It's official like a referee with a whistle.  The LeBron James sweepstakes is heating up. Unless of course, Robert Sarver, Lon Babby, and Ryan McDonough all happen to summer in Cleveland.  At the same time.

To hear the Chuckster tell it, Phoenix isn't going to happen.

The Houston Rockets courtship of James seems to have ended before it started, with sights now set on Carmelo Anthony.

Or Chris Bosh.  A max contract seems to be a pretty good indicator of interest.

In any event, you should familiarize yourself with perhaps the most important person involved in this decision not named LeBron James.

LBJ or not, Cleveland was quick to lock up the top asset they do have.

Speaking of summering, do the Suns have the most talented summer league roster? If you look solely at the surnames, definitely.

With so much noise about free agency, it's easy for the casual fan to lose sight of retaining the talent we do have.  Eric Bledsoe is sure to have many suitors, including the Milwaukee Bucks, with their shiny #2 draft pick Jabari Parker and fancy new head coach, Jason Kidd.

On the other hand, teams seem to be a little shy about pulling the trigger on a P.J. Tucker deal.

Some think that a team that won 48 games a season ago doesn't need to make a splash during the free agency period.

More on "the waiting game."

Things got a little more interesting Monday, with reports that Channing Frye is on his way to Orlando.

Need to add an epic tale to your summer reading list?  Check out the full story of how Steve Nash got away from the Dallas Mavericks.

Following in the footsteps of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, another former Phoenix Sun is throwing his hat into the political ring.

Golden State's Steve Kerr has announced his coaching staff with the Warriors, and it features familiar Pacific Division names.

Regardless of what ends up happening, there is something to be said for knowing when to quit, and going out on top.

Oh, and to wrap up the LeBron James coverage, we actually already know where he's going to end up.

Channing Frye missed ALL of the 2012-13 season due to a heart condition, then started ALL 82 games of the regular season at power forward for the Phoenix Suns last season. Now he and the Orlando...

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Last week was insane for the Phoenix Mercury so let me try and summarize what this team (and certain individuals) are doing in this magical, historical season...

Record: 13-3 (.812)

Place In Standings: First (+1.5 on Minnesota)

Points Per Game: 85.38 (1st)

Points Against: 77.38 (6th)


At full strength the Phoenix Mercury are proving to be one of the toughest teams the WNBA has seen in years. Right now the team finds itself riding a seven game winning streak and have won nine out of their last ten games as we hit the middle point of the season. Last year at this time, with virtually the same roster, the Mercury were 9-7 and playing well.
They went to the Western Conference Finals.
This year they are playing significantly better.
Last week is a key indicator in the change in the team as they blew the Chicago Sky out of the gym at home in a fashion any potentially great team should do. Candice Dupree went off for the easiest looking 26 points and 14 rebounds I have ever seen. So smooth and easy. Then they outlasted a contender, albieit a struggling contender, in the Los Angeles Sparks on the road.
Speaking of Dupree, she became the 22nd player ever to score 4,000 points during that performance. Yeah, so much history, greatness, and awesomeness.
The team gets that kind of performance from Dupree, Penny Taylor, DeWanna Bonner, and other members of the cast nightly with someone stepping up based on the situation. Like a well oiled machine. The Mercury have the weapons to give Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner a great No. 3 option of a different name every game.
Speaking of Taurasi...


Taurasi is 2nd All-Time in Scoring...

Here is the link to an awesome tribute video put together by the Mercury for Taurasi for after she became the 2nd All-Time leading Scorer in WNBA history.
To play teh "compare the WNBA to the NBA" game here let's look at where Taurasi would be at roughly 16,395 points and 3,555 assists if she played the same percentage of games in her career on an 82-game schedule. Her per game numbers are modest as well because of the minutes she can play (40 max rather than the 48 in the NBA), but after ten years here is how she would compare to the players she is most associated with at the NBA level:
Kobe Bryant after 10 seasons: 16,866 Points & 3,148 Assists
Steve Nash after 10 seasons: 9,495 Points & 5,006 Assists
With 10 NBA years she would be comparable to Kobe Bryant and with her demeanor, style, and swagger there has never been any question to me that Taurasi is the WNBA equivalent of Bryant over the years. Two weeks ago the Mercury Meter showcased Taurasi's case as the G.O.A.T. in WNBA History.
On a sidenote: Brittney Griner is No. 1 All-Time in dunking. She has three total WNBA dunks in two seasons, which is two more that the entire history of the WNBA  Like every player and team since 1996 when the league began.


...and Let's Compare The Mercury/Suns.

Alright, this was fun when it looked like the Mercury were going to be a fun team with a good record. Now we are seeing that this is a really, really good team with the potential to win it all. The Phoenix Suns were never that team last year, but were fun as hell.
Let's see how the teams compare at this stage in the season.
Through 16 games the Mercury are 13-3 (.812%) and are about 47% of the way through the season. That translates to about 39 NBA games, which, at that point, the Suns were struggling. They had lost five of seven (22-17, .564%) and were in the midst of an identity crisis without Eric Bledsoe. Don't worry (SPOILER ALERT) they found that identity and went on to win 48 games nearly making the playoffs.
So this Mercury team is a little better than the scrappy upstarts that surprised the league and captured the hearts of a fanbase. They are legit contenders. Suns fans, you are close. Hang in there and enjoy this awesome run by the Mercury!


Upcoming Schedule

Wednesday vs. Seattle Storm at 12:30 p.m. AZ Time

Friday @ Chicago Sky at 5:30 p.m. AZ Time

Sunday vs. San Antonio Silver Stars at 3:00 p.m. AZ Time

According to Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, Frye has agreed to a 4 year, $32 million dollar contract with the Magic. Frye has been with the Suns since the 2009/10 season.

In, if not a surprising then at least a disappointing move for Suns' fans, today Channing Frye agreed to a new contract with the Orlando Magic.

According to Wojnarowski and other sources, the agreed upon deal is for 4 years and $32 million dollars.

With the release earlier this off-season of Jameer Nelson and the trading of Arron Afflalo, Frye instantly becomes the undisputed veteran presence in what is now an incredibly young locker room.  According to HardwoodParoxysm's Matt Moore, questions about the locker room climate in Orlando last season may have played a part in this contract offer.

Kris Habbas reached out to Frye for a comment, and he had this to say:

"They [the Magic] sold me.  Everything they're about is what I'm about.  I will miss being a Sun."

Frye gave a shout out to Phoenix Suns fans via Twitter shortly after the news broke.

Thank you for everything Suns fans. These last years have been the unbelievable. I will always appreciate ever minute in the Suns Uni.

— Channing Frye (@Channing_Frye) July 7, 2014

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