Phoenix Suns react to Carmelo Anthony trade


Carmelo Anthony's move to the Eastern Conferences is certain to make waves throughout the NBA. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

There aren’t many teams in the NBA that won’t be affected by the New York Knicks’ acquisition of Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets on Monday.

Be it through ensuing trades, future matchups or how a team finishes this season, the impact of Anthony’s move will be felt all over the league. It could be good news for the Phoenix Suns, a team fighting to earn one of the final playoff spots in the Western Conference.

With a revamped roster and the departure of a top-five kind of player, it’s not unreasonable to think the Nuggets may need some time to adjust, possibly costing them a playoff spot. At 32-25, they may have to adjust quickly, something Suns coach Alvin Gentry thinks they’ll accomplish.

“They’re still going to be a really good basketball team,” Gentry said of the Nuggets after Tuesday’s practice at US Airways Center. “I just think they’ve got good players and George (Karl) does such a good job there. I don’t see them struggling that much. I really don’t.”

Gentry may not think the Nuggets will struggle much, but he does, like any coach would, hope.

“You don’t wish ill will on anyone, but I would like to see them lose as many games as they could,” Gentry said before laughing when it was suggested that such a thought might be considered “ill will.”

Suns point guard Steve Nash also didn’t express much belief that the Nuggets will simply fade, but seemed to think it may create an opportunity.

“I guess it’s not the worst thing that could happen to us,” Nash said. “They’ve (Denver) got a lot of really good players and good pieces. It usually takes a team some time, but we’ll see.”

Of course, all the media in attendance for the Suns’ first practice after the All-Star break wanted to know Gentry’s opinion of the trade, particularly since it involved former Suns superstar Amare Stoudemire’s new team. Here’s what he had to say:

I think it was good for both teams in the end. Denver gets a lot of really good, solid players. Carmelo goes where he wants to. He and Amare playing together and you add Chauncey Billups to to mix, all of a sudden they’re a really good basketball team that could create some real havoc in the East. I wouldn’t want to line up and play them in a seven-game series, especially when Carmelo gets right and fits in, which I don’t think he’s going to have any problem doing. I think they’ll be fine. Somebody asked ‘Can Amare and ‘Melo play together?’ Of course they can.

While the blockbuster trade may be the talk of the league (as it has been for months now…), Nash was more interested in talking about the Suns’ future than the Knicks’ or Nuggets’.

With 28 games remaining for the Suns, Nash is content to focus only on what his team can control.

“I don’t think we need to worry about anybody else,” Nash said. “We need to worry about ourselves and try to find a way to win a bunch of these 28 games. We’re just worried about coming out and being prepared every night and competing.”

The Suns won’t see the Knicks again this season, as they already split the season series 1-1, but they will see the new-look Nuggets on March 10.

And 1

With the Anthony trade finally getting done, the dominos have started to fall around the NBA. ESPN’s Chris Broussard tweeted the following Tuesday evening in regards to the Houston Rockets’ interest in Suns center Marcin Gortat:

Houston covets 3 big men: Gortat, Varejao and Nene. Unlikely to get any if them.

Tags: Alvin Gentry Carmelo Anthony Denver Nuggets New York Knicks Phoenix Suns Steve Nash

  • Andrew

    Let’s talk about the Suns they have some bad contracts namely Warrick and Childress. We need Frye right now so I am not gonna say he is a bad contract just slightly overpaid. We may need to move VC if a team wants to dump salary and buy out VC. We also should see what we can get for Lopez and make Gortat full time starter. Will any of these things happen? Probably not but you never know with the trade deadline approaching. The Orlando trade pretty much came out of nowhere

  • Andrew

    I would be fine with moving VC and playing Chilly more

  • yaseef forrester

    i think steve nash needs to go miami why wade leaded the heat in the last year playoff with help from his players with lebron and bosh but they need one more peice of the this equation that is nash needs a ring real bad.

  • http://espn.com Rob

    ^ one of the worst sentences ever written, lol what?

  • sun also rises

    Haha, yeah, Steve needs to go to Miami. Because that makes sense financially and because it will get him DAT RING that he’s supposed to need.

