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Lose those love handles, Garrett! (AP Photo/Jim Urquhart)
The epic battles for fifth guard and third center have been decided, and the two players brought in by the new Phoenix Suns regime are the ones who survived.
Dwayne Jones, first signed by Kerr last spring from the D-League, and Zabian Dowdell, first brought to summer league by the same Kerr, have been released.
SUNS WAIVE DOWDELL AND JONES
PHOENIX - The Phoenix Suns have waived guard Zabian Dowdell and forward/center Dwayne Jones.
Dowdell appeared in five preseason games for the Suns, averaging 5.4 points and 1.6 assists, while Jones saw action in three exhibition contests for Phoenix and averaged 2.0 points and 3.3 rebounds.The Suns' roster now stands at 14.
Now the big question is: how will the Suns use the D-League this year?
It looks like Siler and Janning will make the team, unless some great value becomes available in the next few days. Every other NBA team is cutting players too, and some active big man or useful wing who is okay with a few minutes of court time a month might be more interesting than these two.
I doubt it though (unless Dampier suddenly decides to play in the NBA again). Expect Siler and Janning in suits all season. Or in the D-League on the Suns' dime.
New GM Lance Blanks signed Garret Siler last month to what Siler told friends was a better contract offer than a couple of other teams had on the table. Most certainly, that included no guaranteed money beyond training camp, so the only incentive could have been a second-year non-guaranteed team option (like they gave Janning) or slightly more than minimum if he made the final roster. I think it's the former.
Janning, as you've read previously, was signed by Lon Babby (after Blanks was hired, but before he returned from Basketball Without Borders in Africa) to a two-year non-guaranteed deal.
Looks like both guy will stick on the 2010-2011 roster.
What I don't quite understand is how the D-League fits into this picture. The Suns' previous regime was never very good at using the D-League for any more than a couple games here and there.
Dragic and Lopez, despite gathering splinters on the bench, never got a whiff of Albuquerque (the affiliate at the time) during the 2008-2009 season. A year later, Earl Clark spent too little time down there, while Taylor Griffin barely spent more than that. The argument was that players learn more about being an NBA player by participating in real NBA practices than they ever would against lesser competition.
Conversely, and I hope I'm remembering this correctly, OKC had Serge Ibaka on their D-League team his entire rookie season and then BJ Mullens spent all of last season down there.
The Suns' new Director of Player Personnel, John Treloar, was the Cav's D-League coach for a few years. And Lance Blanks (as the Cavs' Assistant GM) was in charge of their D-League team.
Will the new Suns regime be more like OKC? Or will they subscribe to Kerr/Griffin's beliefs?
We are about to find out.