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  1. #1
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    Suns sign Zeller and Garrett. Cut Jones and Diogu

    It was not easy or even likely for Luke Zeller and Diante Garrett to break into the NBA but they found their way into the league through Phoenix.

    The Suns appear to have settled on keeping Zeller and Garrett for a 15-man opening night roster after waiving veteran power forwards Ike Diogu and Solomon Jones on Wednesday. The Suns might not commit to their 15-man roster intentions yet because they have a remaining preseason game Friday night against Denver and opening-night rosters do not have to be submitted to the league office until Monday.

    Zeller, 25, will enter the league in the same season as his younger brother Tyler, who was drafted 17th in June and immediately acquired by Cleveland. Another brother, Cody, is a preseason All-America choice for Indiana. The Suns are familiar with NBA brother tandems: Markieff Morris on the current team and Robin Lopez, Jarron Collins and Taylor Griffin over the previous three seasons.

    Zeller is a 6-foot-11, 245-pound power forward who can potentially stretch a defense with his perimeter shooting, similar to what Channing Frye brought.

    Frye is expected to miss this season with an enlarged heart.

    Zeller made only 5 of 18 shots in three preseason appearances but showed 3-point range during Septemberís voluntary workouts and this monthís training camp and practices.

    Zeller was in San Antonioís training camp last year despite breaking his nose in a D-League game the night before Spurs camp opened. He played with D-League champion Austin last season but was limited to 24 games because he re-fractured his nose. He averaged 9.1 points and 5.3 rebounds in 24.9 minutes per game for Austin but his stats there or at Notre Dame (4.9 scoring average as a senior captain) will not dazzle you. Coaches appreciate his selfless play and court intelligence, particularly for a player who is not expected to crack the rotation but would be needed if there is an injury to the shallow frontcourt of Luis Scola, Marcin Gortat, Markieff Morris and Jermaine OíNeal.

    Zeller made 35.5 percent of 3-pointers over two D-League seasons after playing professionally in Japan and Lithuania. He was undrafted out of Notre Dame in 2009.

    Zellerís rookie-scale salary made it easier for the Suns to keep Garrett as a fourth point guard. As rookies, both would make $473,604 for a season while Jones or Diogu, as six-year pros, would have received a $1.07 million minimum-level contract with $215,120 of that being offset by a league fund that encourages veteran signings. Keeping Zeller and Garrett costs the Suns only $92,819 more than Jones or Diogu would alone.

    Zellerís and Garrettís contracts will not be guaranteed for the year unless they remain on the roster Jan. 10.

    Garrett has intrigued the Suns since he was starring at Iowa State, where he averaged 17.3 points and 6.1 assists as a senior in 2010-11. The Suns worked him out before the 2011 draft but he went undrafted and played last season in France, averaging 7.4 points and 3.0 assists in 23.3 minutes per game.

    Garrett is slender but fast and long at 6 feet 5 and 190 pounds with a 6-9 wingspan. He will need to improve his strength and his shooting to stick in the league but the Sunsí belief in his upside as a playmaker is evident since they signed Goran Dragic, 26, and drafted Kendall Marshall, 21, at the same position.

    Garrett made four preseason appearances, making 4 of 11 shots while delivering 10 assists to two turnovers.

    http://www.azcentral.com/sports/suns...nclick_check=1
    I wonder if we took Zeller cuz Morris is our only big shooter.

    Starting with 15 men is strange. I'm happy for these guys but am not sure why we did it. I'm gonna tweet Coro and ask.

  2. #2
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    I don't get why we'd keep either one of these guys. I'd rather see Diogu and Jones stay, personally. Luke Zeller is wack, and we don't need another point guard.

  3. #3
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    i saw garett when phoenix came here to sacramento, he's tall and long for a pg, i like the kid

  4. #4
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    Luke Zeller is trash. I hope we let him go and keep Diagu or Jones instead.

    Also, why the hell do we need 4 PGs for?

  5. #5
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    I can understand the Garrett signing but the Zeller. . .really?? Horrible give me Ike any day. I read it was a financial decision though.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunsfan88 View Post
    Luke Zeller is trash. I hope we let him go and keep Diagu or Jones instead.

    Also, why the hell do we need 4 PGs for?
    Maybe so Marshall and Dragic get different style looks in practice. Now they can go against a big PG. More variety.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by king4day View Post
    Maybe so Marshall and Dragic get different style looks in practice. Now they can go against a big PG. More variety.
    Marshall's only 1 inch shorter....

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdm692 View Post
    I can understand the Garrett signing but the Zeller. . .really?? Horrible give me Ike any day. I read it was a financial decision though.
    Yea, a shame to think that the FO is penny pitching again.

    Right when you think that the FO finally has it all figured out...they go and do this

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunsfan88 View Post
    Yea, a shame to think that the FO is penny pitching again.

    Right when you think that the FO finally has it all figured out...they go and do this
    Diogu would of been my pick over Zeller. I'm fine with Garrett, but yea looks like saving a little bit of dough had something to do with this.

    15 will cut down to 14 sooner than later i'm sure.

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  10. #10
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    It wouldnt be a Suns season without bringing in some "lesser" big man's brother.

    But on the real. I'm fine with these signings. I'd rather roll the dice on Zeller (who will probably stink) than trot out Diogu, who has spent 7 years in the league leaving no doubt that he stinks.
    Last edited by Phrazbit; 10-25-2012 at 04:33 AM.

  11. #11
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    I think Ike was having a much better pre-season than Zeller but I guess seeing as this guy will hardly play it doesn't matter too much. He's a better system fit if Scola or Morris go down too.

    I like Garret. We don't need 4 PGs but it wont hurt us. It's a sign that we're keeping guys we like instead of cutting them for the sake of being at 13 men.

  12. #12
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    Signed for trade chips. We have a lots of expiring contracts and draft picks. Look for us to make a trade as the season goes forward. Telfair, Marshall, Garrett, and Morris will be shopped if an All-Star comes available. Garrett and Marshall are in competition now to see who gets traded.

  13. #13
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    Mark Deeks‏@MarkDeeksNBA

    Phoenix for some reason gave Luke Zeller $50,000 guaranteed to come to camp. If he "makes the roster," that's because he's free for 2 weeks.
    I'm not completely sure what that means but I guess we'll cut him at some point after he stops being 'free'.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunsfan88 View Post
    Yea, a shame to think that the FO is penny pitching again.

    Right when you think that the FO finally has it all figured out...they go and do this
    It's for the 14th and 15th spots on the roster; it's not as if the FO are "penny pinching" on starters or even rotation players. These guys will be lucky to see out the season in Phoenix, let alone get any minutes.

    Wise move to save $1M (as opposed to signing Jones and Diogu). Ever penny counts and the FO obviously have a reason for signing extra players. If they were "penny pinching" then they wouldn't have signed any extra players and saved another $1M.
    Last edited by Bishnoff; 10-29-2012 at 05:24 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huntey View Post
    I'm not completely sure what that means but I guess we'll cut him at some point after he stops being 'free'.
    He probably means we already commited some money to him so instead of giving more to someone else, we will just pay him what we have already and drop him when time would come to pay him more.

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