With the NBA owners and players expected to soon formally end the league’s lockout, Garret Siler is planning his return to the Phoenix Suns.
Siler is leaving Thursday from Augusta to head west for his second NBA season. He said a new collective bargaining agreement between the owners and players is expected to be signed this week, and training camp will begin next week.
“Everybody says the lockout is over. I think it’s over,” he said. “The owners won big time. But the players were just ready to play.”
With 15 players on its roster for a shortened season, Phoenix is expected to pick up the second year of a two-year contract with Siler. He will back up starting center Marcin Gortat and former starter Robin Lopez, though there is speculation Lopez could be traded.
Siler played in 21 games last season, seeing sparse playing time. He averaged 2.1 points and 1.3 rebounds in 4.8 minutes a game.
Siler will become a free agent following this season, but he’s expecting to receive another contract from the Suns. Siler said he’s receiving good vibes from the organization, specifically coach Alvin Gentry.
“They like me,” Siler said. “They just want me to continue to develop and get better.”
The 25-year-old Siler said he expects training camp to be different this time around now that he has a year of NBA experience under his belt. During the offseason, he’s worked on improving his perimeter defense and becoming more of a force on the offensive end.
“Before, I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “This time, I do.”
The former Augusta State All-American said the Suns have a weight clause for him, and at 290 pounds he is currently 10 pounds under the limit. To keep weight, the 6-foot-11 Siler has been running and swimming most mornings as well as performing crossfit training.