<
>

Report: Sonny Weems' 'different route' back to the NBA

The Phoenix Suns signed SG/SF Sonny Weems on July 16 to a two-year deal that fully guarantees his 2015-16 salary. Weems returns to the NBA after spending the last four years playing in Lithuania (Zalgiris Kaunas) and Russia (CSKA Moscow). From Matt Petersen of Suns.com:

    "Despite Weems’ progress, Toronto declined to pick up his 2011-12 contract option. Then the lockout happened. With his NBA status tenuous and the start of the season uncertain, Weems kept his basketball career alive by putting his NBA dream on hold. Of all the NBA players who signed contracts in leagues overseas, he was the only one to do so without an 'out' clause in his contract. In Europe, he decided, he’d hone his skills until he was sure of his stateside value. 'I was young, so I wanted to continue to play basketball,' Weems said. 'I couldn’t get better if I was just working out every day.' ... Weems did get better, first in Lithuania, then in Moscow. In the latter city, he played for powerhouse CSKA. Experienced coaches and veterans helped him harness the other-worldly athleticism that won him high school championships in the long jump and high jump as well as the Lithuanian league’s slam dunk contest. He also worked on his previously flawed three-point shooting. ... Before his final season in Moscow, Weems had signed a new, two-year contract with CSKA. This time, it had an out clause. After his 2014-15 campaign, he knew he’d generated enough interest to use it."