Trade from Clippers no surprise to Bullock

PHOENIX -- Reggie Bullock knew his time with the Los Angeles Clippers was probably up the night before he was traded to the Phoenix Suns in a three-team deal that brought Austin Rivers to the Clippers.

"I was kind of expecting something to happen," Bullock said Sunday. "I didn't know if it was me because when he switched up the lineup in Portland obviously it was a little weird. I first found out about it from my agent, who was kind of talking about it earlier that morning. I first saw it on Twitter and my agent texted me a couple of minutes later and said, 'Yes sir.'"

Bullock made his debut for the Suns on Sunday nine days after being traded to Phoenix. He played the final 2:31 of the game and missed his only shot but after the game, Clippers coach Doc Rivers and several Clippers came over and hugged him.

Before he was traded, Rivers met with Bullock and told him it was hard trading him away two years after he was the team's first-round pick and told him what he needed to do to get to the next level as a player.

"Reggie, I still think is going to be a very good player," Rivers said. "We had a long talk, and I told him what I think he had to do to be a good player [and] I think he'll be that. He's bigger than people think he is. He's a little bit more athletic. He's had injury problems, so we never really got a chance to see the full Reggie, but he can really shoot and he hasn't done that great yet, but he will. I'm almost guaranteeing that he'll end up being a heck of a shooter in this league."

It's a conversation that Bullock still thinks about as he stays in a hotel across the street from the US Airway Center and figures out the next phase of his NBA career in the desert.

"It was a great conversation," Bullock said. "He told me I was going to be a great player in this league and it was all about me just going and getting it right now. He was like, coming here, I would pick up full-court D, told me all this type of stuff to motivate me to come here and try to get it. All the coaches texted me and told me it's kind of tough being traded in the middle of a season. Obviously, they were trying to hold on to me and they didn't want to let me go, but in order for other things to happen, I was one of those players that had to move."

Bullock has had to adjust to starting from scratch in Phoenix on a team that already has a lot of young talent vying for playing time. Bullock might not see much of the court now but Suns coach Jeff Hornacek believes Bullock will figure into the team's long-term plans.

"It's tough right now because of our depth at the position, three point guards and we have Gerald Green," Hornacek said. "We see him as another piece we can use going forward with shooting ability. He's got good length, he's a good defender. We see a future for us with him. Just right now it's tough to get him in games the way our rotations have been."