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.