Recently waived Rose will sign with Suns

Updated: November 3, 2006, 11:52 PM ET
Associated Press

PHOENIX -- Add Jalen Rose to the Phoenix Suns' already impressive offensive lineup.

Jalen Rose

Rose reached an agreement Friday to sign a one-year, $1.5 million contract, with the Suns, slightly more than the NBA veteran's minimum.

The versatile guard-forward, who received a $14.5 million buyout from the New York Knicks, had narrowed his choices to Phoenix and Miami, then announced his choice on his Web site. He is expected to be in uniform for the Suns at San Antonio on Wednesday.

In his lengthy blog entry, Rose said being waived by the Knicks "has created an opportunity to find a team to play on that will hopefully get me back into the playoffs with a realistic opportunity to win an NBA championship."

"Offensively, he's very gifted," Suns coach and general Mike D'Antoni said before his team's game against Utah on Friday night. "Passing, playmaking, shooting. I mean, the guy can shoot. He brings a lot of things offensively."

Any defensive deficiencies are offset by what he brings to the offensive-oriented, super-fast Suns attack.

Heat coach Pat Riley said Rose called him Friday afternoon to announce his decision. Miami was talking to Rose for several days, and Riley said Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade were among those who were trying to woo Rose to South Beach.

"There was a lot of interest on both sides, trying to get him to come," Riley said. "For whatever reason, and I didn't ask him for it, he decided to go to Phoenix."

The Suns will be Rose's sixth NBA team. The 33-year-old, 6-foot-8 swingman has a career average of 14.7 points per game. He averaged 12.7 points in 26 games for the Knicks last season after being acquired from the Toronto Raptors.

Rose will play primarily small forward and shooting guard -- in that order -- D'Antoni said, on a team that already had a deep rotation.

"When you have too much talent or too many guys, it's a nice problem to have," D'Antoni said. "Well, we just added a nicer problem."

The addition will make for spirited competition for playing time, D'Antoni said.

"I know some guys will be shortchanged," the Suns coach said. "You hate that because they all deserve to play, but this is about the Phoenix Suns ultimately and whatever it takes to win a championship."

Rose wants to follow the path of Tim Thomas, who parlayed a successful stint with the Suns last season into a lucrative contract with the Los Angeles Clippers. Rose will play in a fast-paced style directed by two-time MVP point guard Steve Nash, rather than the more structured approach of Riley's Heat. Thomas and Rose both are represented by agent Arn Tellem.

Rose began his career in Denver, then moved to Indiana and Chicago before joining the Raptors.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press