Lottery, here we (don’t?) come

Posted by on March 9th, 4:54 pm

How do you think Deng would look in a Suns uniform right about now? Or Rondo? Or Fernandez?

How do you think Deng would look in a Suns uniform right about now? Or Rondo? Or Fernandez?

It’s becoming increasingly more possible that the Suns will be in the lottery this year, and that alone should scare the living daylights out of people given the Suns’ recent draft history.

I’ve thought about it myself as well: maybe this team is better off now without Amar’e Stoudemire if they were to end up in the lottery, win a decent pick, and start to rebuild, rather than to sneak in to the postseason and get swept by the Lakers in the first round. Then I thought about the clowns running this show. 

Of course the draft issues go back to the Bryan Colangelo days, but even still, the current front office scares me a lot more. Colangelo made his mistakes, but in the end it didn’t really matter until now. Let’s take a look at a few…

2004

In one of their biggest draft blunders, the Suns dealt their first-round pick, Luol Deng, to the Bulls for Jackson Vroman (who?), a little cash, and a future first rounder.

Wow, would have been nice to have Deng in the D’Antoni Era, wouldn’t it?

Here’s the even worse part: when they picked Deng seventh overall, they effectively passed on Andre Iguodala, Josh Smith, and Jameer Nelson. At least we can take solace in knowing that Steve Kerr wouldn’t have passed on an Arizona alum, right?

2005

As if the Deng deal didn’t make your stomach turn, here’s another lovely one: the Suns traded Quentin Richardson, the draft rights to Nate Robinson, and future considerations for Kurt Thomas and the draft rights to Dijon Thompson. Awesome deal! Want to play the what if game?

Go see how KryptoNate is playing under Mike D’Antoni. Then again, it would probably be like having another Barbosa, but Dijon Thompson turned out to be garbage, and we’ll get to what happened to Kurt Thomas later. That’s a fun one.

Also, in a less-scrutinized move, the Suns dealt Marcin Gortat to the Magic for future considerations, whatever that means. We got to see the guy play last week, and while he’s certainly not Hakeem Olajuwon, he’s a viable big guy that an elite team is using as a backup center. Would have been kind of nice to have all these years the Suns lacked a big. Oh well, right?

2006

The gut-wrenching continues with this gem: Phoenix acquires a future first-round pick from Boston for Brian Grant, the draft rights to Rajon Rondo, and cash considerations.

Did they really want to get rid of Brian Grant’s contract that badly? Imagine Rondo in the D’Antoni offense. There’s the backup PG the Suns have been searching for for so long.

But good for Rondo, he’s off winning titles and being anointed the Boston Celtics “MVP” by his coach. Good stuff.

The Suns also dealt the draft rights for Sergio Rodriguez for cash considerations. I sense a theme, one where the Suns give things away pretty often that probably could have at least been semi-successful. Comforting as the Suns plummet in the standings, isn’t it?

2007

In the summer of 2007, Kurt Thomas was given – I mean traded – to the Seattle Supersonics along with the Suns’ first-round picks of 2008 AND 2010 for a conditional future second-round pick.

Honestly, that leaves me speechless. I’d definitely rather be the Thunder – sitting under a few young studs, a ton of cap space, and like half the league’s draft picks – than the Suns at this point, and this type of deal is symbolic of why the Thunder are sitting so pretty. This was a financial deal for the Suns, but at some point you have to draw the line between making checkbook sense and basketball sense and say enough is enough.

They also traded Rudy Fernandez for cash considerations, meaning Phoenix could have had half of this year’s dunk contest participants on the same team.

Nauseous yet?

2008

This deal isn’t TOO bad (yet), but I have a funny feeling it’s headed that way.

This was the year the Suns obtained Goran Dragic for Malik Hairston, a future second-round pick, and cash from the Spurs. It’s tough to argue against a European drafted by the Spurs, but then again, have you seen this dude play?

I really don’t know what to think of this team. They are going nowhere fast, and the scary thing is that Kerr wants to re-sign Nash this summer. If you’re going to do that and can’t trade Shaq, which is the likeliest case, you might as well hold on to Amar’e this summer, right? Then you’ve got a ton of money off the books in 2010.

