All quiet on the Phoenix Suns trade front

Last year at this time Amare Stoudemire was engulfed in All-Star Weekend trade rumors.

This year all is quiet on the Phoenix Suns front, with nary a player even involved in the weekend and the only trade whispers coming from the comment sections of blogs like this one.

Although the Suns will always do their due diligence, as Lon Babby likes to say, the team does not appear poised to be an active participant in trade conversations with Thursday’s trade deadline upon us.

If they were to make a move it would likely involve clearing up their wing glut for a future asset.

With nothing doing on the Nash front and Grant Hill unlikely to go anywhere if the Suns don’t do a full rebuild and deal Nash, the only three guys I could see the Suns trading at this time are Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus and Josh Childress.

Suns fans have been talking about the possibility of a Carter trade since he was acquired on Dec. 18, and with it now being more than two months since the Orlando trade went down he can officially be dealt in combination with other players (as well as Pietrus).

But I just don’t see what kind of playoff team that has been paying attention to Carter’s painful slide (as detailed in Schmitz’s recent video) would want to take a chance on this guy in return for even a decent asset.

At first I thought the Suns might be able to unload Carter for a talented player on a bad long-term contract if that team found value in Vince’s semi-expiring deal. But the question has always been, “Who fits that bill?” I can’t think of anyone, and adding another unfriendly long-term deal likely wouldn’t be wise with the Suns far enough away from a title as a .500 team this year.

For the right asset it could still be worth using Vince’s trade chip, but with his value on the court so limited it seems likely the Suns will just eat the remaining $4 million on his contract next summer and move on.

With a $5.3 salary this year and a player option for $5.3 million next season, Pietrus could be worth something to a playoff team looking for one more wing. He’s playoff tested, plays tough defense  and can be a sniper from long range when he’s on.

The right contender could be willing to offer a late first-rounder for Pietrus’ talents and the Suns would have to think about such a deal. Then again he’s become a useful rotation player for Alvin Gentry as it is and thus the Suns might want to keep him for their own playoff push.

Then there’s Josh Childress, who has not really played since the Orlando acquisitions arrived. He could be had, but in Bill Simmons’ trade value column he puts Childress’ five-year, $33.5 million contract as the fourth-worst in the NBA behind only Gilbert Arenas, Rashard Lewis and Brandon Roy.

I strongly disagree with that assessment since Childress played solid ball earlier this season with a broken finger and isn’t playing because of the wing gut. He could still be a solid player for this franchise once Carter and Hill move on.

Still, it’s unlikely anybody sees this contract as their missing piece so I can’t imagine Childress getting dealt.

It’s possible the Suns could use one of these assets to facilitate a three-team deal or clear up their wing glut by trading someone like Pietrus to a contender, but while Carmelo talk is all the rage at All-Star Weekend the Suns appear to be headed to a quiet trade deadline week.

Speaking of Carmelo…

I find it absurd the kind of offers the Knicks and Nets are throwing around for Carmelo Anthony.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein and Chris Broussard, the Nets are prepared to offer prized rookie Derrick Favors (the No. 3 pick in last year’s draft), former All-Star Devin Harris and four (count them, FOUR) first-round picks for Carmelo and filler. I call Chauncey Billups filler only because he will be long gone before New Jersey can build even a top-four team in the East.

The Knicks have countered by reportedly offering Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton and Wilson Chandler against the wishes of team president Donnie Walsh and head coach Mike D’Antoni.

As Charles Barkley said on the air on Saturday, these teams need to remember they’re trading for Carmelo Anthony, not Michael Jordan.

A year ago the Suns’ own Amare Stoudemire was on the trade block and the best player who may or may not have been in any of those offers was J.J. Hickson, who is developing into a nice player but is hardly a franchise guy (unless your franchise is the worst team in the NBA).

Last year if the Suns had been offered a talent like Favors as well as just ONE first-round pick that’s likely to be in the range of New Jersey’s this year I would have been thrilled for the Suns.

I just don’t see how a high usage, low efficiency player like Carmelo who has been far from elite by advanced metrics his whole career could receive such godfather offers. I understand the Nets see this as their one chance to acquire a superstar and the Knicks need him to form a dynamic duo with Amare. I also understand that Carmelo is the No. 1 free agent next offseason whereas Amare was at the back of the superstar ranks in last summer’s star-studded field, but this is ridiculous.

If either the Knicks or Nets pull the trigger on a deal like this, I feel it will hamstring their chances of eventually building the contender they feel they’d be creating with such a move.

Simmons’ best/worst contracts

Simmons also called Frye’s five-year, $30 million deal the 24th-worst contract in the league, and with how inconsistent Frye has been at times this season that sounds about right.

