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Rogers' Shooting For The Suns

The Phoenix Suns have agreed to contract terms with free agent forward Rodney Rogers, the team announced Monday.

The contract has not been signed, but Rogers will receive the new $2 million exception allowed to teams this year under the NBA's collective bargaining agreement.

The deal is for three years, with the final season at the player's option.

"We were trying to work out a sign and trade deal but it didn't look like the Clippers were going to get anything done," agent Bill Strickland said, "so we made this decision in a fluid market."

Suns' general manager Bryan Colangelo declined to comment on the deal because the contract had not been signed. The team said Rogers is expected to be in town to meet with reporters on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-7, 255-pound Rogers adds some much-needed inside strength to the Suns' roster, as well as another 3-point shooter. Team officials have said since the end of last season that inside toughness was a major deficiency.

Rogers, who played collegiately at Wake Forest, was chosen by Denver as the ninth pick overall in 1993. He played two seasons the Nuggets before he was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, where he played the last four seasons.

Rogers has averaged 11.5 points per game in six NBA seasons. His high was 15.1 with the Clippers in 1997-98. His low was 7.4 last season.

The agreement with Rogers was the latest in a busy four days for the Suns. They signed Cliff Robinson to a four-year, $29 million contract Sunday night. A few hours earlier, they signed free agent Oliver Miller to a one-year, $700,000 deal.

For Robinson, it was his long-awaited reward after signing consecutive one-year contracts the past two seasons. Miller, who has shed more than 50 pounds in the off-season but still weighs in at over 300, returns to the team that drafted him in 1992.

The Suns also are in the thick of the competition for Penny Hardaway. Hardaway was in Phoenix over the weekend, where he met with Suns' officials and played golf with coach Danny Ainge.

The Suns have little money to offer Hardaway as a free agent. Their only hope is to persuade Orlando to agree to a sign-and-trade deal.

Last Friday, Phoenix signed first-round draft pick Shawn Marion to a four-year deal worth just under $5 million.

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