Steve Nash still ‘oblivious’ to trade rumors, thinks he can play a few more years

Posted by on February 25th, 12:22 pm

Steve Nash's return sparked the Suns to a road trip-salvaging win in Houston. (AP Photo/Bob Levey)

Steve Nash continues to ignore trade possibilities, but it would make sense for Phoenix to at least explore such a deal. (AP Photo/Bob Levey)

Orlando, we know how you feel.

Three years ago when downtown Phoenix hosted the All-Star weekend extravaganza I called it “a party before the Suns set,” with All-Star starter Amare Stoudemire firmly on the trading block and head coach Terry Porter out the door before the circus left town.

Meanwhile, the 6-foot-11, 265-pound elephant in the room this weekend surrounds the saga of Dwight Howard, who is perhaps the league’s second-best player but could ditch Orlando for nothing this summer a la Shaq. The Magic were never going to trade him before this weekend’s party to forego the embarrassment of him returning to town as an All-Star in a different uniform, but with less than three weeks remaining before the trade deadline the rumor mill will become unbearable for Superman any second now, if it hasn’t already.

Meanwhile, that same frenzy has yet to build around the Suns’ own Steve Nash — who could become the best player available on the trade market after Superman if Phoenix makes him available — because Nash continues to swat away trade questions with the same effectiveness as Howard in the paint.

When told speculation on his future seems to have died down during Friday’s media session, Nash said, “I really was oblivious to it anyways. You could have just said the speculation has risen recently, and I would have been like, ‘Really?’ I didn’t know it’s died down or rised. I really stay pretty oblivious to all the chatter, so I guess it doesn’t matter. I’m only concentrating on trying to prepare to play and be the best I can for my team. Outside of that, especially in this season, I don’t have much time.”

That’s been the standard Nash answer whenever trade talk has been brought up. According to The Arizona Republic’s Paul Coro, Nash went on to say that he made a commitment to the team and that he won’t demand a trade yet he left the door slightly ajar for a move by adding, “But at the same time, I’d understand if the team wanted to make a move, so I’m completely open.”

Nash has repeated a basic variation of this response the past few years when this topic has been broached, and I would have been surprised only if he didn’t say it once more this weekend when the question was inevitably asked again.

It’s hard to fathom that a 38-year-old All-Star without a ring on a team six games under .500 would not want to at least entertain the possibility of a trade to a contender, but for Nash there are a few plausible reasons that makes sense. It comes down to a combination of his loyalty to the organization and love of the city and its fans, the presence of his children in the Valley, the vaunted medical staff and the fact that Nash is the kind of player who values the journey and does not have any DNA of a ring chaser.

At the same time, the reason the topic must continue to be brought up is that it does not make any sense for Nash to just play out the string for a team going nowhere this season with a dearth of future assets that could really use a nice young piece from a Nash trade and the resultant high lottery pick. We all know this is not a logical situation, but all logic says the Suns must at least explore a Nash trade before the March 15 trade deadline.

I’ve always felt that would only happen if the Suns were completely out of it by the deadline to the extent that even Mr. ORNG himself starts playing the ESPN mock draft lottery game. Seven of Phoenix’s eight games before the trade deadline will be played in US Airways Center but they will face a team below them in the standings only once (Sacramento, a squad they have already lost to), and the Suns have been a brutal home team thus far (7-9).

Putting Nash on the market would be heartbreaking for anybody who considers themselves a Suns fan and that certainly plays a role in this decision. There’s a reason he’s an All-Star even at an age no point guard has earned that honor before and this team could become unwatchable without him.

The other reason the Suns could be hesitant to trade him is because he could be one of the team’s big free agent signings this summer. Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby has long insisted that Nash can stay as long as he wants and Two Time told The Associated Press last week that he would “definitely” consider re-signing with the Suns if they offer fair compensation and make other moves to improve.

The Suns could have the salary cap space for two max players with nobody to offer it to being that Dwight Howard and Deron Williams aren’t coming here. I would not be opposed to making a run at a young restricted free agent stud like Eric Gordon or Nicolas Batum, but it’s not hard to envision a scenario where Nash is the best free agent Phoenix can sign.

That begs the question, how long can Nash keep playing at this level?

“We’ll see,” he said Friday. “I really don’t know. You can’t predict Father Time so you never know when your body’s had enough, but I still feel capable and I feel like I should be capable next year. Hopefully next year I’m playing the same way and can say I feel I’m capable the year after, but you never know. At this stage it’s hard to look three, four, five years down the road, but I feel like I can still play in the league for a long time.”

