The beginning of the off-season has begun with the inevitable roster shuffling to prepare a team to take on the next season. The first domino to fall was Hamed Haddadi.
He was waived Saturday by Phoenix to save money, and the decision was made infinitely easier by the addition Thursday of Alex Len through the draft.
The Arizona Republic’s Paul Coro has the details.
The #Suns waived Hamed Haddadi. Doing so today allows them to pay him $200K instead of guaranteeing a $1.4M salary for next season.
— Paul Coro (@paulcoro) June 29, 2013
Haddadi was acquired last season from Toronto when the Suns dealt backup veteran point guard Sebastian Telfair to the Canadian team to create playing time for the growth of Kendall Marshall. Haddadi never played for Toronto as he had visa issues after being traded from the Memphis Grizzlies in the Rudy Gay trade.
The Iranian center, who stands at 7’2” but lanky at only 265 pounds, played in 17 games for the Suns, and became instantly beloved by the fans. There even was a hashtag on Twitter and shirts made that said, “Who’s your Haddadi?”
During his time with Phoenix, Haddadi averaged only 13.8 minutes, 4.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks. He is still pretty raw on both sides of the court, but will probably find his place somewhere in the league. He just needs to get in the gym and bulk up, as well as work on his post-up game.