The Phoenix Suns continued an aggressive rebuild of their franchise Sunday when they submitted the highest bid for free agent forward Luis Scola and were awarded the rights to the 32-year-old forward, according to league sources.
Because of Scola’s contract with Houston, which had $10 million in unguaranteed money in the final year of the deal, the Suns had to submit a bid of at least $3.3 million per year for Scola, and commit $10 million over three years.
Several teams, including Dallas and Cleveland, were believed to have submitted bids for Scola, who was amnestied on Friday by the Rockets in order to clear more cap room for potential runs at Orlando’s Dwight Howard, or to be able to take on other big contracts in potential trades if they don’t get Howard. Scola, according to a league source, wanted to go someplace where he would play right away.
The Suns knew it would be difficult for them to retain franchise player Steve Nash, and the team agreed to a sign-and-trade deal with the Lakers earlier this month for the 38-year-old guard. But the Suns were able to get two future first-round and two future second-round picks, along with $3 million, for Nash.
And Phoenix has come out of the gate in free agency, signing former Rockets guard Goran Dragic to a four-year, $30 million deal, and quickly following that up with a three-year, $18 million deal for Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley. The Suns tried to get Hornets restricted free agent Eric Gordon, giving him a four-year, $58 million offer sheet. But New Orleans insisted all along it would match any sheet for Gordon, and it did.