Suns agree with Skinner to fill in for Thomas departure

PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Suns have reached agreement on a
one-year contract with eight-year NBA veteran Brian Skinner.

The deal, for the veteran's minimum salary of $1.1 million, is
expected to be signed in the next few days, Suns officials said on

The Suns liked the 6-foot-9 Skinner because of his defensive
ability and the fact he has enough speed to keep up with Phoenix's
up-and-down style. He is not considered a scorer beyond close to
the basket and is an awful free throw shooter (56 percent).

Skinner said when he worked out for the team last week that the
Suns were an attractive destination because they are a title
contender. Phoenix has been seeking inside help since sending Kurt Thomas to Seattle in a salary-dumping move.

Skinner has played for six teams in his eight NBA seasons, most
recently the Milwaukee Bucks. He has career averages of 5.1 points
and five rebounds per game.

The Suns open training camp next week in Tucson.