With Channing Frye off to Orlando, the Phoenix Suns filled their need for a stretch power forward by signing free agent Anthony Tolliver to a two-year, $6 million contract, reports RealGM. The second...

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All smiles on draft night for Tyler Ennis who now might be in a tough situation with the way the roster is coming together...

It was two years ago when the Phoenix Suns, manned by Lance Blanks & Co., went into damage control after the departure of Steve Nash to replenish the point guard position. They reacted well by drafting Kendall Marshall with the 13th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, who was seen at the time as a potential heir to the throne.

Then, exactly seven days later, they signed Goran Dragic to a contract.

For a team that was presumed to have a massive rebuild and overhaul happen, they loaded up at the point guard position rather abruptly. Dragic came back home, in a sense, and Marshall was to be groomed. Then there was Sebastian Telfair, who had just closed the books on his most efficient and complete season of his NBA career with the Suns. All three would give the team depth and quality in different ways as the team was slowly building itself back into contention.

Marshall was beat out by Telfair for the back-up minutes while he was on the roster (traded to Toronto midseason) and Marshall was not able to find a rhythm with the team in any way, shape, or form. He just didn't fit in.

Time in the Developmental League did nothing for Marshall. Starting here and there did nothing for Marshall.

Overall Marshall's tenure in Phoenix lasted 48 games played and ended with exactly the same amount of points (143) as assists. He was traded to the Washington Wizards by new general manager Ryan McDonough, subsequently released, and signed with the Los Angeles Lakers where he put up strong numbers in 45 starts for a team that won just 27 games total.

While Dragic and Telfair are both dynamic players that play the point guard position, neither are well known for their leadership skills. Dragic leads by example, toughness, and giving it his all on the court. Telfair leads through emotion, both good and bad, wearing it on his sleeve play after play.

Those two were ill-prepared to be babysitters for a rookie that was coming on board with his expectations and needing guidance.

Telfair said out of the gates that he was going into training camp in 2012 to win a starting job. He wore his emotions on his sleeve, fought, and won the back-up spot on the depth chart behind Dragic. Marshall went off to the D-League to start the season and he was left with Lindsey Hunter and Blanks as his leaders. When he came up to the roster not much changed.

In the locker room Marshall was disheveled, disconnected, and needed a change of scenery to get his confidence back. The situation was not conducive to his development here in Phoenix and his story is yet to be determined on whether he will be a productive NBA player long term. Two years is not enough time to determine whether a player is a "bust" or a success and situation, one of the most important elements in a young player's success, played a major part in the early struggles for Marshall here. Some of that was self-inflicted and some was caused by the situation he was thrust into.

Confidence is a fickle thing and while we do not know if Tyler Ennis, the team's first round pick this year, will be anything like Marshall in terms of attitude, it cannot pad his ego that he has three point guards ahead of him on the depth chart coming into this season.

Ennis is not the same player as Marshall by any means. From what we saw at Syracuse, he is by all accounts a more advanced leader and communicator and plays his game more with poise than flare.

Again, situation is one of if not the most important element of a rookie's transition to the NBA. Ennis' situation has a lot of parallels to what Marshall walked into two years ago. While McDonough has gained some equity with his competency in nearly every situation he has encountered as general manager, he might have made the same mistake as his predecessor in this situation.

Both Marshall and Ennis are pace-oriented point guards that are never going to win any athletic Hunger Games in this or any other league.

Both Marshall and Ennis are coming onto a roster with established point guards, none of which are considered vocal leaders that take young players under their wings.

Both Marshall and Ennis were drafted with one expectation and then a week (or so) later had that changed with talented acquisitions by the team.

What Ennis has that Marshall did not is a D-League team that is run exclusively by the Suns. He has a Suns coach, general manager, staff, and roster to work with. He has the Suns playbook to work with that allows him to be more prepared when called up to the main roster. That is huge for his development and something that Marshall did not have while here.

He also has a competent general manager and leadership group that will keep a watchful eye on his progression while in Bakersfield if he finds a permanent residency there this season.

