Who stays, who goes as the trade deadline approaches?
I wanted to make an entire piece player by player, but I think by now it’s clear what the only Suns really tradeable contract is. And that is Robin Lopez. While sure, Steve and Marcin have a lot of value of their own, but not quite enough to bring what the Suns need, especially given that Gortat is an asset that the other teams might be cautious about due to the Steve Nash effect.
So, instead of talking player to player, I grouped players to a few groups to illustrate the situation.
Untouchables: Marcin Gortat, Steve Nash, Grant Hill (1-year Bird, effectively, no trade clause), Jared Dudley
This group is a simple choice. Marcin is the centre of the future, Steve is Steve, and since he doesn’t want to leave, the Suns should take advantage of his good will. Grant must agree to every trade the Suns put him in because of the CBA, making him hard to ship, and Jared is a piece that won’t land you everything, but gives you a lot. As simple as that.
Bad Contracts We Wish Were Gone: Channing Frye, Josh Childress, Hakim Warrick
The amnesty clause is one thing, but the Suns would have to do something really stupid to get rid of one of these contracts. I wish they could, but they won’t be traded.
No-Value Cap Dumps: Shannon Brown, Bassy Telfair
Shannon and Bassy are two guys who can help the Suns in the case of a trade requiring salary absorption. The problem? The Suns don’t want to absorb salary, unless it’s a star. So unless the Hawks go crazy and willing to trade Josh Smith, this is a no-no trade group.
Vets Without a Purpose: Michael Redd, Ronnie Price
Sure, they’re pretty ok on the court, but they’re not an upgrade over anyone. Mike might be flippable, but he’s still on a vet minimum contract, that rarely yields a return of any sort.
Young Guys on Good Contracts: Robin Lopez, Markieff Morris
While I’m not quite on the “trade ‘kieff” bandwagon, he seems like a change of scenery wouldn’t hurt either of the parties involved. Robin Lopez, however, will get a contract bigger than what the Suns want to give to a backup in the offseason. And you gotta get rid of him before he goes off for an unmatched RFA Offer Sheet.