Author: Kurt Helin

Phoenix Suns v Houston Rockets

Report: Suns reach three-year, $16.5 million deal to keep P.J. Tucker


Every team could use a little muscle up front, the Phoenix Suns are going to keep theirs from last season.

The Suns have reached a three-year, $16.5 million deal to keep power forward P.J. Tucker in house, something first reported by Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports and since confirmed by other reports.

That’s a fair price. Tucker was a fan favorite and a gritty enforcer, a defensive specialist who shot 38.7 percent from three last season to provide a little value at the other end.

Tucker had been in talks with the Suns for a few days and this early in free agency, with so many bigger names out there other teams hadn’t focused on him yet.

Report: Isaiah Thomas meets with Suns on Thursday

Cleveland Cavaliers  v Sacramento Kings

The Phoenix Suns have Goran Dragic under contract and have promised to match any offer for Eric Bledsoe (which has yet to come, but one way or another the man will get paid). Behind them they have breakout star Gerald Green, Archie Goodwin and rookie Tyler Ennis. That’s already a deep backcourt.

Yet the Suns are having conversations that could make it even deeper.

They are meeting Thursday with Kings free agent point guard Isaiah Thomas, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. Those talks will continue on Friday.

Thomas is a restricted free agent and the Kings can match any offer.

Thomas, like so many others (Pau Gasol, Lance Stephenson, Paul Pierce, Luol Deng and on and on) are waiting for the LeBron James/Carmelo Anthony free agency bottleneck to break and for teams to start making offers.

The Suns have the cap space (enough for a couple max deals really) so they can easily afford Thomas, although with the departure of Channing Frye a shooting forward would seem a higher priority. That backcourt in Phoenix is already pretty crowded.

That said, Thomas is a good get. A fan favorite in Sacramento he is small and lightning quick, he averaged 20 points a game with a very efficient .574 true shooting percentage because he can get to the rim and he knocks down shots. He’s a score first point guard, but that can fit in Phoenix. His big issue is defense, but he brings a real energy to the game.

The Kings front office is divided on him, but apparently the guys with the power are not that into him, went out and got a lesser guard (Darren Collison) and appear willing to let Thomas walk, unless the offer for him is so ridiculously low it would be stupid not to match.

Thomas will likely get a nice offer. The question is when and from whom, but the Suns seem an unlikely albeit interesting landing spot.

Shabazz Napier alley-oop to James Ennis, this could be Miami’s offense next season (VIDEO)

Shabazz Napier, Peyton Siva

This will either be the garbage-time sideshow for Miami next season, or the lone bastion of hope for the future of what remains of Heat fans. It all depends on what LeBron James decides.

Either way, it’s pretty entertaining.

That’s rookie Shabazz Napier throwing the lob to rookie James Ennis. (If you don’t remember Ennis, the Heat traded to get him deep in the second round of the 2013 draft out of Long Beach State, he played this past season in Austrailia and had a monster year. He’s looked like a nice “3 and D” guy in Summer League so far, like the kind of guy the Heat could have used last year.)

Either way, these guys could be a couple reasons to tune into Heat games next season. That and Josh McRoberts.

Phil Jackson says he has not heard from Carmelo, has tried to recruit Gasol

Phil Jackson

It’s not just you, Phil Jackson is waiting, too.

Carmelo Anthony met with five teams last week and took the long holiday weekend to mull over his free agency decision, with announcement expected Monday… but nothing. It’s now heading into Thursday night and still nothing, outside a reports it’s down to the Knicks and Lakers.

There are reports Anthony will stay in New York and Jackson said he is optimistic, but if you want something official, sorry.

Jackson spoke to the New York media Thursday and had a “no update” update on free agency, as tweeted by Chris Herring of the Wall Street Journal.

Jackson has made moves, trading Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton to both save money and get triangle-friendly Jose Calderon at the point. He also has reached out to Pau Gasol.

Gasol has options, too — the Lakers, Bulls, Spurs, Thunder and even Heat have reached out to him.

But Gasol is waiting to see what LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony will do before making his decision.

Like the rest of us. Including Phil Jackson.

People gathering at LeBron’s house in Ohio because… I got nothing


LeBron James is not at his home in Bath, Ohio, outside his native Akron (not far from Cleveland). LeBron is in Las Vegas for his skills camp and is going straight from there to Brazil for the World Cup Final because if you’re LeBron you can. His family is not in Ohio, either.

[ RELATED: Cavs claim they tried to remove Dan Gilbert’s LeBron James letter years ago ]

Yet people are gathering at his home in Bath — and police are now there to keep the situation calm — as Twitter and internet rumors swirl that an announcement on LeBron’s future is coming tonight. Rumors without much behind them, but it doesn’t matter. People are showing up at the empty house because…

I got nothing. But here is the proof, via Jon Bozeka of Mary Kilpatrck.

[ MORE: An interesting rationale for predicting LeBron James to the Cavs ]