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Lottery, here we (don't?) come

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: Amar'e Stoudemire

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