On the flip side, Simmons called Nash’s two-year, $22 million deal the second-best non-rookie contract in the NBA behind only Lamar Odom’s deal (two years at $17.1 million). He also pegged the five years at $19.1 million on Jared Dudley’s contract including this season (the last year of his rookie deal) as the 12th-best contract in the league.

Tags: Amar'e Stoudemire Carmelo Anthony Josh Childress Mickael Pietrus Vince Carter

  • Tony B

    Michael, this Suns franchise is never going to return to an elite team with Sarver running the show. It’s that simple. In fact, this is probably the last season for at least five years that the Suns are even in playoff contention and it’s doubtful they can earn a playoff birth this year. The reality is Robert Sarver is the worst owner in the NBA and in the top 5 of worst owners in all of the four major professional sports. It is a bad time to be a Suns fan and unfortunately, with Sarver running the show, this is only the beginning of a mediocre team.

  • Rich Anthony, (KJL)

    @ Tony B:

    The Clippers and Twolves are mad that you put Sarver above their GMs. Cleveland is also upset because outside of King James who have they ever found over the last ten years that wasn’t gifted via lottery?

    NFL? The Browns, the Panthers? Both of those fan bases are on the way to your house to kill you for talking silly stuff.

    Let’s. Not get into MLB.

    Can’t count not keeping STAT. He wasn’t staying which is why we were trying to deal him for 2 years.

    Hedo was terrible and he managed to get him moved and will get more money off the books with pieces in place at every position 2-deep for the post-Nash era minus the point for obvious reasons.

    It isn’t nearly as bad as you make it seem. Ask the Cavs. Ask the Anaheim Kings, (soon-to-be?).

  • Cam

    I like the way Pietrus plays but if we can get a late 1st rounder out of it I say trade him. Give JChill some extended time on the floor. I also think if we package our second with VC and about 4 mil to buy out his contract we should be able to get an asset or a late 1st out of it. I wonder if we should try and package Warrick together with Pietrus to get out from under his contract.

  • sun also rises

    One thing I never get sick of on this blog: fair weather fans chiming in with their “fire $arver” trash. Seems like no matter what the topic is, some clown will run in here honking his rubber nose and blaming the owner for everything from Amare leaving town to global warming.

    Give it a rest, it was old two years ago. You hate it that much, cry a river and start cheering for another team (until we get good under Sarver’s watch again, at which point all will be forgiven right? Robert is the only owner in the NBA who gets the Pau Gasol exception: when it goes wrong, it’s all his fault and when it goes right, we forget it a week later).

  • Steve

    Where’s that Sarver comment I had a few weeks back? It would come in handy right about now.

    In my opinion, Sarver is easily in the top half of owners in the NBA. The Suns have been very good under his watch. I would be willing to bet that he is in the top 5 winning percentage of all owners in the NBA during the time of his tenure. That’s good.

    That said, I don’t think he necessarily has the best method at trying to get championships. He seems to want to blend an entertaining product with his championship aspirations, but the fact of the matter is that most championship teams really aren’t that entertaining to watch outside of their one/two transcendent player/(s).

    I don’t agree with Sarver’s methods, personally, but I definitely don’t question his desire. He spends money on the team, he comes to games, he cares enough to call team meetings… he’s in it for real, and I respect that, even if I don’t always agree with him.

  • sun also rises

    @ Steve – Thank you. Save this post, you most definitely are going to have a chance to use it again.

  • Jason

    @Steve, SAR – I’m with you guys. It’s exhausting (and predictable) to see Saver ripped all the time for the end of the Nash era. While Sarver has made some mistakes (who hasn’t), there have been plenty of great developments under his watch to balance things out.

    Not every owner has the pocketbook of Mark Cuban. Besides, how many rings does the Cubes have (or the modern Knicks)? I know firsthand that Sarver isn’t the cheap miser everyone who doesn’t have access thinks he is. There’s a lot of cool shit going on behind the scenes that he’ll never get credit for.

    So give the guy a break, root for the Suns, and hope for some good luck somewhere. This franchise is long overdue for it.

  • mirza

    As much as I hate to admit it Steve you are absolutely right. Big test is coming up once Steve Nash is gone, what will Sarver do to make this franchise a contender again.

  • Shelton

    a lot of cool shit going on behind the scenes that he never gets credit for? Like telling everyone that Amundson’s agent asked for $8 million a year and thats why he didnt get resigned. Real cool. Lying about players. Thats why no FA’s will come here. Cant trust Sarver.

  • Jason

    @ Shelton Nash signed here. And then re-signed here. So…