The Suns got rid of a potential festering sore Friday. But they paid a mountain of money to do so.
The Suns bought out the contract of Howard Eisley, then released the veteran backup point guard who has been unhappy about his deep backup role for the club.
Eisley got somewhat less than the $14.5 million he was guaranteed, $13 million over the next two seasons, then a partial guarantee of $1.5 million for a third season, a Suns' official indicated.
Eisley termed the Suns' backcourt "crowded" before sitting out Thursday's exhibition game vs. the Los Angeles Clippers. Coach Mike D'Antoni said Eisley had "flu-like symptoms" though he said so with a wink and a nod.
The Utah Jazz are believed to be interested in Eisley, who once excelled for the club as the backup to superstar John Stockton.
The Suns now have 14 players on their roster. It's unclear if they will make any more cuts.
Suns president Bryan Colangelo said he was imprecise in explaining Casey Jacobsen's future contract status in a story on Thursday on why the Suns were declining the opportunity to extend the Suns' careers of Jacobsen and Joe Johnson at this time.
The Suns have declined to pick up the fourth-year option on Jacobsen's rookie scale contract for 2005-06. Jacobsen will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. Colangelo had said Jacobsen would be a restricted free agent, meaning the Suns could match any offer for him next summer. The Suns still have some limited rights to try to retain Jacobsen next summer, Colangelo said.
They could offer him any salary-cap space they might have remaining, they could offer him a deal up to the mid-level exception of about $5 million, or they could offer him the same deal of about $1.8 million that they are declining to do at this time.