Ronnie Price Signed By Phoenix Suns, Adds Defense And Hops

The Phoenix Suns will reportedly add veteran backup guard Ronnie Price to the team according to Hoops World. Price is said to be signing a one-year deal with the Suns as soon as Tuesday afternoon. 

UPDATE: The Phoenix Suns officially announced signing Price at about 11:00 a.m. Tuesday.

Ronnie Price is a 6-2 combo guard who played the last four years with the Utah Jazz as the backup to Deron Wiilliams. He's known for being athletic and a strong, aggressive defender but his point guard and shooting skills are limited according to ESPN's player profile:

Ronnie Price Hollinger Stats - ESPN
Price also had the worst shooting percentage among point guards at a ghastly 35.2 percent, and the worst true shooting percentage too. Needless to say, his PER was the worst at the position and very nearly the worst in the league...

Defensively, Price had his moments. He pressures the ball, can guard bigger players and is very athletic...

The signing of Price replaces backup guard Zabian Dowdell who was waived by the Suns Tuesday morning. Dowdell spent most of last season on the roster as the third point guard and is also known for his defense but is perhaps more of a "pure point" than Price when it comes to running the offense. 

Dowdell missed the start of Suns' training camp with a knee injury which seems to have come at a very bad time for him.

Price, 28, was undrafted out of Utah Valley State College and got his first NBA contract from the Sacramento Kings. He played for the Kings for two years before spending the next four with the Jazz. He recently told the media in Salt Lake City that he wanted to stay in Utah but they apparently were ready for a change.

He was described by the the Salt Lake Tribune as being, "Well-liked by his longtime friends and former teammates, a quiet-but-strong leader in the locker room, and a proven commodity on the hardwood..."

Price is a career 30 percent three-point shooter who averaged 3.6 points and 1.3 assists in six years as an NBA pro.

Price would compete for minutes with Sebastian Telfair. Telfair would seem to be more of a pure point who can push the ball and run the offense while Price is bigger, more athletic and a better defender. The combination of the two would give the Suns options behind Steve Nash depending on match-ups. 

Price would bring more athleticism and NBA experience, including 28 playoff games, than Dowdell.

Here's a scouting report on Price from SB Nation's Utah Jazz blog, SLC Dunk:

Let's start with the down side. Ronnie Price is a phenomenal athletic talent that happens to play basketball. You'll probably be frustrated with his decisions and play. He had one of the worst PERs in the league last season with players over 700 minutes. You'll have one to two highlights per game surrounded by some otherwise lackluster play.

However, he will be an instant fan favorite. He's a self-proclaimed Laker-hater. He was one of the only Jazz players that made a difference in the playoffs against the Lakers the past few seasons. In fact, Jerry Sloan admitted later that he should have played Price more. You'll never question his dedication or effort on the floor. He's a fantastic person off the court as well and will be great in the locker room.

I don't think he's as bad as last year's stats would indicate. He was injured for most of the second half of the season but has been reliable in the past. He's been played at the PG spot and at the SG, neither of which is ideal for him. I think he can have a bounce back year and be more in line with his career averages.

Here's a look at Price's athleticism:


 


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