With NBA Lockout Nearly Over, Phoenix Suns Have Busy Month Ahead
Late last night, NBA fans got an early Christmas present when numerous sources revealed that owners and the Players Association came to a verbal agreement that will end the 149-day lockout between the two sides. There are still some things that need to be worked out, but it looks as though we will have NBA games played on Christmas.
For the Suns, their season will be begin on Dec. 28 against the rival Los Angeles Lakers. Before that takes place, however, the Suns will be extremely busy makes moves to add players to the roster in a very small time frame. Training camps will start on Dec. 9 across the league with free agency starting on the same day.
Phoenix currently has eight players under contract for this season (Steve Nash, Jared Dudley, Marcin Gortat, Josh Childress, Channing Frye, Mickael Pietrus, Hakim Warrick and Robin Lopez). Vince Carter is another guy that is technically under contract, but the Suns are expected to buy out his contract at around $4 million as soon as possible.
A couple of others will be added to the roster as soon as teams are able to sign players. First round draft Markieff Morris will be one and Grant Hill, who the Suns are expected to bring back for one more season, is another. Aaron Brooks is another option as well, but his contract in China disallows him to opt-out.
The Suns have team options on Zabian Dowdell, Garrett Siler and Gani Lawal. Dowdell showed some promise backing up Nash when Brooks went down with injuries. Siler is a development big man that the coaching staff is high on. Lawal is a power forward prospect out of Georgia Tech that the Suns loved when he drafted him in the second round of the 2010 draft.
Phoenix is not expected to be big players in free agency with very little money to spend. Then again, this year’s free agent class doesn’t look very appealing, so it might not be a bad thing. The Suns will be looking on the cheap for depth in the frontcourt, a possible starting shooting guard and a backup point guard if they are unable to bring back Brooks from China.