There has been a handful of small roster moves in the last 48 hours the kind of things you want to know if it’s you’re team. Not difference making moves, but moves.
We thought we should bring them to you in bullet form.
• The Phoenix Suns have signed a deal with Jermaine O’Neal for the next season. This is a one-year, $1.4 million deal where he will back up Marcin Gortat. O’Neal had the Kobe/German/Orthokine knee procedure done this summer, and you combine that with the Suns’ miracle-working training staff and he should be able to give the Suns some quality minutes this year.
• To clear a roster spot, the Suns waived Brad Miller. He will retire from the game. And he will be missed, he had a solid NBA career.
• The Magic have re-signed guard Ishmael Smith – but everyone calls him Ish. This is a one-year deal where he will play sparingly behind Jameer Nelson. If you see a lot of him, it means the Magic’s season is going worse than already predicted. And it isn’t predicted to be good. Smith played 26 games last season split between Golden State and Orlando and average 9 minutes and 2.8 points per game.
• The Pistons have formally signed rookie forward Khris Middleton.
• The Suns also have waived guard Jerome Dyson.
• Former Raptor Alexis Ajinca has re-signed with SIG Strasbourg in France.
News of a three-team trade that sends Robin Lopez to New Orleans leaked out a couple days ago but it took some tweaks around the edges to make it comply with league rules. Finally, it got there, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and the NBC Sports Network.
The trade sends Lopez and Hakim Warrick from Phoenix to New Orleans; Wesley Johnson, Brad Miller’s expiring contract and plus a lottery-protected first-round draft pick goes to the Suns; and the Timberwolves get Jerome Dyson and two future second-round draft picks from New Orleans.
That creates enough cap space for Minnesota to sign Andrei Kirilenko to a two-year, $20 million contract. That is done now as well.
Yes, that is overpaying for Kirilenko, who has always played very well in spurts but has battled injuries and inconsistency his entire career. Kirilenko spent the lockout season playing for CSKA Moscow but wanted to come back to the NBA if the price was right. This qualifies.
Hornets coach Monty Williams now has some versatility along the front line. He can start Lopez at center and No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis at the four, and bring Ryan Anderson off the bench. Or, he can go smaller with Davis at the five and Anderson at the four. A solid player in Jason Smith backs them all up.
For the Suns, it’s a step toward the post-Nash rebuilding. Johnson gets the chance to live up to his No. 4 pick status, and they get another pick out of it. Brad Miller will be bought out for $800,000 and retire.
It could still happen. Could, not will. But one way or another we should know in the next 24 hours or so.
“It” is the three-team trade that would send Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick from the Suns to the Hornets; former lottery pick Wesley Johnson, Brad Miller’s expiring contract and plus a lottery-protected first-round draft pick to the Suns; and the Timberwolves get Jerome Dyson, two future second-round draft picks from New Orleans and enough cap space that they can sign Andrei Kirilenko to a contract.
The teams agreed in principle but this is a complex deal that did not meet the league’s approval, so the teams have been working on the edges of it. And it is close, reports Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
The three-way agreement among Phoenix, New Orleans and Minnesota did not completely fit collective bargaining agreement rules regarding what the Suns were receiving.
Coro says one way or another there should be resolution on Friday.