Since returning to the Suns at the age of 30, nothing he has done has corresponded with his age or the usual peak of a professional athlete. Earlier in his career, Nash never thought he’d still be playing at 38 — not to mention racking up All-Star appearances –yet here he still is.

If I were calling the shots, I would have already pushed the red button and embarked on the rebuilding process, but with Nash showing no signs of slowing down you can see why management might want him around another couple seasons. At the same time, his age cripples his trade value in that there is no precedent for a 38-year-old point guard playing at an All-Star level (not to mention the fact that he will be an unrestricted free agent who cannot be extended before the summer).

Overall it seems like both the Suns and Nash are waiting for the other to make the first move. Both sides have dropped hints that they would be open to exploring a deal if the other side gives the OK and thus both seem to want the other party to hold the responsibility if a trade ends up being consummated.

To me the Suns owe it to their future to do their due diligence on what a Nash trade can fetch them, and if anything close to a solid young prospect and a first-round pick can be had they must make sure Nash is not so oblivious about a potential trade to a contender anymore.

Michael Schwartz founded ValleyoftheSuns in October 2008 and is the owner/editor emeritus of the site. He is currently working toward his MBA in sports business at San Diego State University.

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Tags: All-Star Weekend · Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns Analysis · Phoenix Suns Rumors · Steve Nash

26 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Scott // Feb 25, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    I’m in the “don’t trade Nash, it would be a disaster” category. I don’t think there’s anything the Suns could get for him that would be worth the loss.

    This year’s Suns are just a quality backup PG away from beating last year’s Suns and getting into the playoffs. I don’t know if Brooks would have been that PG or not, but his signing in China pulled him out of the picture, and that event, plus the tardiness of Redd in joining the Suns, likely resulted in the signings of Telfair ($1.5 million) and Brown ($3.5 million). My solution for this situation is to trade the expiring contracts of Telfair and Brown to the Bucks for Udrih (and their 2nd round conditional pick), who has one more year on his contract.

    At the end of this season, the Suns should re-sign Nash, Hill, and Redd. If they can’t afford Lopez, they should at least be able to pick up another big in the draft, thereby replacing him.

  • 2 Scott // Feb 25, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Let me add that other teams will have plenty of cap space for signings, and they’ll be looking to poach these same Suns players. If the Suns can trade Telfair and Brown for a good backup PG that helps the Suns this season, that effort by the Suns FO could be a key to helping the Suns retain those FAs.

  • 3 Tony // Feb 25, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Scott,

    come on, the Suns are one quality backup pg away from making the playoffs???? Maybe if the Suns added Chris Paul or Derrick Rose and moved Nash to a backup pg, but outside of that impossibility, the Suns need far more than a good backup pg to make the playoffs. Furthermore, the Suns haven’t even played the most difficult stretch of their season yet and are already in 13th place in the western conference. Once they play through March’s schedule, they may end up 14th or 15th in the west. With that being said, I do agree that a quality backup pg would likely really help the team, but not enough to make them an 8th seed, more like a 10th or 11th seed.

    Scott, why would any team trade their good backup pg for Telfair, who doesn’t even belong in the NBA, and for Brown, who reminds me of Harold Miner remember him? The guy was an amazing athlete, even winning the dunk contest, but had no skill whatsoever and wasn’t the smartest player either. There’s a reason why Brown didn’t get better offers in the free agency, he’s just not very good.

    Nash is my favorite player but it’s a bit disappointing that he is even considering playing for the Suns next season. I can understand all the non-basketball related reasons why he would want to stay a Sun, and basketball-wise, especially considering at his age, it makes sense to not want to play for another team with a completely different system that would most likely not be ideally suited for hm. I also get it that winning a championship is not a priority for him. But doesn’t the guy even want to be on a competitive team? There’s no reason to believe the Suns will be a better team next season and in fact, I predict they will be worse. I would think playing for such a lousy team would be an embarrassment for Nash, but I guess not.

  • 4 Grover // Feb 25, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    I don’t agree with Scott the Suns should do it anyway, but I’ll play devils advocate and lay out the argument for why the Suns should trade Telfair and/or Brown for a backup PG.

