Bismack Biyombo says he's focused on moment, not remainder of season with Phoenix Suns

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Phoenix Suns center Bimack Biyombo (18) slam dunks in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans in New Orleans, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. The Suns won 123-110.
Phoenix Suns center Bimack Biyombo (18) slam dunks in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans in New Orleans, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. The Suns won 123-110.

Bismack Biyombo was looking to stay in Phoenix beyond a 10-day hardship deal.

"One hundred percent,” Biyombo said before Sunday's game in Charlotte. “Just trying to figure out what I can add to what they already have. They know who I am. I know who I am. Just get to work. Let’s get to work.”

Apparently, the Suns had the same thing in mind.

ESPN reported early Thursday that Biyombo has signed a deal with the Suns for the remainder of the 2021-22 season, as he's averaged 13.5 points on an insane 84.6% shooting (11-of-13 FGs) and six rebounds in his two games with the team.

This would be the last spot for Phoenix on its standard 15-man roster.

When asked about the reported deal, Biyombo said, "I think you know more than I know at this point " with a smile.

Biyombo continued by saying he's focused on "the moment" as the Suns (29-8) face the Los Angeles Clippers (19-19) Thursday night at Footprint Center.

"We've got a game tonight," he said. "I think that's the biggest thing."

Later in Thursday's interview after the morning shootaround, Biyombo made a reference to the postseason when talking about adding to what the Suns already have.

"When there's a fire and you want to add gasoline, it's not to turn on the fire, but to light up the fire even more," he said. "So I'm just glad that we can add to that fire and then keep growing the fire and see what we're going to be like by the time the playoffs start."

Phoenix Suns center Bismack Biyombo (18) battles for a loose ball with New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Phoenix Suns center Bismack Biyombo (18) battles for a loose ball with New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Biyombo talked Thursday about having Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder and JaVale McGee back. All three now are out of the NBA's health and safety protocols, but Biyombo said he'll "let the rest take care of itself" in regard to his future with the Suns.

Joining the Suns on Saturday, Biyombo played his first game Sunday against his former team Charlotte in the middle of a three-game road trip. Spotrac.com reported Biyombo's 10-day was for $151,821 guaranteed.

The seventh overall pick in the 2011 draft played 10 seasons in the NBA before joining the Suns. He finished Sunday's game with 11 points and six rebounds in a 133-99 victory at Spectrum Center.

Two days later, Biyombo posted 16 points on 6-of-6 shooting, six rebounds and three blocks in Tuesday's 123-110 victory in New Orleans.

"He has been a screen-and-roll guy," said Suns coach Monty Williams about Biyombo's role in the league. "With us, you need to be a screener, roll and react, because you have two players that get blitzed from time to time and trapped in the pick-and-roll. I think when you have played as long as he has, it may be a different pace, but his objective has probably got to be the same. He is just locked into that role and has been for a long time."

He scored eight points in the fourth quarter.

"Whatever you need, screens, rebounding," Suns All-Star Chris Paul said after Tuesday's win. "Some guys in this league you never get a chance to play with. I'm glad we're getting an opportunity to because I think he complements a lot of us and I think we do the same for him."

Devin Booker reiterated Paul's points, emphasizing the connection between Biyombo and his All-Star point guard.

"I heard Chris tell him after the game he's made a lot of bigs a lot of money and that's the truth," Booker said. "Head hunting people, setting screens, blocking shots and making plays also. Coming up to us after plays and reading things and talking us through it. That's been important for us and he's been a great addition."

On Sunday, Biyombo said he'd been in contact with the Suns since August, as the Hornets renounced their free agent exemption rights to him, but said he wasn't mentally ready to return after the passing of his father in August 2021.

“I’m thankful to God because when I was watching the games from far away, personally, I was not ready for this,” he said. “God has given me some time away to heal and prepare myself for this and I’m ready now to play basketball. The mind is ready. The body is ready, and soul is prepared for it.”

Before Thursday's game, Biyombo gave context to the process of joining the Suns.

"There's a lot of teams that came along the way that actually we passed on," Biyombo said. "Since the passing of my dad, one thing that I wanted to do was to be an environment and when I do decide to go into basketball, like the feeling has to be right and obviously my faith has grown over the course of time that I was away from the game. Honestly, it's just about finding the right situation."

Biyombo, 29, reiterated it was about waiting for the right time, but said this situation with Phoenix "feels good" to him.

"You have guys that really know what they want to accomplish," he said. "They know where they want to go and what they want to get done and it's fun to be around whether it's in the games or in practice. You can see that guys are communicating and stuff, but when you see guys hunting like that for something that they really want to accomplish, you really have no choice but to kind of blend in."

The Suns have already welcomed Biyombo in their own way starting with saying "No Bizzy" when talking about him.

"No Bismack," said Suns forward Cam Johnson with a smile after Tuesday's game.

So, welcome to Phoenix, 'No Bizzy' — or 'No Bismack.'

"Just staying ready and coming in and like Cam was saying, he fit into our culture," Suns wing Mikal Bridges said. "Giving him nicknames, saying 'No Bizzy' around him and I felt like I've been around him for months already. Just willing to come in and fit the whole team culture and play hard and he's a vet, too. So that helps. He knows what he's doing out there as well. It's not like this is something new to him. He just comes out here, play hard and set screens and dunk everything and weakside (blocks) and rebound. Man, happy we have him."

Have opinion about current state of the Suns? Reach Suns Insider Duane Rankin at dmrankin@gannett.com or contact him at 480-787-1240. Follow him on Twitter at @DuaneRankin.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Bismack Biyombo focused on moment, not remainder of season with Suns