Suns Could Amnesty Josh Childress
Josh Childress made NBA history when he passed on NBA offers in the prime of his career for a more lucrative offer to play in Greece.
Childress has gone from one of the NBA's top sixth men to a seldom-used swingman in Phoenix but that did not prevent him from making more dubious NBA history this season.
Childress set the NBA record for most minutes played in a season without making a free throw.
In his defense or to his discredit, Childress only had two chances. Childress played 491 minutes this season but only drew a shooting foul once, when he rebounded a Robin Lopez miss on Feb. 1 in New Orleans and got fouled by Jason Smith on the putback. The 78 percent career free throw shooter missed both tries.
Childress never got back to the charity stripe, even when he returned to the rotation after Grant Hill's knee surgery.
"I tried to go to the line last night," Childress said a day after the season finale, acknowledging he was aware of the "0" under "FTM."
Dominic Maguire played 307 minutes without making a free throw in 2009-10 for the previous NBA high over a season but Luke Walton also topped that this season by going without a made free throw in his 364 minutes.
Since returning from Greece, Childress' role with the Suns has not been what he or they imagined when he signed a five-year, $33.5 million contract in 2010. He has appeared in 86 of 148 games and averaged 16.1 minutes in those games.
"I can't control the DNPs," Childress said on exit day. "That's something I'm going to work very hard to not let happen again."
Childress will be considered an amnesty clause candidate again if the Suns want to free up more salary cap space but they would still owe him the remaining $21 million on his deal if they executed the clause's one-time use. The Suns' small forward spot is unclear with Hill's status in the air because of free agency and the right knee that has underwent two knee surgeries since September.
Childress has been a class act in staying prepared for action and putting in work, even staying in Phoenix last offseason. He is a popular, supportive teammate and has served as a team union representative, along with Jared Dudley.
Childress will turn 29 next month but still believes there is a role for him with Phoenix.
"Coach (Alvin Gentry) said as much," Childress said. "Once again, I'm not a GM and I'm not a coach. I can't really discuss what that role is. A lot of it will depend on what direction the team goes.
"I love it here. Obviously, the on-the-court stuff hasn't been the best for me. The organization has been wonderful. The city, the fans. If the on-court stuff can be taken care of, it'd be ideal."