    Telfair and Brown are both expiring contracts, so a team with a moderate PG as backup with a couple years remaining on their contract but who values 2012 flexibility more than the backup might be interested. On the Suns side, I’d agree backup PG is indeed a huge weakness for the Suns. That’s my paraphrase…

    The reason I disagree is I don’t believe a backup PG vaults the Suns back to respectability, and if any team is going to have the ability to pursue free agents this summer, I’d rather it were the Suns. The only reason to make that trade is if the Suns feel the backup PG they are getting is a better deal than whatever they will be able to attact this summer after they first address their starters.

    I see the logic, but I’d rather the suns focus first on tackling the starting five and then pick up the best they can to fill in the roster spots after that. Backup PG is a weakness, but not my number one priority for next year.

  • 5 AZMetalhead // Feb 25, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    I wish the suns had a better record this season, but unless steve nash becomes the messiah, the gatoraide becomes wine, and alvin gentry starts walking on water this team isnt making the playoffs.

    The Suns need to do what they have not done in a decade- add peices thru the upcomming draft and see what they can get for Nash.

    The team, as currently constructed, is not going anywhere to the playoffs soon.

    Suns fans have waited over 40 years for a title.

    Its not like the arena is going to implode if Nash is gone.

    MV Steve needs help that the suns front office refused to give him by holding on to the players they already had, nevermind the draft rights to six first round picks.

    People as loyal as Nash are one of a kind, and the Suns FO need to reward him for his unflinching loyalty.

    Even if the Suns made it to the playoffs, do you see them getting out of the 1st round?

    there defense is still poor and the offense is middle of the road.

    If the Suns dont rebuild now, they will likely sink into some kind of very gradual, rebuild process where they are consistenly mediocre.

    Just blow up the team now, get it over with.

    The worst thing you can be in the NBA is good enough to compete but not good enough to improve or win something.

    The time to trade Two-Time was when they didnt resign STAT.

    So in essence the Suns have been rebuilding, or more like spinnng their wheels, the past two years, or year and a half.

    on a side note i dont think the Suns can rebuild quickly in free agency.

    The way the FO has treated their stars gets around.

    The suns need to clean house and rebuild thru the draft.

  • 6 Scott // Feb 25, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    @Tony -

    As I’ve explained before, the idea is to find a team for the Suns to trade their $5 million of expiring contracts to, hopefully for a quality backup PG. The Suns really need one, and there isn’t one on the horizon. (Before you say there is one, please do the research.)

    I pick Udrih because he’s the only quality backup PG likely to be available for trade. The Suns would be trading $5 million of contracts for one $14 million contract (the remainder of this season, plus the next) … why wouldn’t the Bucks give that strong consideration, since they already have Jennings and Livingston, whom they prefer to play over Udrih?

    The Suns could even get something extra out of the deal, like an agreement to swap first round picks so the Suns get whichever one is higher, or the Suns pick up the Bucks’ conditional 2nd rounder (if it’s #45 or lower, it goes to Boston).

    I’ve watched virtually every minute of every game this season. The Suns have lost several games so far, and probably at least half of those were lost because there is no quality backup PG. The Suns have lost 20; half of that is 10. The Suns are only 4 back of Portland for the #8 spot in the West. So to me it is quite credible that weakness at the backup PG spot is what is costing the Suns a shot at the post season.

    In fact, a quick scan tells me the Suns lost 8 games by 7 points or less. A better backup PG could have made the difference in those games.

  • 7 Scott // Feb 25, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    @Grover –

    I see backup PG as a huge issue for the Suns now and going forward. Previously the Suns had Dragic and Barbosa. Now there really is no one to lead the team at PG if Nash is out a few games, and the 2nd unit can’t be trusted to do anything positive.

    If we assume the Suns can’t deal the contracts for Childress and Warrick, and they don’t want to deal Frye, Gortat, Dudley and Morris, then who are they going to sign in the offseason?

    Look at who will be a free agent next year, and think about who the Suns are going to be able to sign.

    My conclusion is that what happens will be exactly what the Suns have been telling us: they will re-sign Nash. And if Hill has not retired, they’ll be re-signing him. And if Redd can play and isn’t holding out for more money than they can give, they’ll sign him. And if things work out financially, they might even re-sign Lopez.

    If the Suns don’t get a PG now, they will have to roll the dice in the competition for unrestricted FA PGs next year. Players of suitable quality are Hinrich, Kidd, Terry, Andre Miller, Dragic, Billups, Felton, and Barbosa. A nice group to choose from, but several of these guys are likely already committed.