Adding Isaiah Thomas is never a bad thing for a team, even for the Suns who have Dragic and Eric Bledsoe on the roster already. He can be a dynamic third point guard and 6th Man who wins games for you with his ability to score the ball and make plays for others. The one negative that Thomas brings to the roster is the potential stunt in Ennis's development this year going forward.

Ennis went from battling Ish Smith for rotation minutes to likely manning the Bakersfield Jam and waving a towel at the end of the bench for the Phoenix Suns.

Leadership from McDonough down to the point guard trio on the roster is going to have to keep an eye on Ennis to avoid having a repeat of the Marshall situation. He is a bright young kid, but so was Marshall, making this more than a passing issue with the roster. Ennis was drafted as an investment for the future of the team. His development is crucial to the future of the team, whether as a future rotation player contributing to wins or as an asset that brings them a roster upgrade.

Situation is conducive to success and confidence is a fickle thing to play fast and loose with. Ennis is not expected to be the leader of this team, but if he does not have direction and a leader, the Suns are doing a disservice for a young player they are responsible for. Again.

The Phoenix Suns beat the Philadelphia 76ers in their third game of the Vegas Summer League. The Summer Suns finish the "regular season" with two wins and close loss. They face Minnesota on Wednesday at 1pm.

Sorry guys. I'm pressed for time and really have nothing thoughtful to say about this game and certainly can't improve on Kellan's observations.

I'm just going to get out of the way and share these post-game quotes for people who matter far more than me to this team.


Longabardi on Ennis

"I feel very comfortable having the ball in his hands."

"He has that special ability people just don't have."

On Ennis' role

"If you're playing well, you're going to play and you're going to play in the end when it matters. He's just like everybody else competing for a spots and whoever shines is going to play."

On T.J. Warren

"The thing that they (76ers) did is they really pressured and when that happens he'd just attack and it worked in our favor."

"I'm sure he's put in countless number of hours working on his craft. He's got it down. That midrange. He's got a good instinct for the ball. Rebounds. He does really well in transition. We get the rebound and we can get out, and Miles (Plumlee) was great."

"He's good on the baseline, no question. I think his three-ball will come. He's just got to practice it and this is great for him."

"(Defensively) That's going to be an adjustment. But once we have practice times and more practices in a row without a game, I mean we really only had six practices, so it's tough. And once he gets a feel for these situations it will help him. But he's going all the work. We're watching film with him individually."

"That's what makes you a pro. You have to be able to play both ends of the floor."

On Archie Goodwin:

"Good. He's playing his game. He's being really aggressive driving the ball to the basket. He looks more comfortable. Tonight we got into a couple of bad situations where we got close to the sideline we tried to throw the ball across the court. You can't do that.

Do you worry about him hitting the floor so much?

"That's the way he is. I see where you're coming from but he's a rare one where he just attacks, attacks and he gets hit and gets right back up. That tells you how gritty and tough he is."

T.J. Warren on his 28-point game

"I got used to it (playing with stitches). At the beginning it was kind of tough but as I kept running it became a little bit easier for me to play with it."

"In the beginning I was kind of scared going in there but as I kept running, kept sweating I was like, whatever, let's just play ball."

"My teammates, they do a great job finding me in transition. We just run the floor very hard and just having a knack to finish in transition. In the halfcourt the ball just happens to fall around and I pick it up and put it back in."

"In college you could just finish through guys. Now at the next level it's different. So you just have to be more craftier and just try to find ways to put it back in the basket. I'm adjusting to it pretty well."

"It's a great opportunity to put on a Suns uniform and play in summer league. I'm enjoying it."

"I've worked very hard so (inaudible) and just staying aggressive really. Coach does a good job of getting me to run the floor hard and do a lot of little things to open myself up to score."

Was scoring natural for you as a kid?

"Just finding my sweet spots. I've always been able to finish in transition. So me just having great balance, body control, just being around the rim. This is a skill set that just came naturally."

"I'd say middle school just being able to be in the right position at the right time, using my body real well and just, like I said before, body control."

The Phoenix Suns beat the Philadelphia 76ers in their third game of the Vegas Summer League. The Summer Suns finish the "regular season" with two wins and close loss. They face Minnesota on Wednesday at 1pm.

