PHOENIX – Jalen Rose has decided to accept an offer to join the Phoenix Suns, the veteran guard-forward said on his Web site Friday.

The office of Rose’s agent Arn Tellem confirmed that the posting on was correct, but the Suns said they had yet to hear from either the player or agent.

Rose, who received a $14.5 million buyout from the New York Knicks, reportedly had narrowed his choices to Miami and Phoenix. The Heat could pay more than the Suns, who offered the veteran minimum of about $1.2 million, much of which is paid by the NBA.

In his lengthy blog entry, Rose said being waived by the Knicks “has created an opportunity to find a team to play on that will hopefully get me back into the playoffs with a realistic opportunity to win an NBA championship.”

Heat coach Pat Riley said Rose called him Friday afternoon to announce his decision. Miami was talking to Rose for several days, and Riley said Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade were among those who were trying to woo Rose to South Beach.

“There was a lot of interest on both sides, trying to get him to come,” Riley said. “For whatever reason, and I didn’t ask him for it, he decided to go to Phoenix.”

The Suns would be Rose’s sixth NBA team. The 33-year-old, 6-foot-8 swingman has a career average of 14.7 points per game. He averaged 12.7 points in 26 games for the Knicks last season after being acquired from the Toronto Raptors.

It’s unclear where he would fit into the Suns’ already deep rotation.

Rose wants to follow the path of Tim Thomas, who parlayed a successful stint with the Suns last season into a lucrative contract with the Los Angeles Clippers. Rose would be playing in a fast-paced style directed by two-time MVP point guard Steve Nash, rather than the more structured approach of Pat Riley’s Heat.

Rose began his career in Denver, then moved to Indiana and Chicago before joining the Raptors.

AP Sports Writer Tim Reynolds in Miami contributed to this report.

AP-ES-11-03-06 1852EST

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