    I think we can probably cross off Kidd, Terry, Miller, Dragic, and Billups, because other teams are going to want them, and none but Dragic is likely to want to play behind Nash. The Suns aren’t going to want Felton and probably not Barbosa either. That leaves Hinrich, who might be an okay choice (though his PER right now is sandwiched between that of Telfair and Price – a clear warning!), but I just don’t see the Suns getting him.

    So … the best move I see for now is to offer Telfair and Brown to the Bucks for Udrih. If that doesn’t work, and if there are no other suitable deals to be made (I don’t see any myself), then the only remaining option is to compete for FAs and either risk losing out or overpaying for the one or two PGs that aren’t already expecting to re-sign with their current team.

  • 8 Grover // Feb 26, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Scott – yes, there are at least 2-3 games this year the Suns lost because of the play of backup point guards. So let’s assume Udrih was the solution and hand been with the Suns since day one of training camp… Do you think the Suns would have been in the playoffs? I don’t.

    I agree backup PG is a problem, but I don’t agree it is worth fixing this year at the cost of financial flexibility for next year.

  • 9 Scott // Feb 26, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    @Grover -

    Since the Suns lost 3 games by 2 points or less, and the Suns are only out of the playoff picture by 4 games, I think it’s VERY easy to say the Suns could have been in contention for the playoff if they’d had a better backup PG from the start.

    I also don’t see it so much as messing up the cap for next year as it is getting the Suns squared away early, and without competition, for a position they need to fill anyway.

    If they sign someone next year, like – say – Hinrich, there’s probably going to be pressure to sign a multi-year contract, which could easily turn out to be an albatross like Childress’ and Warrick’s contracts.

    With a trade for Udrih, the Suns would solve the backup PG problem for the rest of this year and the next. With the expiration of Udrih’s contract and the exercise of team option on Warrick’s contract, the Suns could potentially have about $10 million to spend in 2013. They could use that to re-sign Udrih to a smaller contract, or to sign someone else. (Some of that money will go toward re-signing Morris.)

    If you’re unfamiliar with Udrih’s game – as I think is probably the case with most here – it is very much like Nash’s. He can shoot 3s, 2s, layups, penetrate, play pick and roll, fast break, and pass. He’s out of favor, to the best of my knowledge, solely because the Bucks want to develop the younger Jennings and Livingston, who present more match-up problems due to speed (Jennings) and height (Livingston), who are better defensively for the same reasons (which is key for the Bucks), and are half the price. So Udrih’s playing for a team with the wrong system for him, and with skilled younger players at the same spot.

    Character-wise, Udrih is also a Suns type player, not a thug or a head case.

  • 10 Grover // Feb 26, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    I’m very familiar with Udrih and actually like him – have for several years. I’d just prefer the Suns focus on solving starting five issues for next year before paying any attention to backups. I want as much flexibility as possible for next year and don’t want to spend $7.4 mill on a backup PG now if that has any chance of preventing us from affording a more impressive starting five.

    I think Scott and I have beat the living crap out of this issue. Curious where others stand.

  • 11 Michael Schwartz // Feb 26, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    At this point everything has to be about 2012 cap flexibility and rebuilding for the future. Udrih accomplishes neither of those things. Even if Udrih would have helped the Suns win three more games they would just be fighting for the eighth spot. What’s the point of that?

    The Suns will have to rebuild eventually and at this point it kind of seems like they are a year late in that regard. Even if that cap space does not land a star it could help them facilitate a trade that nets them a few decent assets or maybe even pick up a solid restricted free agent.

    Udrih or not, I think you’re really arguing a philosophical issue: Should the Suns try to add pieces around the fringe that could make them a potential playoff team or should they be seeking flexibility for a complete rebuild? I choose the latter option.

  • 12 Scott // Feb 27, 2012 at 12:10 am

    @Michael -

    What is the point of fighting for a playoff spot? Are you serious? Surely you jest, as making it to the playoffs is the chief goal of any legitimately competitive organization.

    Furthermore, I’m flummoxed as to why this mindset of “2012 cap space is the most important thing ever” has taken over, at least in Suns land. We all know that every year is an important free agent year IF your team makes the right moves … right?