    Go get silly on the Hornets or Jazz boards with this crap, or go back to playing 2K11.

  • Cam

    @Andrew: I agree with you about the Warrick contract but I don’t necessarily think the Jchill contract is that bad. We haven’t seen him with extended playing time in a while but before he got taken out of the rotation he played well. I think Frye is better coming off the bench as a change of pace PF so if we can draft a true PF and get out from under warricks contract we might be in a pretty good spot. Whether we trade VC or buy him out makes no difference in the end. He isn’t really here now is he? Next year we should get to see more of Jchill. Here’s how I see it playing out next year. The suns trade Nash for some picks before the draft. They use a few picks to move up to get an immediate impact type player. They end the first round of the draft with a scoring/slashing PG and a true PF. We run a backcourt of Dragic, Jchill, Dowdell, and our new PG. At SF we have JDud and Pietrus, then the rookie PF and frye, and last but not least Thortat and Lopez. If the two new players can contribute and we find a way to get a future first along with a first for the 2011 draft in exchange for Twotime I don’t see why we can’t be a playoff team and rebuild on the fly. I know it’s hoping the chips fall our way and we get a couple studs in the draft but I like our chances. I also think Dragic will shine with a slashing ballhandler to complement him. Go Suns.

  • Cam

    Also, don’t ask how I could’ve left Hill out of the equation. I personally don’t think that Grant will be here if Twotime gets traded. I love his play and I would hate to see him go but I don’t think he would want to stick around after Nash left. That’s why I don’t have him in that lineup.

  • Phil

    @Cam, I like your optimism, but there is no way that line up makes the playoffs. The Suns are borderline playoffs now, and there is a huge drop off whenever Nash is not on the court. Even allowing for some development from Dragic, Gortat and (hopefully) Lopex, that is still a 30 win team – its hard to break .500 without a franchise guy these days. On the plus side, that might position the Suns to either a) pick up a marquee free agent or b) get a franchise player in the draft.

  • Sean

    Thank goodness. No more commenters dreaming of a Carmelo trade to the Suns.

  • Steve

    I don’t think the Knicks are legitimate at all. Amare (PER=23.92, doesn’t count his defensive inefficiencies) and Carmelo (PER=21.46, again no defense) are two of the least efficient “superstars” in the league. Their offensive skills, as noted above, are pretty impressive, but they have nothing to offer besides isolation games.

    Even if they added a Chris Paul or Deron Williams type of point guard, I still don’t think they’re better than Miami or Chicago for the future, and I don’t think they’re better than Miami, Boston, Chicago, or Orlando in the present.

  • Cam

    @Phil: I’m not so sure about the playoffs being out of reach. Look at the shift of power happening. Depending on what chris Paul and derron Williams do there are really only 4-5 legit playoff teams in the west with 3-4 spots up for grab. Like u said though I am being an optimist and that’s best case scenario with the trades and the team.

  • Zak

    Wild. It actually seemed that Denver played as good or better without Melo and Billups last night. Denver might actually be a better TEAM without Melo which could mean that the Knicks might have made yet another very bad mistake. No doubt that Melo is one of the best players in the NBA but does what he brings in offense make up for what he costs in defense? Looks like the Knicks may becoming the old Suns when D’Antoni was here… very exciting to watch and high scoring but with minimal defense. I’ll take the more defensively minded direction that the Suns have been moving toward. I think it will bring a championship to the Suns before the Knicks.

    BTW, the word is that Miami is shopping Mike Miller for a possible upgrade at PG or C. I would NEVER suggest that we trade Nash for him but Lopez? Throw in Childress and Miami adds Joel Anthony to the mix and the trade numbers work. There are other trade options that also work with the main pieces of the trade being Miller and Lopez so it’s something the Suns should at least be looking into. VC will be gone after this season one way or another and Miller could be a very good addition to the Suns for the future.

