It was a surprise to a lot of people that the Suns were ultimately the team to land forward Luis Scola via the NBA amnesty process. One person that may have been the most surprised was Scola himself.“Cleveland and Dallas were two teams that called us and were very aggressive,” Scola mentioned to the media on Tuesday. “I never heard anything from Phoenix so I kind of didn’t expect Phoenix. And then when they called me I was a little surprised.”
The deadline for Scola to find out about where he would end up was 6:00 p.m. Argentina time. That was only a half an hour before a practice with his Argentinian team that will be competing in London in the coming days. He was able to think about the unexpected destination of Phoenix three hours after he learned of the news and realized it was something he is looking forward too.
“I think it is a great situation,” Scola explained. “We have a great team, I get to play with Goran again, I always liked Gortat’s game and think he can be a good help for me. From the calls that we had with the people of the Phoenix Suns organization that they were happy with me, they want me there and thats a good thing. The more I think about the more I want to go there and play.”
Then the name Goran Dragic was mentioned. The Suns have reportedly signed the free agent to a four-year deal worth $30 million. Suns fans are familiar with him from his first years in Phoenix, but Scola is also used to playing in a lineup that is directed by Dragic at the point.
“I was really happy to find out I was going to be playing with Goran again,” said Scola who played with Dragic for a year and a half in Houston. “Goran is a great player…He helped us win a lot of games and I feel really confident playing with him.”
Averaging 14.5 points and 7.7 rebounds in his five years in the league thus far, Scola will most likely land in the starting lineup joining along side Marcin Gortat in the front court. A front court that has become very deep with Markieff Morris and Channing Fyre in the mix as well.
“If we are having trouble with really good players finding minutes then we are in really good shape,” Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry expressed on Tuesday. “I think that’s a situation where it will all play itself out…I think it’s going to be a great situation. It makes it a competitive situation.”
With the departure of Steve Nash and now as of Tuesday, Grant Hill, a locker room presence is something that will be demanded of the veterans on the team. Coach Gentry would like to see guys like Dudley, Gortat and Frye be ones that pick up the slack. However, Scola is also known as a player that brings a very solid presence to the team both on the floor and off.
“I try to lead by example and work as hard as I can,” Scola added. “Those things always help to be a good leader. That’s something I always try to do. It’s something I always did in Houston and is something I will try to do in Phoenix.”
As mentioned, Scola is a member of the Argentina national team that will be competing in the London games. He was apart of the team that won the gold in 2004.
Once done in London and when he arrives in Phoenix, a big issue will be figuring out what number he will wear. Marcin Gortat already sports the number four which has been Scola’s number for years. It was also his Dad’s number as well as the number his son wears. Eleven is his back-up but that one is taken by Markieff Morris.
It is the hope of the Suns that the struggle of figuring out his number is the biggest struggle Scola has to face during his time in Phoenix.
For more on the Suns, follow Jared Cohen on Twitter at @JaredPros2Preps.