PHOENIX (AP) — Luis Scola wasn't particularly surprised when the Houston Rockets designated him as their amnesty player. He already knew they were going to go in a different direction.
What did catch him off-guard was the team that had the winning bid for his services.
While numerous teams were interested in Scola, the Phoenix Suns came from seemingly nowhere and snatched up the rugged forward, adding to their increasingly crowded frontcourt.
"I kind of knew I was going to be playing somewhere else," Scola said during a conference call Tuesday. "And when I found out it was Phoenix, I was a little surprised because there was a lot of talking with a lot of other teams that were supposedly going to bid. I didn't really expect anything from Phoenix and when they called me, I was a little bit surprised."
Scola was a steady player in five seasons with the Rockets, providing them with solid scoring, good rebounding and plenty of scrappiness. The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 15.5 points and 6.4 rebounds last season, but Houston used its amnesty clause to cut him loose and clear space on the salary cap.
Scola joins a Suns team that has plenty of depth up front, with Marcin Gortat, Markieff Morris, Channing Frye and Hakim Warrick coming back. They also signed Michael Beasley to a free agent contract and extended a qualifying offer to restricted free agent center Robin Lopez.
That's a lot of big men, but a player with the skill and play-hard-all-the-time mentality of Scola should get plenty of playing time.
"If we're having trouble with really good players finding minutes, then we're in great shape," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. "Things usually work themselves out and you have a situation where it'll ultimately work out. I think it's going to be a great situation, it makes it a competitive situation."
It's been a busy offseason of rebuilding for the Suns.