Houston Rockets power forward Luis Scola reacts in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Hornets in New Orleans Thursday, April 19, 2012. By Jennifer Thomas
PHOENIX (AP) The Phoenix Suns beefed up their frontline Sunday, winning the bidding for rugged forward Luis Scola.
The Suns parted ways with longtime point guard Steve Nash last month and lost out on a bid for Eric Gordon when New Orleans matched their $58 million, four-year offer to the dynamic scorer. But they got their man this time, adding the 6-foot-9 Scola a couple days after Houston used the amnesty clause to cut him loose.
"We are excited to have won the bid for Luis Scola and to add a player of his caliber to our roster," Lon Babby, the Suns' president of basketball operations, said in a release. "We greatly value the production he will bring and the leadership he will provide to our younger players."
Phoenix made room for the 32-year-old Scola by using the amnesty option to cut forward Josh Childress, who was acquired by the Suns in a sign-and-trade deal with Atlanta two years ago. He played in 34 games last season, averaging 2.9 points.
A fan favorite in Houston, Scola averaged 14.5 points and 7.7 rebounds in five seasons with the Rockets. He grabbed 2,984 rebounds to rank ninth on Houston's career list.
But the Rockets waived Scola on Friday. Scola, who was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is due about $21 million over the next three seasons, and the amnesty provision means his remaining contract will not count against Houston's salary cap or luxury tax.
Scola will play for Argentina in the London Olympics.