    As I understand it, the league’s story related to 2012 – in particular – is that several of the NBA’s top stars are up for new contracts. Sports writers are all hyped about writing stories about the possibility of exciting players changing teams … or not changing teams. A few franchises are hoping they are able to land a star and others are dreading they might lose their star. Probably most franchises will remain essentially the same.

    Is there an exciting FA 2012 story for the Phoenix franchise, or just the same old story? I think it’s the latter.

    I really don’t see the Suns as players in the marquee free agent market, aside from them re-signing the marquee free agent they already have: Nash.

    Does anyone see this differently? What is a realistic scenario?

    Is there some other free agent the Suns are saving up for, that they can realistically acquire, who will improve the fortunes of the team?

    That’s been the angle of so many of my posts. It sounds like the consensus in the media is that the Suns are expected to take Nash, Hill, and maybe Redd, and possibly not Lopez out of next year’s FA market. No Howard, no D-Will, etc. In other words: the Suns are not really playing the market.

    So … am I missing something? Yes, the Suns are saving for the free agent market of 2012, but after sifting through the possibilities, it turns out it is just to be able to re-sign their own guys.

    The Suns have said multiple times they are not going to break it all up to rebuild. They are going to concentrate on adding to the team incrementally through the draft and a few judicious picks in free agency. Which is what we’ve seen from them for decades, and it has worked (the Suns are the 4th most successful franchise in the NBA), so it’s a believable statement.

    Now, as it happens there are also risks involved in 2012. What if another team surprises and bids more for Nash than the Suns would pay? Who runs the Suns then? Telfair? Who attracts new FAs to Phoenix? Gortat? Dudley?

    And if Nash agrees to accept a position with another team because they’re going to pay more, and out of generosity to Phoenix (and to make more money) he decides to backward engineer a trade (like Amare did), what are the chances the Suns are going to get a quality PG in that trade? Probably slim to none, because why would a team with a quality PG try to sign Nash?

    I just don’t understand the thinking that’s going on here. I don’t know if it’s possible to get Udrih, but I’d rather have him than Telfair as backup THIS season, because I want a winning team. And I’d rather have him as starting PG if somehow Nash is lost in the 2012 free agency shuffle.

    I’ve been expressing this same view (including Udrih) since the end of last season. Despite having plenty of time to think it over, I still come up with the same rationale.

    Maybe if all the other teams blow their powder on this 2012 exchange, signing players to long expensive contracts, there will be rewards to reap in 2013 for those who kept a little cap space.

  • 13 Michael Schwartz // Feb 27, 2012 at 12:32 am

    @Scott It’s a question that’s been asked ever since the Amare rumors started up. Is it worth it to just go all in with the current roster or trade a star to better your future? In hindsight it’s obvious the Suns made the right decision in 2009-10 to stay the course because that put them on the doorstep of the Finals. Why I say what’s the point of the playoffs this season is because at best (even if they trade for a guy on a longer deal) they will be an eighth seed that will get demolished in the first round, and really with so many teams ahead of them I don’t think playoffs are realistic anymore. Obviously the end goal is to make the playoffs and win championships, but I think they are best served looking at the future because the present is dreary as is.

    I’m not sure the Suns just plan on bringing back this same crew next season. Why would they if it didn’t work this year? Nash, yes, but I’m not so sure they will want to bring back Hill, Redd and Lopez, at least not if the price isn’t right. OKC has shown us lots of creative ways to use cap space (think Kurt Thomas trade). It’s not always about signing players with it.

    I’m in the rebuild camp. I love watching Nash play, but I think the Suns need to jump off the treadmill of mediocrity and then be bad to be good — unless the 2012 cap space accelerates the process with a solid young player.

    In essence, I don’t see the point in making improvements around the fringes when the entire foundation needs to be re-set. The Suns have less young talent than almost any team in the league. It’s time to do something about that.

  • 14 Tony // Feb 27, 2012 at 2:11 am

    Mike,

    While I disagree with Scott that adding Udrih would give the Suns a major boost to make the playoffs, especially since the Suns are already in 13th place in the west and haven’t even played the most difficult stretch of their season yet, I do agree with him that this incessant focus on clearing cap space for 2012 is baseless. It is predicated on the notion that the Suns FO are going to use their cap space to sign really good to star level players. However, looking at the restricted free agency list, Love, Westbrook, and Gallinari, probably the best of the restricted free agents, have already signed extensions and in terms of the two major unrestricted free agents in Williams and Howard, there’s absolutely no chance the Suns sign them.

