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Rumors Persist Of Phoenix Suns Interest In Cavaliers SF Alonzo Gee

The man likes contact, at least.
The man likes contact, at least.

There continue to be rumors purported by Cleveland writers of the Phoenix Suns' interest in 24 year old restricted free agent, 6'6" small forward Alonzo Gee. Even the money is consistent - 4 yrs for $16 million.

Of course, these rumors hint of a single shadowy source, and is certainly part of some context that hasn't been shared along with the numbers. Why would the Suns want to add another long-term middling contract for a middling player when they've already got 6 of them? I am thinking there is a context to the Suns' interest, like "if the Suns need a wing for backup/spot-starting minutes late in July and have fewer middling contracts at that point than they do right now". But that's just a guess on my part.

As for Gee, he brings a little different skillset than the Suns' current players offer. But while he's a solid NBA rotation player, he's not as good overall as Grant Hill or Jared Dudley and only marginally better than unrestricted Suns free agent Shannon Brown.

But at least he's different. Gee is athletic, plays "above the rim" and draws shooting fouls at a very high rate, but he is not an efficient offensive player. On defense, he played the Grant Hill role for the Cavs, taking on the opponent's best perimeter offensive player each night.

Gee makes only 32% of his three-pointers, has little to no midrange game and gets his shot blocked more than just about any NBA wing player on drives to the rim. In 2010-11, Gee led all NBA swingmen by getting 13.3% of his shots blocked, though this past season he dropped that down to only 10.3% (4th among swingmen). League average of swingmen shots blocked was 5.1% this past season.

On the flipside, he draws a LOT of shooting fouls ("and-1s") at 4.7% of his shots (league average: 2.2%), putting him third in the league amongst swingmen and ahead of such contact-drawing luminaries as LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Corey Maggette.

So, the guy likes contact. A lot. And the Suns were noticeably missing that dimension last season.

He also plays pretty good defense. With the woeful Cavs, he takes on the opponent's best offensive wing (like Grant Hill does for the Suns), but his defensive results are nothing to write home about (like Grant Hill's with the Suns. The Cavs team defense last year was worse than the Suns' even - especially after Andersen Varejao went down again, so there's really no way to know how good Gee is on defense.

Among NBA swingmen, Gee rates above average in rebound rate (10.0 vs. league avg. 7.9) and total steals/blocks/charges (1.65 vs. 1.27)

His coaches, teammates and fans love him. Just check out the number of articles written on this one player since the end of the season.

Gee, on why he doesn't celebrate his dunks ...

"Because my (defensive) assignment is hard. Every game I have to guard the best player, so I ain't got time to waste any energy jumping up and down. I just try to keep it cool."

Cavs forward Alonzo Gee might draw some serious interest this summer in free agency. The Suns could make a lucrative offer to Gee. One source said they could offer Gee a four-year, $16 million offer and hope that the Cavs don't match it.
Again I feel the need to qualify my impression of the Suns' interest in Gee. As long as Childress, Dudley and Hill are on the team, Gee is really not needed.

But if Hill goes somewhere else in free agency and/or Childress is amnestied and/or Dudley is traded in a package for players/picks, then Alonzo Gee would be a very solid signing for the Suns.

Here's a little video his game highlights.

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