When the Suns signed Dee Brown to fill out their roster a couple weeks ago, it looked like a move done just for that purpose – to reach the league-mandated minimum roster requirement.
Less than two weeks after he was signed, we now know that was indeed the case, as the Suns sent Brown packing to the waiver wire after he contributed five points and three assists in 28 minutes during the two games without Nash.
Brown may have been the best player among a six-player tryout consisting of unemployed guards, but he certainly didn’t fit what the Suns ideally want in a backup point guard so long as Goran Dragic isn’t going to be that guy this season.
The Suns need a point guard who first and foremost can run the offense while Steve Nash sits, a guy Phoenix would be comfortable handing the reins to for a day every so often to give Nash a Shaq-like day of rest.
It may or may not have been a coincidence that this move coincided with the Miami Heat’s Monday night release of point guard Shaun Livingston, a player whom The Arizona Republic reports the Suns have long been interested in.
It also may have just been because Brown’s contract would have become guaranteed if he were still a Sun on Saturday, but if that were the case why not just cut him after Friday’s game?
The Suns likely don’t have much interest in any of the scrubby point guards in the original workout of six or else they likely would have signed him in the first place, and I haven’t heard anything about movement on the Jannero Pargo front.
Therefore, a Livingston signing could make sense if he checks out OK, and we all know about the reputation of the Suns’ stellar medical staff. This could be their biggest challenge yet, and that’s saying something on a team featuring Grant Hill, Shaq and Nash.
Let’s not forget that before Livingston tore up his knee into a million pieces (otherwise known as three torn ligaments, a sprained MCL and a dislocated patella and tibia-femoral joint) on this gruesome drive to the basket in February of 2007, he was being touted as The Future in Los Angeles. This is a player who is only 23 years old and four years removed from being the No. 4 overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft.
As a Clipper, he showed the ability to run an offense, and at 6-foot-7 he seems like an ideal point guard to play next to Leandro Barbosa now and in the future and also to run with Nash.
I actually wondered during the offseason why he didn’t muster up much interest before signing a conditional two-year contract with the Heat for less than half the veteran’s minimum for a player of his experience.
Still, Livingston only saw action in four games, averaging 2.3 points and 1.0 assists per contest, this season for an 18-15 Miami squad that released him.
So Livingston certainly shouldn’t be hailed as any kind of a savior if he ends up in Phoenix, and for all we know Brown could have been waived so the Suns could make some sort of a trade.
But so long as Phoenix isn’t playing any guards besides Nash, J-Rich and Barbosa anyway, why not take a shot on a low-risk, high-reward player such as Livingston who may still fulfill his lottery promise and give the Suns exactly what they need?