Minnesota gets second-round pick for Tskitishvili

Updated: January 26, 2006, 7:17 PM ET
Associated Press

PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Suns gave up a second-round draft pick to acquire 7-footer Nikoloz Tskitishvili on Thursday.

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Minnesota had the rights to Tskitishvili and received the Suns' second pick in next year's draft.

The move reunites Tskitishvili with Suns coach Mike D'Antoni, who coached him with Benetton Treviso of the Italian league in 2001-02.

"If there is an ideal coach and ideal system for Skita to do well, it's here in Phoenix," Suns president Bryan Colangelo said.

Tskitishvili has averaged 3.0 points, 1.8 rebounds and 11.6 minutes in 160 NBA games with Denver, Golden State and Minnesota, where he got into just five games last season.

He appeared in 35 games with the Nuggets and Warriors, who acquired him and Rodney White in a trade with Denver on Feb. 24, giving up Eduardo Najera, Luis Flores and a 2007 draft pick.

Tskitishvili, 22, had two professional seasons with KK Slovan of Slovenia under his belt when he played 11 games for Benetton as an 18-year-old Italian league rookie.

He averaged only 6.6 points but made 73 percent of his 2-point field goal attempts, prompting the Nuggets to draft him No. 5 in the June 2002 draft which also produced Amare Stoudemire, the Suns' first pick at No. 9.

Tskitishvili signed as a free agent with the Timberwolves on Aug. 9.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press