If you look at the black and white of the Phoenix Suns’ current offseason, it’d be easy to feel disappointed. The plainest fact is that the Suns missed out on LaMarcus Aldridge, who...

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For all their young talent, the Suns need a personality makeover. It starts with leadership and Tyson Chandler will help.

      
 
 

We have the whole presser of Tyson Chandler joining the Phoenix Suns.

Here's a quick breakdown of what I heard today across the general media session as well as one-on-ones with Jeff Hornacek, Lon Babby and Ryan McDonough afterward.

Chandler

Tyson Chandler checks off most of the off season boxes:

  • on court leadership
  • on-court talking on defense
  • being the defensive captain getting everyone in their spots
  • rim protection
  • rebounding
  • locker room leadership by voice and by example

The Suns targeted Chandler as their top target from other teams for just those reasons. They saw Chandler second, right after meeting with restricted free agent Brandon Knight in LA at 9:00pm.

Chandler and his wife had been seeing a movie premiere, and came over the hotel immediately after. The Suns asked him to come by the hotel. They offered him a chance to lead a talented, young team into the playoffs as their leader. Chandler commented that the Suns showed their talent all year long, beating the Mavericks three out of four times (Hornacek leaned into the microphone at that time and said "shoulda been four").

Chandler was bowled over by the Suns, by the perfect fit with their roster, and he and his wife had decided on choosing the Suns nearly right after the meeting ended. He intimated that he did not even meet with other teams. He committed to the Suns on the morning of July 1 while their camp was still getting calls from other teams.

He said going to meet with LaMarcus Aldridge was fun, and that he didn't have to sell Aldridge on the Suns. He thinks that just his presence alone showed Aldridge that the Suns were serious, and it was common knowledge that the Suns were right there in the running and nearly won out for Aldridge's services.

Chandler never once considered going back to Dallas in the fracas that was July 8. He is excited to work with a young roster and show them the ropes of how to play the right way and reach the playoffs. He is also excited about working with Alex Len. Hornacek quipped he could teach Len the "tricks" he used last season on the kid. Chandler laughed.

Hornacek said he loves everything about Chandler, but that the guards still need to step up in leadership roles offensively to run the offense just like Chandler will do on defense.

The Detroit trade (Marcus Morris, Granger, Bullock)

When directly asked, McDonough said that Morris' attitude last year - including the fight with Hornacek - might have played a small part in the trade but only a really a small part.

Mostly, the trade was made to clear up minutes at small forward and on the roster as a whole. All three profiled as small forwards. He thinks T.J. Warren is ready for a bigger role and that P.J. Tucker had earned the starting spot over the past two years.

They didn't want to deal with a few more players pushing for minutes at the same position, and possibly not being happy with it.

McDonough also said the media made the Hornacek/Mook fight bigger than it really was, and that there are player/coach arguments in every sport.

The offseason overall

chandler-presser-all

The Suns wanted to get ahead of the other teams, and came into the offseason with a plan and very nearly executed it to perfection (Chandler + Aldridge).

The front office guys all talked about a more balanced roster being a big goal of the offseason, as well as additional rebounding and shooting. Adding Mirza Teletovic, Ronnie Price and Sonny Weems could not be discussed in detail, since they had not actually been signed.

They wanted a more balanced roster in terms of age, and have replaced players aged 26, 28 and 23 with players aged 18, 29, 32 and 32.

Now the age distribution is more balanced for sure. Center is 22/32, Power Forward 26/27/29, Small Forward 22/29, Shooting Guard 18/23/29 and Point Guard 26/32.

McDonough described it as the veteran shows the young guys the tricks and plays at a high level in the lineup until the young guy begins to outplay him and takes over the minutes.

Oh and did I say that Hornacek sounded pretty pleased with the offseason developments? A couple of his comments, paraphrased until I transcribe the interview, were that he can't wait to have vocal leaders on the floor and that they would get the guys into the right spots... and if they guys didn't want to listen to the vocal leaders, they'd be out of there pretty quick.

Indepth articles from the presser and solo interviews will follow in the next few days.

Stay tuned!

Update:

Here's my McDonough interview. Thanks to Evan Wendt for being our video guy, and editing this and posting it.

      
 
 

The Phoenix Suns agreed today to sign Mirza Teletovic to a one-year $5.5 million contract. Teletovic is a stretch four with toughness and rebounding ability who is recovering from a blood clots issue this past season.

The Suns were widely praised for the move by the national media.

Classy move by Billy King and the Nets letting Teletovic become a UFA. In between RFA are in a tough spot.

— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) July 9, 2015

Considering that stretch 4's have been getting 8m per. Getting Teletovic at $5.5m is a steal. Stretch 4 are hard to find. RFA hurt his value

— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) July 9, 2015

Like Teletovic with Suns. They need both shooting and depth at PF. Teletovic also in my potential FA steals column: http://t.co/etMhLHwknE

— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) July 9, 2015

Here's some highlights:

This video made my pants fall off. Look how quickly he releases! Mirza Teletovic Career High 34 Points BKN@DAL - https://t.co/4LxS3so8xb

— Jonesey (@Suns6thMan) July 10, 2015

I checked in with the editor of NetsDaily.com, a really cool SB Nation site for the Brooklyn Nets. These guys cover the Nets like brown on brown rice or white on white rice (being politically correct here).

Tom Lorenzo shared these thoughts via email:

On Shooting

Teletovic is one of the best "practice" pure shooters in the league. Problem is, he's not consistent in games. When he's on, though... Dude can shoot.

On toughness

He's tough as hell. He had a hard foul on LeBron in the playoffs two years ago. LeBron went after him, he just stood there grinning (sorry, I'm only on my phone but you have to look up "Mirza LeBron fight" on YouTube).

Locker room influence/off the court

In the locker room, one of the absolute nicest guys in the league. Language barrier not a huge issue, and while his teammates love him, he typically sticks to himself. But well liked otherwise. Plus, he reads our stuff and retweets us a ton on Twitter.

In Mostar, where he's from, he's a GOD. They love him there. You'll see you're Bosnian fan base rise big time. Big time.

Why the Nets let him go

He's coming off life threatening blood clots that kept him out of most of last season. When he returned he was... Ok. Probably not worth the QO. Or at least the risk. He's on thinners, he should be fine, but he had what Bosh had last year. I just think they were concerned with his return, plus to be honest he was never a favorite of Lionel Hollins'.

Summary

Overall, great shooter, tough guy on the court, kind off, coming off a tough injury, rebounding not great, defense good (hard player, again, not afraid of anyone) but not great.

Tom shared all that while on the commuter train in New York heading home. Thanks Tom!

Nets Daily reports the Teletovic signing

Read the comments from Nets fans for the real vibe of losing Mirza


Teletovic's biggest issue this past year was the blood clots that Tom referenced. In fact, it's said that the Nets doctors were lucky to notice them, and that Teletovic might have died if they hadn't been found when they did. Teletovic later talked about the issue, vowing to come back strong.

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