Welcome to the first official day of the NBA season. The new CBA has been signed and the league has wasted no time asserting it's authority with Thursday night's nixing of the Chris Paul deal. Superstars make the big noise, but there's plenty more "regular" business to be done and one example is a report from France that the Phoenix Suns are sending swingman Mickael Pietrus to the Toronto Raptors. According to the Toronto Star, the deal returns a conditional second round pick to Phoenix.
This comes as no surprise from the Suns' side. Pietrus had limited success in Phoenix and with a reported price tag of $5.3 million this season wasn't likely to provide value to the Suns. The Raptors appear to have room under the salary cap to absorb Pietrus' contract without having to send back matching salaries.
Pietrus came to the Suns in December 2010 in the trade that sent Jason Richardson, Earl Clark and Hedo Turkoglu to the Orlando Magic in return for Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat and Pietrus. Mickael in 38 games for the Suns where he averaged 7.4 points per game.
With the reported addition of guard Shannon Brown, along with swingmen Jared Dudley and Josh Childress under contract and the possible return of small forward Grant Hill, there was little room for Pietrus on the roster. The eight-year vet is known for being an athletic defender but also has shown the propensity for erratic shot selection.
Pietrus finished last season on the bench with a leg injury and then had knee surgery in the offseason that kept him off the French National Team. He's been listed as one guy the Suns could waive using the new amnesty clause so a trade, even one that doesn't bring anything back, would benefit Phoenix.
In deals like this, a "conditional second round pick" is only included to make the deal work under the rules. Often, the conditions are set such that the receiving team never receives the pick. It's not clear at this point if the Suns will get a usual draft pick in this deal.
The Suns may also get a "Traded Player Exception" they can use in future trades to help acquire other players. It is not clear, however, that Phoenix will get a TPE in this case and if so, how big it would be.
The trade is reported to be contingent on Pietrus passing a physical with the Raptors. The Phoenix Suns have not yet responded to a request for confirmation of the deal.
[UPDATE by Seth Pollack, 12/09/11 11:15 AM MST ]
More details emerge via Paul Coro at the Arizona Republic:
azcentral.com blogs - Coro's Orange Slices - PaulCoro - Pietrus trade, Carter waiver expected today
The Suns also would have to send about $1 million to Toronto for the Raptors to take on Pietrus' $5.3 million salary in the last year of his contract. It is possible the Suns would never receive the Toronto pick because of the conditions placed on it.