In the last two days, the Phoenix Suns released James Nunnally and traded away Kendall Marshall, Shannon Brown, Malcolm Lee and Marcin Gortat.
At this point, the Suns apparently just want to take a breath and make some simple decisions. None of the Morrii or Plumlee will be cut loose after the season the way they were about to cut loose Kendall Marshall if he had not been included in the Gortat trade (instead, Washington did the cutting after absorbing his 2013-14 salary - win!).
Miles Plumlee, making only just over a million this year and next, is projected to play big minutes this season while rookie Alex Len recovers from ankle surgeries. Already, Len is in question to start the season due to soreness in the left ankle (according to Paul Coro on twitter after morning practice). Len had not played any basketball for six months, but jumped right into regular minutes in preseason and stands as the team's leading preseason rebounder (since Gortat was traded). The Suns want to take it really slow on Len.
With Frye and Okafor (just over from Washington) unready to play big minutes, Plumlee and second-year player Viacheslav Kravtsov are the only completely healthy centers on the roster. Frye will play, but likely can't handle more than 20-25 minutes per game and will play some PF as well. Okafor has a herniated disc in his neck and is out indefinitely.
Plumlee has shown great energy this preseason and has been touted as the team's biggest surprise. We shall see if he can hold up to playing the league's best centers.
The Suns also decided that twins Markieff and Marcus Morris have played well enough in the NBA to earn just about $3 million next year after making just over $2 million this season. They have shown an ability to play in an NBA rotation, and were "ranked" in ESPN's #NBARank in the mid-200s, meaning they rank as 8th-9th men in any NBA rotation. This means the 24-year old Morrii can play, but also that they have trade value if necessary.
The Morrii worked hard this offseason to get into the best shape of their careers. Marcus played very well in summer league, while Markieff has played well in the preseason. Marcus has shown the best 3-point stroke, while Markieff is spending a good deal of time in the paint now to take advantage of his size and quickness.
Each Morris brother, taken one spot apart in the 2011 draft, will make about $2 million this season and $3 million next season.
Dionte Christmas is a great kid who's been trying to make the league for years. He first came out of college as a shooter only, but has since really improved his game to the point that he can make an NBA roster. And thanks to the Suns, that dream has come true.
More from Bright Side Of The Sun:
- SUNS RANK: 20-16 The Miles Plumlee Era has begun for the Phoenix Suns!
- Phoenix Suns' Miles Plumlee, from throw-in to starting center
- Phoenix Suns Trade Analysis: Both eyes on the future with four potential first round picks in the vaunted 2014 NBA Draft
- Suns trade Marcin Gortat, Shannon Brown, Kendall Marshall to Washington Wizards for salary (Okafor) and 2014 #1 pick
- SUNS RANK: 25-21 featuring five new players battling it out for two roster spots, the least important of the important