New Point Guard For Suns?
From Hoopsworld. It should be a manic Monday in Phoenix with a handful of point guards vying for a single roster spot….
Dee Brown: It’s already been a long season for Dee Brown. The 6-0, 185 pound point guard was starting for the Washington Wizards until he was waived last week after a three-way trade between the Wizards, Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Hornets sent him packing. On the season, Brown was averaging 2.4 points, 1.9 assists in 13.7 minutes per game while starting 11 of 17 games for Washington. But earning a spot is nothing new for the former second-rounder (46th overall in 2006 by Utah). After a stint with the Jazz, Brown played over in Turkey before signing with Washington in July. Could he find a new home in Phoenix?
Damon Stoudamire: You just knew Damon Stoudamire’s name would come up again. After playing with the San Antonio Spurs
last season and failing to land a roster spot heading into training camp with the Houston Rockets, it was only a matter of time before his phone started to ring. Word is the former University of Arizona alum is hopeful to be part of the Wildcats’ coaching staff in the near future. But with Arizona staying status quo on the sidelines this season, it appears Stoudamire’s days in the NBA aren’t over yet. A 13-year-veteran, the former 1995 NBA Rookie of the Year would bring yet more “know how” to the Suns – a team full of veterans – but is that the objective?
Troy Hudson: Talk about a blast from the past. Troy Hudson isn’t a name too often associated with free agent workouts or even in the swirling rumor mill these days. Yet at 32, and reportedly healed after his hip surgery in early January, Hudson is apparently ready to get back to work. Another veteran – having spent time with the Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers, Orlando Magic, Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors – Hudson’s best year in the league came during the 2002-03 season with the Timberwolves when he averaged 14.2 points and 5.7 assists per game and started 74 of his 79 games played. While he played nine games last season for the Warriors before being waived when Golden State signed Chris Webber, significant time away from the floor could be Hudson’s Achilles heel.
Darrell Armstrong: And you thought Damon Stoudamire and Troy Hudson were veterans. With an average age of 27.95 years-old, the Suns are one of the older teams in the league but would easily move up a few notches by adding Armstrong to the fold. At 40-years-old, Armstrong looks to prove there is life after the New Jersey Nets. The 14-year-pro averaged 2.5 points and 1.5 assists per game playing in 50 games for the Nets last season. But the Suns will have to make a quick call here: is the purpose to add a veteran reserve point guard or simply an assistant coach in training?
Eddie Gill: Gill can play in the NBA. Now he’s just trying to get back. After time in New Jersey (twice), Memphis, Portland, Indiana and Seattle, Gill is waiting his turn as a member of the Colorado 14ers of the NBDL, affiliate for the Denver Nuggets. On the season he’s averaging 14.7 points, 7.2 assists and 1.3 steals per game and has started 4 of the 6 games for the 14ers. Not the flashiest of players, Gill is a solid defender who could draw the attention of a defensive-minded head coach like Terry Porter.
Walker Russell Jr.: The kid may not have any NBA experience, but he is surely aggressive. Aside from a trip to training camp with the New York Knicks two seasons ago, the closest Walker Russell Jr. has come to the NBA is being the son of former NBA guard and current Knicks scout Walker Russell. But basketball is the blood and this could be the chance for Russell Jr. to show he belongs in the league. Currently playing for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants – NBDL affiliate for the Milwaukee Bucks – the 6-0 point guard is averaging 16 points, 11 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game while starting in all 8 of the Mad Ants games this season. Now all Walker Russell Jr. has to do is beat out a couple notable veterans and NBA hopefuls for his first job in the league.
So who will be Phoenix’s new point guard?
The early advantage could go to Dee Brown, perhaps the most NBA “game ready” of the bunch. But Suns fans should also keep an eye on Walker Russell Jr. Much like Brown, Russell Jr. would give Phoenix a more athletic feel in the backcourt – that will at least be the case on Monday during workouts with a mixture of veterans and young players vying for one spot.
WINNER: DEE BROWN