While waiting to reconcile the Eric Bledsoe domino, the Suns on Wednesday added journeyman power forward Anthony Tolliver to their free-agent delivery.
The deal, first reported by RealGM.com, will bring the six-year veteran to Phoenix on a two-year contract worth $6 million, with only $400,000 guaranteed during the second year.
Tolliver, who has found work as a "stretch four" with six other NBA teams, was hired to help the Suns ease the free-agent loss of Channing Frye. Although he may not provide the same space-generating, deep-shooting fear in opponents that Frye did, Tolliver hit 41 percent of his 3-point attempts while playing for the Bobcats last season.
Frye made 37 percent of his 3s last season, but has a better career success rate (38 to 35 percent) than Tolliver.
Undrafted out of Creighton, Tolliver’s best season was 2009-10, during which he averaged 12.3 points and 7.3 rebounds in 32 minutes per game for the Warriors.
"The Suns are an up-tempo team," Tolliver said in an interview with RealGM, "and when I was with Golden State I had a similar style. I’m able to produce at a high level and this style compares to that Golden State team.
"I can play the three as well, but my natural position is four — rebounding, hitting open shots. The Suns made it clear I’m coming to play the four."
Based on last season’s rise of Markieff Morris, it could be presumed Tolliver will provide his stretch services in a reserve capacity. But coach Jeff Hornacek — when the issue came up during a radio interview several hours before a deal was reached with Tolliver — said the competition for the starting power forward role will be open during training camp.
The Suns could choose to keep Markieff as a reserve weapon, a tactic that frequently matched Morris with the opposition’s ill-equipped second unit.
Markieff typically finished games for the Suns, with Frye moving to center. At 6-foot-8, 240 pounds, Tolliver has the girth to hold his position on the block, but doesn’t offer the defensive length Frye offered in the middle.
But with the Suns putting less emphasis on categorizing positions, Tolliver offers even more versatility.