Suns Open Wallet, Hit Ground Running As Free-Agency Opens

photo credit: Sporting News

Since missing the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season the Phoenix Suns promised they’d be active in free-agency this summer.

Wednesday they kept their word.

First, they re-signed restricted free-agent point guard Brandon Knight who they brought over in one of their many deadline deals in February. The 23-year-old was hurt for part of last season after coming over from the Milwaukee Bucks. The contract is worth $70 million over five years.

Then general manager Ryan McDonough added another big man for Jeff Hornacek.

The 7’1, 240-pound Chandler who played last season for the Dallas Mavericks (his second stint), could essentially take the place of free-agent rim protector Brandan Wright who came over in a trade with the Boston Celtics in early January and Wednesday afternoon signed a three-year, $18 million deal with the Memphis Grizzlies.

The 32-year-old brings a wealth of experience and a winning background. Chandler averaged double figure points (10.3) and rebounds (11.5) last season and was a key piece on the 2011 Mavs’ championship team. The Suns are hoping he also brings stability and respect to a young team in need of direction.

The Suns are also hoping Chandler’s impact can help them land one of the NBA’s biggest free-agent catches this summer.

Nothing like some July fireworks three days early.

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.