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February 22, 2015 Updates

“I think I was more excited than he was,” the 2000 Hall of Fame inductee told the Herald. “I called him first when I heard about the trade, and I told him, I said, ‘This is going to be great for you.’ I told him, ‘There’s two historic organizations in the NBA — LA and Boston — and you’re getting a chance to play for one of them.’ I told him he would love Danny (Ainge) and that he was going to be immersed in a basketball culture. I told him he was going to be around people who have won championships, who talk championship and understand championship. Not too many players are blessed with that opportunity to be around that environment. I mean, Cedric Maxwell is calling the games, and he was the MVP of The Finals. Tommy Heinsohn is doing their TV, and he’s in the Hall of Fame as a player and a coach. I told him, ‘You’re getting ready to be immersed in a basketball culture and tradition that you’ve never experienced before, and feel fortunate because it’s a wonderful opportunity. Embrace it.’” Boston Herald

February 21, 2015 Updates

The Phoenix Suns signed center Earl Barron to a 10-day contract Saturday. The 7-foot Barron has appeared in six games this season for the Suns, averaging 3.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 13.7 minutes. He had 10 points and 13 rebounds in 24 minutes at Houston on Oct. 13. USA Today Sports

Goran Dragic, who wanted a trade out of Phoenix, said he was thrilled to be in Miami. "They won three championship rings," he said, "and everyone wants to play for a championship team." Miami got the Dragics — Goran being a third-team All-NBA point guard last season, Zoran a rookie shooting guard — in what became a seven-player, three-team trade on Thursday. USA Today Sports

Barron's agent, Andre Buck, said Barron will join the Suns for Saturday's game at Chicago, where new acquisitions Brandon Knight and Marcus Thornton also are expected to join the team. Arizona Republic

In Utah, Kanter felt he wasn't receiving enough playing time, so he demanded a trade. In Oklahoma, Jackson felt his role diminished by the acquisition of Dion Waiters. Jackson longed to be a starter, in any case, with a paycheck to match. And in Phoenix, Dragic was simply unhappy. "When people don't want to be there, they can't produce," the team executive said. "If they didn't trade [Dragic], he wouldn't have played well for them." Bleacher Report

Alex Len's grandparents can hear the gunfire from their home in eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists have been in fierce fighting with Ukrainian forces. Local police have abandoned his hometown, leaving gangs to roam the streets and terrorize residents. A half-world away, the 21-year-old center is showing he belongs in the NBA, displaying the skills that led the Phoenix Suns chose him fifth overall in the 2013 draft. "When I play it's like a different world, just basketball," he said. "Definitely off the court it's sad. ...Two years ago it was one country. Now all of a sudden people divide, separate themselves, like we're different." USA Today Sports

He has brought his mother to live with him. His grandparents came for a short time, but the culture change was too much for them, he said, so they returned home. "My grandparents right now are right in the middle of a war zone," he said. "I tried to get them to stay over here, but you know how old people are. For them it was too big a change." No one in his family has been hurt in the fighting, Len said, "thank God." USA Today Sports

And back home, the fighting goes on despite a supposed cease fire in a war Len knew was "getting worse each day." He chooses no side. "I'm Ukrainian and I won't go against Russia, too. I'm right in the middle," Len said. "I just want peace for everybody. I just don't want people to die." USA Today Sports

February 20, 2015 Updates

Q: What do you like about Isaiah Thomas? Danny Ainge: I’m excited. I like Isaiah. I’ve liked Isaiah for a while. This was a deal we would have done at any time to acquire him, so we are excited to have him. I like that he’s an efficient scorer. I like that he can run the pick-and-roll and that he is unafraid of big moments. He can score with the ball in his hands and he can score as a spot-up shooter. And I like his personality. I think Isaiah is a big personality, and I think as he matures — he’s still a fairly young player — I think as he matures he has the potential to be a great leader. Boston Globe

Q: How do you envision Thomas and Marcus Smart playing together? Danny Ainge: I think both of those guys are good enough players that they can play with anybody. I think Isaiah can play with any group, and Marcus can, too. I think they’re completely different types of players, and along with Avery [Bradley], I feel like we have shooting and scoring. What we didn’t have in the backcourt yet was a good pick-and-roll player that can actually get in the paint and score some baskets. Even though he’s little, he’s a very good scorer, one of the best scorers in the paint with little floating shots, and so forth. He’s also a good 3-point shooter. I think Isaiah is better than anybody we have or have had in a while at scoring or creating offense in the pick-and-roll. Boston Globe

Lon Babby, team president of basketball operations, called the remarks "unfair and I think unwarranted." "It has always been my view that I will operate at the highest level of professionalism and integrity and the people that work with me will operate in the same fashion," Babby said, "and I'm confident that we do that." USA Today Sports

McDonough said he never saw the reported list of Dragic's preferred destinations. "Maybe it was written in vanishing ink," McDonough said. "I guess my perspective is it wasn't worth the paper it wasn't written on. ... Once he told us he didn't want to be here and the manner in which he and his agent handled the situation, we really didn't care if there was a list or not." USA Today Sports

He called Knight "the best player in the trade coming or going" and ,of criticism that the Suns traded their best player, McDonough said, "My response would be that Eric Bledsoe and Markieff Morris still are in Phoenix Suns uniforms." Knight, McDonough said, has excellent character and "has excelled in everything he has done his entire life." "He's one of the top 3-point shooters in the league," McDonough said. "He's a big-game player. He's a late-game player. He's a game closer." USA Today Sports

 

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN SUNS HISTORY

The Phoenix Suns might be the best NBA franchise never to win a title. They came close a few times thanks to the two point guards that top this list.

   

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