The Phoenix Suns are bringing back Ronnie Price.
Sources: Suns plan to sign guard Ronnie Price to a 10-day contract Friday. Price was waived by OKC out of camp, now returning to Phoenix.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 26, 2017
Well, here’s why.
“What we always tell our players is that we don’t want ‘uniform’ relationships,” Suns coach Earl Watson told me this summer of Price. “We want lifelong relationships. For me personally I love and appreciate him as a brother, I know his entire family, I remember when the kids were babies, I know his wife, so for me it’s a lifelong relationship.”
Watson said those words to me after it was reported that Price had agreed to a 2-year guaranteed deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder this summer.
“Ronnie Price is at the point of his career where job security ‘plus one’ is important,” Watson said.
Price, 32 years old, had never signed a multi-year deal since his rookie contract had expired, often working on non-guaranteed deals and having to fight to remain on a roster.
But even with a two-year contract in hand, OKC did not keep Price past October and he’s been waiting for an opportunity to get back since then.
“Ronnie knows when he’s ready to coach he has a spot here,” Watson said over the summer to Bright Side.
When Price was released by OKC, Watson again reiterated he had coaching spot for him.
But he also said he knew personally that Price wanted to keep playing the game, and wasn’t ready to become a coach quite yet.
Now that 10-day contracts can be signed, it appears that Watson and Price have reached a compromise. Watson gets another mentor for the Suns young players, and Price gets another opportunity to play basketball.
Now the question is: will he actually get a chance to play?
The Suns have not reported any injuries, and already have Eric Bledsoe playing 35+ minutes per night with Brandon Knight and Tyler Ulis vying for the spare backup minutes at the PG spot. And that’s not even to mention Leandro Barbosa, who signed with the Suns after Price left.
Is it really in Price’s best interest to sign with the Suns here, if he wants to keep his career going?
Or is this just a stopgap until Price decides its okay to retire and join Watson’s staff on a permanent basis.
Either way, one of the nicest guys in the league appears to be ready to don a Suns jersey again.