One possibility I’ve thought of is dealing Amar’e to either Memphis or Washington in a deal involving their 2009 first rounder, which should be top five. Both teams were reportedly interested, and if Gilbert Arenas can come back healthy for next year, the Wizards would be a little scary out East with Amar’e.

Memphis almost got him at the deadline, but the Suns were asking a little too much. I doubt this would ever happen, but it’s fun to think about, since it’s at least plausible. Depending on the lottery, either team has a great chance to be in the top two, which could net the Suns a big they’re looking for.

Then again, after this season, they could be looking for a lot more than one impact rookie.

Tags: Amare Stoudemire · Future · Goran Dragic · Phoenix Suns Analysis · Robert Sarver · Steve Kerr · Trades

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mark // Mar 10, 2009 at 12:07 am

    Don’t forget, these awesome front office moves as well:
    Low-balling Brian Colangelo such that he leaves the Suns for Toronto. Repeat: leaves Phoenix weather for Toronto.
    Low-balling Joe Johnson such that he leaves the Suns for Atlanta. Repeat: leaves Phoenix weather for Atlanta.
    Alienating Mike D’Antoni by second guessing his coaching and undermining his authoritiah. Changing coaches has really helped this team reach another level this season (outside the playoffs so far).

  • 2 Mark // Mar 10, 2009 at 3:44 am

    The Suns have a history of getting good backup bigs past their primes with poor deals.

    Brian Grant

    Keon Clark

    Kurt Thomas

    And then deciding they don't want to pay them and stuff.

  • 3 drexll (ISRAEL) // Mar 10, 2009 at 4:36 am

    that's not a fair argument. you can write almost on every team in the league. you can never know how a player will develop. look at kwame brown, joe smith and other top picks who failed.

    don't forget the suns drafted amare after disasters such as Nikoloz Tskitishvili and Dajuan Wagner who were picked ahead of him.

    and no one heard of rajon rondo before Garnett came to boston. they couldn't have known.

    this season is a total disaster and not making the playoffs wil just be the icing on the cake. that would be the bottom for us.

  • 4 Alex, Macedonia // Mar 10, 2009 at 5:37 am

    Yeah selling all those draft picks is terrible and hurts just to think about that, but nobody is saying how much over the salary cap will be a team with Deng/Iguodala/Josh Smith, Nate Robinson, Rondo, Kurt Thomas, Fernandez, Sergio Rodrigez and also Nash, Shaq/Marion, Amare, Barbosa, Richardson/Bell and Diaw … Phoenix has too expensive stars, so the draft picks had to go …

  • 5 Brandon Haraway // Mar 10, 2009 at 5:47 am

    Sure, they couldn't have them ALL and yes some of the picks were moved in financial deals, but when was the last time the Suns drafted someone who even belongs in the league? Amar'e. That's pathetic.

  • 6 Steve Kays // Mar 10, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Yeah, if the Phoenix front office was just a little smarter maybe they’d have a title or two at this point. Passing on Rondo, Deng/Iguodala…wow.

    Don’t forget all the trouble the Suns went to to acquire Dragic: paying the Spurs to move up in the draft, paying Dragic’s European team, and overpaying Dragic himself. And the guy sucks.

    I blogged about this a while back: http://stevekays.blogspot.com/2008/10/what-happened-to-phoenix.html

  • 7 Russ Anderson // Mar 10, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Don’t forget this winner:

    The Suns gave the Jazz Cash, forward Tom Gugliotta, a 2005 Second Round Pick (that turned out to be CJ Miles, a current Jazz Starter) and a New York Knicks 1st Round Draft Pick (it looks like it will be used in 2010) in exchange for forward Keon Clark and forward Ben Handlogten.

  • 8 drexll (ISRAEL) // Mar 10, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    but the suns stil had great starters the past few years and were a good team, and dantoni didn’t realy use the bench that much. no need to feel bad for the things we didn’t do. we had a good run and it just wasn’t enough.
    better luck next time.
    let’s hope they learned from their mistakes.

  • 9 Suns draft history not as bad as you may think| Valley of the Suns // Jun 23, 2009 at 12:48 am

    [...] It isn’t pretty if you look only at the impact that player made in a Suns uniform. Amare Stoudemire is the only drafted Sun to do much of anything this decade. Ironically or not enough, Amare was the last lottery pick the Suns kept. [...]

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