Suns shorts: New center impresses in Euro tourney

The Eurobasket Tournament in Slovenia has made it through its first day with considerable participation from employees of the Suns.

A quick look at the results reveals that the Phoenix player with best opening day was … Slava Kravtsov. Yeah, remember him?

Kravtsov is the center from Ukraine acquired with Ish Smith from the Milwaukee Bucks in a trade that sent Caron Butler back home. Earlier in the summer, Kravtsov and his contract were part of a deal that shipped Brandon Jennings from the Bucks to the Detroit Pistons.

And even though he probably checks in (once countryman Alex Len is healthy) as the team’s fourth center, Suns general manager Ryan McDonough recently said Kravtsov will arrive at camp as a viable member of the roster.

Anyway, in Wednesday’s Eurobasket opener, Kravtsov came off the bench to contribute 15 points and eight rebounds over 22 minutes of Ukraine’s 74-67 victory over Israel.

Kravtsov, who made 6 of 8 shots from the floor, also had one block.

Ukraine’s next Eurobasket outing is Friday vs. Germany.

Marcin Gortat, the Suns’ starting center as of this moment, checked in with 12 points (6 for 13 shooting), eight rebounds, four assists and one block during Poland’s 84-67 loss to Georgia. But he didn’t exactly boost his potential trade value in Thursday’s Game 2, a 69-68 loss to Washington Wizards forward Jan Veseley and the Czech Republic.
Marcin scored just five points (2 for 7) to go with nine rebounds and three blocks. Veseley had 23 points and 14 rebounds.

Goran Dragic, the star attraction for the host nation, struggled in a 62-60 triumph over the Czech Republic. The Suns’ point guard scored only eight points, missing 12 of 15 shots. His nine-assist effort mitigated by six turnovers.

Dragic bounced back in Slovenia’s second game, a 78-69 upset of Spain.
The Dragon scored 17 points (7 for 13 shooting), took six rebounds, handed out seven dimes and was credited with zero turnovers working against a backcourt that included Jose Calderon and Ricky Rubio.


The location of the aforementioned Suns training camp officially was announced as Flagstaff (specifically Northern Arizona University), where the team will arrive on Sept. 30 and conclude their workouts Oct. 5 with a scrimmage at the Walkup Skydome that’s open to the public.

Follow Randy Hill on Twitter