What to do with Sasha...

The Suns have made it clear that they will not be keeping Sasha Pavlovic, so what is the holdup?

The Suns have made it clear that they will not be keeping Sasha Pavlovic, so what is the holdup?

The Suns’ offseason to-do list:

Dump Shaq for salary relief…check. Sign Nash to an extension…check. Re-sign Grant Hill…check. Sign an active big man (Channing Frye)…check. Explore Amare trade possibilities…check. Buyout Ben Wallace…check. Waive/trade Sasha Pavlovic…to be determined.

As far as personnel goes, the Suns have made all of the moves that they set out to make when the offseason started. The Diesel has been dumped, Nash extended, Hill re-signed, etc. The only player still on the Suns roster that is patiently waiting for an ultimatum is guard/forward Sasha Pavlovic.

The Sporting News has confirmed the popular belief that Pavlovic will indeed leave the Suns, but the situation is a little more complex than meets the eye.  Pavlovic’s agent Marc Cornstein told TSN, “This one is a little trickier than most buyout situations. There are two parts to it. First, for us, it’s pursuing a deal. Then, for the Suns, it’s making him a free agent, and the two aspects are tied together.”

It was assumed that the Suns would simply waive Pavlovic when they acquired him in the Shaq trade, as only $1.5 million of his $5 million deal is guaranteed. However, it is now August and the Suns have yet to waive the Serbian swingman.  The question is, what is taking the Suns so long to do the inevitable?

Like Cornstein said, it is a complex situation. The Suns believe they can get value for Pavlovic, but also want to give him the opportunity to land in a situation where he can thrive. The Suns are treating Pavlovic as a free agent, allowing him to shop around for potential suitors.  Once he and another team express mutual interest, it is believed the Suns will try to get some value out of Pavlovic via a trade or a sign-and-trade.

The Suns do need one more roster player (if Taylor Griffin is not signed), yet there have been no talks of any new free agent interest from the Suns’ end; the reason: the ongoing Pavlovic situation.

Before the Suns go out and sign a veteran big who may not even see the floor, they want to see if they can garner some youth and talent by using the extremely valuable Pavlovic contract. According to Cornstein, three or four NBA teams are seriously interested in Pavlovic. The names of those teams have yet to become known.

It is clear that the Suns could use a center or swingman, but there have been no names mentioned in the Suns’ rumor mill. Although Pavlovic could be waived for straight cash or waived and then signed-and-traded, the holdup on a deal may be a time restriction that many look past.

When a player is traded to a team, he cannot be traded from that team with another player for 60 days. The Shaq trade was completed June 26, making Pavlovic eligible to be part of a multi-player trade on Aug. 26.

This restriction may be the lone holdup for the Suns. I assume the Suns have at least explored moving Pavlovic’s contract with another player like Alando Tucker or maybe even in a bigger deal with Jason Richardson.

Tucker does not appear to be in the Suns’ future plans at this point, and a change of scenery might be best for him and the team. But maybe Pavlovic can be part of a bigger deal involving the seemingly immovable contract of J-Rich.

The Suns have at least tried to look at offers for J-Rich, but quickly found out that as the cap continues to shrink, no one wants to take on a high-dollar, long-term deal like Richardson’s. But maybe a team would be willing to take on a long-term deal if they get instant salary cap relief in Pavlovic as well.

Obviously it is expected that Pavlovic will simply be waived for salary cap space, allowing the Suns to pursue a slightly more expensive free agent than before. But a sign-and-trade or multi-player trade could still happen. Maybe Pavlovic is part of a J-Rich deal the Suns are sitting on until Aug. 26.  Maybe Kerr swings Pavlovic and Tucker for a defensive center or big man.

As of now I would expect the Suns to try and get a small piece in return for Pavlovic, but nothing major. However, because the Pavlovic situation has been so hush hush and Aug. 26 is on the horizon, I wouldn’t count out a multi-player trade just yet.

  • ZoDogg34

    That Sasha chick is worthless.

  • Phoenix Stan

    I still think that Richardson isn’t all that unmovable…he’s only got two years left (as opposed to Okafor!)

    but I also have come to think that since we would never be able to get much back of equal value that I am hoping now that he stays…dump Sasha and even Tucker (as much as I love him you are right about the change of scenery/opportunity) but those would be minor moves at best unless they can somehow turn into a decent 1st rd pick for next yr

  • ben

    how about pavlovic and j-rich for pau gasol? the lakers could use another SG right?

  • http://www.seasonsofdiscontent.com Scott

    The only thing that would surprise me is if they didn’t just release him.

  • martinez

    all 3 state ments by these guys are with out research and wishful thinking i hope that the names of the team emerge soon and that the dallas mavricks they have a good swing man that has yet to prove him self and would come very very cheap and is name is gerald green 1 time slame dunk champ and is youthful and talented lets ponder that-martinez

  • bryon

    The suns should pick up C.J. Watson from the Warriors to back up Nash. He would fit right into the Suns uptempo style and provide a lift when Nash is out.

  • Pedro Perez-Ochoa

    suns should try to package sasha and Alando Tucker to get a defensive big which we obviously lack. Lopez is not ready to be a starter and Frye is more of a four than a five. He could back up STAT.

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  • Pedro Perez-Ochoa

    shaq trade was so stupid. It was made to save $arver money but ended up costing the pendejo 10 mil. We should have traded the old and useless wallace to new orleans for Tyson Chandler. The trade to get Shaq and also the trade to get rid of Shaq make Steve Kerr look like the biggest stupid ass pendejo general manager in the whole league. I am still stunned that the asshole that singlehandedly destroyed our team and made us the laughingstock of the whole league still has his job.