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Tuesday, November 7, 2006
Full bloom: Free agent Rose signs deal with Suns

Associated Press

PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Suns added veteran depth, signing swingman Jalen Rose on Tuesday.

Jalen Rose

PHOENIX -- As expected, Jalen Rose signed with the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday and will be in uniform for the team's game at San Antonio on Wednesday.

Rose, who received a $14.5 million buyout from the New York Knicks last week, will receive about $1.5 million in his one-year deal with Phoenix, just over the NBA veteran's minimum.

The 33-year-old guard-forward has averaged 14.7 points per game in 894 games over 12 NBA seasons. He joins an offensive-minded, fast-paced team that has struggled to a 1-3 start this season.

Rose had narrowed his choices to Phoenix and Miami, then announced on his Web site Friday that he decided on the Suns. He said he wanted to play for a team with a legitimate shot at the NBA title.

"It's not about personal stats," Rose told reporters on Monday. "It's not about how much money I can make or people knowing my name. It's all about being part of a situation like this."

Rose's arrival could push James Jones out of the rotation. Coach Mike D'Antoni said he considered Rose a small forward first and a shooting guard second.

Rose won the NBA's most-improved player award for Indiana in 2000 and averaged at least 20 points a game for three consecutive seasons, ending in 2003. He has more career points (13,112) than anyone else on the Phoenix roster and is 22nd among active NBA players in scoring.

"He's a veteran guy who will add a lot to our team," D'Antoni said. "He's a very versatile and talented basketball player."

Rose helped Michigan reach the NCAA tournament title game twice before being selected in the first round, 13th overall, by Denver in 1994.

The Suns are Rose's sixth NBA team. The others are Denver, Indiana, Chicago, Toronto and New York.