Here’s your first decent Shawn Marion rumor of the summer: The Boston Globe quotes an unnamed NBA executive seeing the Suns and Celtics (general manager Danny Ainge loves The Matrix, whom he coached in Phoenix) as ripe partners.
Marion and one of Phoenix’s first-round picks (24th or 29th) would go for Boston’s fifth overall pick — something the Suns hoped to get in the lottery from Atlanta — forward Theo Ratliff (one year left at $11.7 million) and another young player (Delonte West, Tony Allen).
Last month, coach Mike D’Antoni said he couldn’t see a scenario where trading Marion made the Suns better. This deal won’t either, but it does wipe out those pesky luxury-tax headaches for the foreseeable future — if the priorities have changed.
BORN IN A BARN
Thanks to ESPN/ABC for all the wonderful Belmont Stakes coverage Saturday — it averaged out to about an hour per horse. If you still remember the winner by next week, you’ve owned hay at some point in your life.
Without a Triple Crown possibility, the National Spelling Bee holds more intrigue (which reminds me, thanks to ESPN/ABC for all that National Spelling Bee coverage).
• Two years ago, the best attribute of the Arizona State baseball team was its never-say-die attitude. This year, that same quality (shown off in Saturday’s ninth-inning rally against Mississippi) is just one of many that make the Devils Omaha-worthy.
• The Diamondbacks are once again a first-place team — so why does salvaging one win at home against the Boston Red Sox feel like a moral victory?
• A note to the nearly 50,000 fans at Chase Field Saturday night: The home half of the seventh, with your team up a run, usually isn’t the best time to start the wave.
• New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens was sharp in Saturday’s final minor league tuneup, beating Pittsburgh’s Triple-A lineup. Getting past Jason Bay and Jack Wilson doesn’t exactly scream “I’m back!”
• The Yankees have found their stride (six straight wins) just in time for Arizona’s visit to the Bronx. But because of today’s off day, Arizona will miss Clemens — his next start is Friday against the New York Mets.
• The Suns host more potential draftees today. The big names are Georgia Tech point guard Javaris Crittenton (possible lotto pick) and small forward Sun Yue from China. Marist guard Jared Jordan and Australian shooting guard Brad Newley are also in town.
• Free-agent-to-be Grant Hill confirms he will play at least one more season. He likes the Suns and the feeling is mutual — although if the Pistons reload for another title run, they would be his first choice.
• Thanks to Pro Bowler Adrian Wilson, the Cardinals are ranked No. 1 in the NFC at safety by The Sporting News. That means once the opposition’s offense gets past Arizona’s linebackers (ranked 15th out of 16 teams), cornerbacks (14th) and defensive ends (12th), things get a lot tougher.