The Suns released center Scott Williams on Wednesday so the 35-year-old center can seek work elsewhere.
The Dallas Mavericks are believed to have a strong interest in acquiring Williams, who gave the Suns a surprising lift en route to their playoff run last season.
Williams asked to be released in light of the Suns' current rebuilding project, the team said.
Suns president Bryan Colangelo said, "Scott has made great contributions to our organization and we look forward to continuing our relationship in the future."
Williams, who was a popular locker-room figure, recently turned down a Suns offer to become an assistant coach, feeling he can play another year or two.
He wants to play for a contender — Dallas and the Los Angeles Lakers have been mentioned.
"He'll be missed," said Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni.
At the same time, the Suns — who are now long shots to make the playoffs — are trying to develop young players, such as the 18-year-old Maciej Lampe.
"We hope there are nights we can play him," D'Antoni said.
They also want to give time to Antonio McDyess after the All-Star break to see if he can recover from leg problems and play effectively. The Suns roster now stands at 13. The move does not affect the Suns’ active roster, as Williams had been on the injured list.
Williams, who originally signed as a free agent on July 19, 2002, appeared in 16 games, including 10 starts, this season and averaged 7.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and .525 shooting in 16.7 minutes.