    Having cap space, while obviously important, is not a guarantee really talented players will sign just based on that. They also need to be attracted to an organization that is relevant, and the only way that happens is when the team is good or has at least one young star player already there who can recruit other star players. The Suns are obviously irrelevant when it comes to the NBA landscape at this point, based on their record and lack of star players, and so, what is going to entice elite players to want to sign onto a barely mediocre team when they can sign elsewhere for the same amount of money and play for a winner?

    Lastly, all this talk of blowing up the roster is a bit silly since the roster as it currently exists is pretty much already blown up. I mean, the only two moves the Suns could make to completely and utterly tank would be to trade Nash and Gortat for draft picks. Dudley and Frye are not starting material, Hill is probably in his last season with the Suns, Telfair, Brown, Price, and Redd are only signed through the year, and Lopez will also probably be let go or traded for a 2nd round pick. Childress will also probably be let go via the amnesty rule. So this notion that the Suns need to blow up their roster and start again is silly. The tem is going to have a ton of cap space following this season regardless of if Nash stays, but they will have nobody to spend it on who could change the course of this franchise.

  • 15 Grover // Feb 27, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Anyone know the rules governing trading for picks? I know with players there are rules about salaries being balanced within some level, but how do they value picks? What about if it’s an outright purchase of picks?

  • 16 Scott // Feb 27, 2012 at 9:23 am

    @Tony – Unless he gets an injury, I think Hill has one more season with the Suns.

    @Michael – If the Suns are keeping Nash, Udrih could take a lot of minutes and miles of his legs.

    Also, young talent and small contracts may be available in 2013, depending on whether or not teams overspend in 2012.

    @Grover – I have no idea what the rules are for picks. I think they try to assign them value based on rookie salaries, and in direct buys of picks there may or may not be a little extra cash as a sweetener, to get the deal done. However, what about conditional picks? And what about agreements to swap picks, when the value of those picks hasn’t been determined yet?

    Let’s say the Suns break with tradition and actually make a move I’ve recommended, such as trading Telfair and Brown for Udrih. The Suns are giving such a good deal with the contract expirations and the savings in the trade that they could bargain with the Bucks for more benefits. For instance, they could make a deal with the Bucks to trade first round picks in 2012 if the Bucks get a higher pick. How do you value that? Or the Suns could ask for the Bucks’ 2nd round pick, which already goes to Boston if it is for #45 or lower. How does that get valued?

    My guess is that some of these conditional trades on picks carry no money value, and that’s why teams make them on occasion, as non-monetary ways of sweetening deals.

  • 17 Michael Schwartz // Feb 27, 2012 at 9:38 am

    @Scott Absolutely 2013 could be the better year to make a move. That’s why I agree with something Gambo has been saying on air recently in that if there isn’t a good move to make then sign more one-year deals and play this game again next season.

    @Tony I don’t think clearing cap space is predicated on the notion that the Suns will sign a star player. I doubt the front office is so naive as to think that will happen. It’s about giving the team options in a league where cap space is such a valued commodity.

  • 18 Grover // Feb 27, 2012 at 9:59 am

    BTW, anyone else wondering if Budinger was sending a message in wearing a Ceballos Suns jersey for the dunk contest?

  • 19 Scott // Feb 27, 2012 at 10:22 am

    @Michael – Udrih is a one-year deal. Just sayin’. ;)

    As for the idea of getting a quality PG for the bench, it’s not just to win games, get into the playoffs, and restore a sense of legitimacy to the franchise. It’s also to discover and show off whatever talent there is on the Suns’ bench.

    We all know Nash makes those around him look good. But Telfair makes his teammates look worse than they are. If you’re looking to make trades of Childress, Warrick, and Lopez, Udrih ought to make these players look a lot more valuable than Telfair does.

    For example, Udrih could actually run the pick and roll with Warrick. Or Lopez. Imagine that.

  • 20 Grover // Feb 27, 2012 at 10:46 am

    The scary part about looking forward to this summer is that there are a number of teams with huge amounts of cap space, but there are only a few great free agents. This either is going to be really exciting with a tremendous amount of movement and trades, or we’re going to see massice bidding wars on mediocre talent (hello, Rashard Lewis).

