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Phoenix Suns Hold Free Agent Mini-Camp With Matt Howard, Sean Williams And Many Others

The Phoenix Suns won't have the benefit of the Vegas Summer League to take a look at undrafted free agents and other guys trying to make it (or make it back to) the NBA. Like many teams this week, the Suns held private free agent mini-camp instead. 13th pick Markieff Morris participated along with a long list of other guys. Alvin Gentry explained the purpose of the camp.

"They're guys that we like, that we like a lot that didn't get drafted and we thought this was a great time to bring them in and play against each other...We'll watch them (over the next few years) and see what progress they make. It's good to have a handle on them right now and see where they are and see the progress they make. Some guys will make a big jump in the next couple of months and some guys will take a little bit longer."

The one guys that Gentry said stood out, besides Morris, was Butler forward Matt Howard. "I think he's one of those smart, smart guys who will eventually find his way into the league."

Gentry was thrilled with Markieff although he mentioned a few times how it wasn't fair to him given all the travel he's done in the last few weeks. Basically, Morris was not in basketball shape but Gentry gave him a pass on that. He's overall impressed with his competitiveness, skill, desire to be good and how smart he is as a player.

"I see nothing but good things ahead for him because he's a hard working kid and he wants to be good and to me that's three-fourths of the battle."

Markieff Morris Gets First Chance To Play For Suns; Gortat Report From Dream Camp - SB Nation Arizona
"He's a very intelligent player and I think he's a competitive guy. He understands the game and angles and rotations and things like that. It's going to take time, but he's going to be a very good player.

"It's going to be a process. I don't want anyone to think that he's going to come in and ride in on a white horse and be the savior but he's a very, very good piece to be adding to our team."

Here's a list of guys that worked out:

  • Cory Higgens (Guard), Colorado
  • Diante Garrett (Guard), Iowa State
  • Justin Hurtt (Guard) - University of Tulsa
  • Edgar Sosa (Guard) - Louisville / Italy
  • Chris Wright (Guard) - Georgetown
  • Jerel McNeil (Guard) - Marquette / D-league
  • Tasmin Mitchell (Forward) - Louisiana State / D-league
  • Jeff Allen (Forward) - Virginia Tech
  • Matthew Bryan-Amaning (Forward)  - University of Washington
  • Matt Howard (Forward) - Butler
  • Sean Williams (Forward/Center) - Boston College /. New Jersey Nets
  • Dionte Christmas (Guard/Forward) - Temple / Greece
There's likely two other guys not listed here. This list came from John Treloar but I counted 15 players on the court. Go figure.

Gentry on Sean Williams - "I think athletically, he's really good. He played for Nancy Lieberman (in the D-league). Nancy's been a friend of mine for, shoot, 35 years.  She speaks highly of him. I think you can see he's real athletic and does some good things as far as shot blocking and things like that...She said he was easy for her to coach. That's all I can judge (his maturity) by. He seems to be working hard here and seems to be focused on what he's trying to do as far as getting back in the league."

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