would help), and they can boast a good young core of Devin Booker, Josh Jackson, Dragan Bender, Marquese Chriss, and Alex Len. I wouldn’t move the Suns to the top of the list of likely LeBron landing spots, but Jones may at least get them a meeting. The Suns are smart to put themselves in position to go after him, and if not him pitch other big time free agents next summer — Paul George, Russell Westbrook, Isaiah Thomas, DeMarcus Cousins and more.