Steve Kerr on Luis Scola: “I’m a huge fan”

Arizona Sports News online

The last few months have not been easy for the Phoenix Suns.

After failing to make the playoffs for a second consecutive season, trading away beloved Steve Nash to the rival Lakers and finding out the Hornets had matched their offer for sought-after free agent Eric Gordon, the Suns finally made a move everybody can agree on.

Sunday Phoenix was awarded forward Luis Scola by submitting the winning bid in the NBA’s amnesty process. Reports say the former Houston Rocket will get $4.1, $4.5, and $4.9 million over the next three years from the Suns, but only $440,000 is guaranteed in the final year of the deal.

“I’m a huge fan,” TNT analyst and former Suns General Manager Steve Kerr told Brad Cesmat on ‘Big Guy on Sports.’ “I think he’s a really good player. He’s an excellent passer. He’s an underrated finisher around the rim. I think the fact he and (recently signed) Goran Dragic know each other so well the past couple years in Houston will be a good combination.”

This move doesn’t appear to be the last for the Suns as they look to fill a void at shooting guard. Free-agent O.J. Mayo was brought in for a visit, but appears his asking price of around $10 million per season is too steep for the Suns. Another option could be the taller, longer 6’5 Courtney Lee.

Kerr, who helped guide the Suns to the Western Conference Finals before returning to the analyst chair in June of 2010, said Phoenix did the right thing with the 2-time MVP.

“I think the Nash trade makes sense,” Kerr explained to Cesmat. “Once you strip the emotion away from it, I think it made sense for everybody. Phoenix took care of Steve and I thought that was the right thing to do after eight years of great basketball generated mostly by Steve. I think that was the best deal they could have possibly made. Picks always come in handy. First-round picks are assets you can use in other deals.”

He also warned the Suns front office needs to be extremely careful where they spend their money as they look to rebuild in the post-Nash era here in the Valley.

“The problem was two summers ago signing [Josh] Childress, [Hakeem] Warrick, and [Hedo] Turkoglu to those deals eating up the case space and just treating water,” Kerr said. “The money that you spend has to be on difference-making guys.”

The Suns announced they waived Childress once Scola was acquired. He signed a 5-year, $33.5 million deal in the summer of 2010 after playing the previous two seasons in Greece.

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.