  • Zak

    OMG! It just hit me that perhaps the Suns MIGHT consider trading Nash to Miami for Miller. Miller would be a good asset for the Suns in the future and Nash could have a realistic shot at a championship before he retires. I hope that trade doesn’t happen. I’d cheer for Steve if it did but I also just don’t want to ever see him in another NBA uniform.

  • Zak

    Trying it on the NBA Trade Machine at the ESPN website shows that the Nash trade to Miami could easily work. Hopefully not but it’s very possible.

  • Mel.

    No picks or cash incentives would work with that Nash deal; Miller’s been a non-factor for the past year, and a stiff on the court. The Heat have absolutely nothing else to dangle for the Suns that makes sense, unless we’re doing some fantasy-booking thing that suggests that Steve would turn into Gary Payton and juke such a transaction.

    Also, I’d like to take this opportunity to blame Robert Sarver for not getting us Melo. Not because that would have been a remotely sound idea, but because I want to preemptively strike on someone else posting it, first.

  • Phil

    @Cam – with Nash and Hill I absolutely think the Suns can and will make the playoffs (Deron is a bigger loss to the Jazz than Melo to the Nuggets IMO) but the Suns have been TERRIBLE this year without Nash on the floor, and they aren’t going to get anyone that good back in a trade. Without Nash they are rebuilding unless they pull off a major free agent signing

  • donny

    the truth is that building a team around nash never materialized. kerr’s trade for shaq put this team more than just few steps back. big names do not want to play in phoenix and that is sad, but sarver hasnt learned that you get what you pay for. vc is a has (never) been and this team will resemble the pre amare suns, lucky to squeak out 35 wins.

  • Steve

    @Mel – If we would have got Melo, it would have been an instant championship. He’s the best player this league has ever seen not named Elliot Perry. Facts are facts.

    I’m surprised no one disagreed with my prior Knicks point. I’ll say it a little differently this time. As constructed now, and even with the addition of Chris Paul, the Knicks will never be higher than the 3 seed in the East, and they won’t have any shot at making it past the ECF. If someone would give me 10 to 1 odds that the Knicks will never advance to the ECF with any combination of Stoudemire/Melo/Paul, I would take that bet in a second. I might even take it at as low as 3 to 1.

    Stoudemire and Anthony are two players who, after analyzing the first three years of their careers, I determined would never win an NBA championship as their team’s best player, and I stand by that, even if they add Paul.

  • Boris

    Believe it or not dragic can become a possible all-star player in this league if he is given space to play his game. If we can get a star (either FA or draft) and match him with dragic and hopefully Gortat becomes an impact player we could become a top four team in the west in due time. It may sound crazy but dragic is the future. I am from the same country as him and watch him strive and dominate in Europe on a very irrelevant team, he took his team from Slovenia to the euroliga which they never did before.

  • TRX

    @ Steve: Not much to disagree with. Neither Stoudemire nor Carmelo are true championship cornerstones. Neither is impressive defensively and both have what I believe is a fatal flaw. Amare is a below average rebounder; Carmelo simply loves taking shots from the most inefficient area of the court.

  • Cam

    @Phil: I’m just being optimistic. You are right about the offense. When Nash hasn’t been on the floor the offense has disappeared. It just seems like there is no continuity to the bench mob like we had last year.

  • Steve

    @Boris

    I root for Dragic like crazy to show us Suns fans the same kind of basketball he shows his countrymen, but so far, that Goran has rarely showed himself when wearing the Suns’ uniform. I know the guy has talent, but he seems complacent to wait it out for Steve Nash, rather than showing the desire to take Steve Nash’s job from him. Now, I don’t think Goran could take Nash’s job no matter how well he played, but at least I’d like to think that’s what Goran wants. He just doesn’t seem to be fired up about getting big minutes in the NBA.

    @TRX

    You’re absolutely right, but I was hoping SOMEONE would come on here and tell me how great the Knicks are going to be. Oh well, Suns fans are too smart for that.

  • http://valleyofthesuns.com/2011/02/22 Roy Mabe Jr.

    The Suns have needs to be sure,but they can’t rely on Nash all the time either.Who are they going to rely o when he goes to the bench?No one has stepped forward and shown he can be trusted to take over when Nashsits.