    I’m hoping the Suns learned their lesson the hard way. They’ve shown a willingness to spend money, but they haven’t shown a willingness to invest in the future or an ability to spend wisely. Let’s hope this is more a sign of lack of experience, not a lack of intelligence.

    I covet flexibility for this summer more than anything, but agree with Schwartz and Gambo that the Suns have to be smart and wait for 2013 if they can’t fix the team or at least build a rock solid foundation this summer.

  • 21 Michael Schwartz // Feb 27, 2012 at 11:03 am

    @Grover Ha ya, I’ve been waiting a long time to see Chase in a Suns jersey! I covered him in college for a few years and was really hoping the Suns would trade up in the second round to nab him.

    @Scott I’m actually completely in agreement on your arguments concerning why and how Udrih would help the team. There’s no question he would make a difference with that second unit. But to me every move should be about looking toward the future at this point, although I realize the Suns’ brass hasn’t shown that to be the plan quite yet.

    And yeah, Grover, that’s the big question mark. The Suns have cap space. If they strike out will they use it in Presti-an ways or will they blow it like they did two summers ago.

  • 22 shawn // Feb 27, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Ok suns fans here is a trade idea that works according to the trade machine but I doubt would ever happen.

    Nash gets traded to okc (westbrook moves to natural position of SG)

    Phx gets C Cole aldrich, PG Eric maynor(I know he is injured but we don’t need him for this season anyway) SG monta Ellis

    Golden state gets Frye,Lopez,and James harden (they want a big man so bad so why not send them two)

    Love it or hate it at least I tried!!!

  • 23 steve // Feb 27, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    I’d like it better if we ended up with Harden. He is quite possibly the best 2 in the league under 30. Either way, I like the idea. I just want a 2 in a Suns uni who can ball.

  • 24 Scott // Feb 27, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    @Michael -

    But as I’ve tried to illustrate, Udrih IS about looking forward.

    First of all, trading Telfair and Brown is a movement in the right direction, as they’re not doing anything for the Suns this year. They’re not going to get re-signed for next year. They’re just dragging the team down, so let them go.

    Getting Udrih helps the Suns win games and show off their talent. If the Suns are a playoff team, it helps demonstrate the intelligence of the Suns FO and willingness to put together a winning team. That helps in the quest for FAs.

    Udrih is only for the rest of this season and 2012. That gives the Suns another two summers to acquire a talented young PG. This is helpful because not only are there none available in the FA class this year (only Dragic, really), there also aren’t any in the draft (which heavily favors big men). If the Suns can use Udrih in the interim, it will fill the gap till they can go shopping either in the 2013 draft or the 2013 FA market, which does feature several PGs.

    ———————–

    Speaking of young PGs … Armon Johnson was just released by Portland (to make room for Przybilla). I don’t know if he will make it through waivers till Phoenix picks, but if Phoenix lacks ANY plans for the rest of the season, and if they’re as desperate about the backup PG situation as I am, they could pick him up on a 10-day for cheap.

    IIRC, he played well against the Suns. He has a rep as ball hog who dribbles too much (sound familiar?), and in the draft drew comparisons to Marcus Banks. But at least he hates the Lakers! :)

  • 25 MKM // Feb 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    The Suns will become UNWATCHABLE without Nash. I will never trade Nash but rather focus on getting the best PG available in 2013. Nash is still the best PURE starting PG and will be an elite backup PG for years to come. Pure PGs (KJ, Kidd, Nash) are cornerstone of this franchise … someone like Jeremy Lin will be ideal, perhaps the Dragon deserves a second chance:
    http://thebiglead.com/index.php/2012/02/09/remember-when-jeremy-lin-compared-himself-to-goran-dragic/

  • 26 Scott // Feb 28, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    @MKM -

    I agree. I did watch the Suns during the segment where Barbosa was the starting PG after Marbury was traded, but Barbosa and Amare and Marion were a lot more interesting as characters and players than this current bunch if Nash is gone.

    I don’t know why the Suns FO – and apparently some Suns fans – have been so unserious about getting a new quality PG, but IMO it’s something that needs to happen.

    The Suns had their chances at Lin and with Dragic. Irving and Rubio would have been good picks as well, but not Wall or Westbrook. The Suns need a PG who can see the court and pass before scoring.

    BTW, in my comment above recommending Armon Johnson, please note that I’m aware he’s a selfish knuckleheaded two-guard who turns the ball over once every seven minutes and makes assists at the same rate. I’m just that desperate. :p

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