Sorry guys. I'm pressed for time and really have nothing thoughtful to say about this game and certainly can't improve on Kellan's observations.

I'm just going to get out of the way and share these post-game quotes for people who matter far more than me to this team.


Longabardi on Ennis

"I feel very comfortable having the ball in his hands."

"He has that special ability people just don't have."

On Tyler Ennis' role

"If you're playing well, you're going to play and you're going to play in the end when it matters. He's just like everybody else competing for a spots and whoever shines is going to play."

On T.J. Warren

"The thing that they (76ers) did is they really pressured and when that happens he'd just attack and it worked in our favor."

"I'm sure he's put in countless number of hours working on his craft. He's got it down. That midrange. He's got a good instinct for the ball. Rebounds. He does really well in transition. We get the rebound and we can get out, and Miles (Plumlee) was great."

"He's good on the baseline, no question. I think his three-ball will come. He's just got to practice it and this is great for him."

"(Defensively) That's going to be an adjustment. But once we have practice times and more practices in a row without a game, I mean we really only had six practices, so it's tough. And once he gets a feel for these situations it will help him. But he's going all the work. We're watching film with him individually."

"That's what makes you a pro. You have to be able to play both ends of the floor."

On Archie Goodwin:

"Good. He's playing his game. He's being really aggressive driving the ball to the basket. He looks more comfortable. Tonight we got into a couple of bad situations where we got close to the sideline we tried to throw the ball across the court. You can't do that.

Do you worry about him hitting the floor so much?

"That's the way he is. I see where you're coming from but he's a rare one where he just attacks, attacks and he gets hit and gets right back up. That tells you how gritty and tough he is."

T.J. Warren on his 28-point game

"I got used to it (playing with stitches). At the beginning it was kind of tough but as I kept running it became a little bit easier for me to play with it."

"In the beginning I was kind of scared going in there but as I kept running, kept sweating I was like, whatever, let's just play ball."

"My teammates, they do a great job finding me in transition. We just run the floor very hard and just having a knack to finish in transition. In the halfcourt the ball just happens to fall around and I pick it up and put it back in."

"In college you could just finish through guys. Now at the next level it's different. So you just have to be more craftier and just try to find ways to put it back in the basket. I'm adjusting to it pretty well."

"It's a great opportunity to put on a Suns uniform and play in summer league. I'm enjoying it."

"I've worked very hard so (inaudible) and just staying aggressive really. Coach does a good job of getting me to run the floor hard and do a lot of little things to open myself up to score."

Was scoring natural for you as a kid?

"Just finding my sweet spots. I've always been able to finish in transition. So me just having great balance, body control, just being around the rim. This is a skill set that just came naturally."

"I'd say middle school just being able to be in the right position at the right time, using my body real well and just, like I said before, body control."

The Suns, moving to replace the floor-stretching capabilities of Channing Frye, agreed to terms with free agent power forward Anthony Tolliver, most recently of the Charlotte Hornets.

According to RealGM's Shams Charania, the Suns and free agent Anthony Tolliver have agreed on a 2 year, $6 million dollar contract.

RealGM Story: Hornets free agent Anthony Tolliver has agreed to a two-year, $6 million deal with the Phoenix Suns. http://t.co/BdAmja3LzY

— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 16, 2014

The 29 year old Tolliver is something of an NBA journeyman.  He has played for 6 teams over his 6 year career, including stints with Minnesota, Golden State and most recently Charlotte.

At 6'8 and 240 pounds, Tolliver is a small stretch forward, but thick.  Tolliver is a career 35% shooter from 3 point land. For his career, he has averaged 6.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and an assist in 20 minutes per game.

Last season with Charlotte, Tolliver had something of a career year from beyond the arc, though his rebounding numbers and 2pt shooting percentages were down.

For more information, you can reference this story our own Jacob Padilla wrote about Tolliver earlier this year for the Creightonian.

Tolliver confirmed the signing on his Twitter account shortly after Charania broke the news.

I AM A....^^^^^^^^^^^^ ! lol #blessed #thedecision #partpuzzle #notthathard #hinthinthint #thatismySONhttp://t.co/1aIVnQCpri

— Anthony Tolliver (@ATolliver44) July 16, 2014

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