French basketball player Mickaël Piétrus has had an interesting NBA career. An international player who spent his first five years with the Golden State Warriors (who drafted him back in 2003), where he took some time to develop into a coveted NBA swingman, Piétrus then signed a multi-year contract as a free agent with the Orlando Magic, but he has found himself in a tough situation with the Phoenix Suns since joining the team in December 2010 via trade.
Signing with the Orlando Magic back in the summer of 2008, Piétrus found a role in Orlando and became one of their better defenders and a legit three-point shooter. He was also showing off his all-around game despite dealing with injuries from time to time. However, in 2010-11 the Magic were struggling, and changes had to take place in the hopes of things getting better down the road.
Although Piétrus sustained injuries to his wrists that never fully healed, he was playing the best basketball of his career. He got his first playoff experience when the Magic made it all the way to the NBA Finals in 2009, even though he struggled during the finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, who defeated Orlando to win the championship that year.
At the start of the 2010-11 NBA season, Piétrus was also expected to see more minutes due to the departure of Hidayet Turkoglu, who was traded to the Toronto Raptors, then to the Phoenix Suns and then once more dealt in Orlando in a span of one-and-a-half seasons.
Entering his ninth NBA season, could the Phoenix Suns look to move Piétrus to a team that can use his talents more efficiently? There were reports that Piétrus and his agent were looking into trade options, but nothing ever materialized in terms of a deal officially going down.
Since coming over in a trade from the Orlando Magic along with Vince Carter and center Marcin Gortat, Piétrus has found himself somewhat "out of the mix” in Phoenix. He joined a roster filled with shooters but managed to play minutes alongside Steve Nash, Carter and Gortat.
In 38 games with the Suns, Piétrus averaged 7.4 points and 18.1 minutes per game. The Suns had a lot of shooters on their team already, and Piétrus also was dealing with injuries at the time, causing him to be in and out of the rotation.
Piétrus did not opt out of his contract and will earn $5.3 million in 2011-12 but may ultimately want to put himself in a better overall position to earn playing time. The Suns did not look to move him right away, as they felt that he may find a role with the team, especially if injuries strike. If free agent Grant Hill does not re-sign with Phoenix, then Piétrus could be a candidate to fill his minutes.
Mickaël Piétrus may be on the move, but it would not be surprising if the Suns do not trade him and keep him hoping that he will eventually get playing time due to the absence of current free agents.