Phoenix Suns set to encounter pivotal free agency period

Posted by on June 30th, 9:01 pm

It’s been two years since the Phoenix Suns last entered a pivotal free agency period with one of their stars an unrestricted free agent and lots of cap space to spend if he flees.

After essentially punting any important decisions to this offseason during last December’s abbreviated free agency period, the Phoenix Suns can chart a new future starting at 9:01 p.m. tonight when the free agency period officially commences (players cannot officially sign until July 11, though).

To me, the Suns have four general directions they could go in the coming weeks:

  • Re-sign Nash and find a way to acquire another piece or two and make a run at a top-four seed in the West with a veteran core.
  • Re-sign Nash and bring back the same general team from last season (re-sign Hill, Lopez and either Redd or Brown) to make a run at another No. 8 seed.
  • Watch Nash leave and fill their cap space with a host of young players through trade or free agency.
  • Keep the powder dry, sign more one-year contracts, be bad this season and roll over the cap space until next summer.

Of course, all of that hinges on where Steve Nash will be playing basketball next season. If Nash returns, full-on rebuilding will have to wait. The Suns would owe it to him to be as competitive as possible in the present, future be damned, and that’s what they have tried to do the past few seasons within reason. Since Nash made the comment about needing to see “an improvement” to re-sign, I’m sure adding other pieces would be necessary to entice him to do so.

Therefore, Option 2 seems the least likely of the bunch (especially with their draft pick being a point guard), and based on Nash’s recent comments to Marc Stein Option 1 may be a stretch as well.

Since the Suns only have about $33 million in committed salary for next season, they could be major players in the free-agent market if Two Time leaves. Of course, that number does not include the cap holds for Nash, Hill and Shannon Brown nor the qualifying offers for Robin Lopez and Aaron Brooks. That’s just to say the Suns should have about $25 million to play with to add to a signed core of Gortat-Dudley-Frye-Morris-Childress-Telfair-Warrick as well as the pick Marshall.

Of course, the Suns could always amnesty Childress or Warrick to create even more flexibility or save the amnesty ax for Childress down the road.

The Suns will have many potential ways to utilize their cap space to add players, including:

  • Signing unrestricted free agents.
  • Extending offer sheets to restricted free agents.
  • Making a lopsided trade for a team in need of immediate salary relief (think the Kurt Thomas trade, just in reverse). This could be a straight dump like the KT deal or one in which the Suns land a more talented player on a bad deal for a team craving flexibility.
  • Winning an amnesty auction in which the team would then have to pay the player for as many years are left on his contract at the amount bid.

Suns PBO Lon Babby said in May the Suns won’t necessarily spend money just because they have it.

“We have cap space, but cap space doesn’t mean you’re going to go out and sign free agents,” Babby said. “It could also mean that we’re going to make one-sided trades, and there’s a distinct possibility we don’t use our cap room this summer because we’ve worked hard to put ourselves in this position to have this kind of flexibility, to have a range of opportunities, but I am absolutely determined that we’re going to be disciplined in how we approach this because we cannot get ourselves right back in the same spot that we were in by doing bad contracts, not assessing value properly, not making the right choices in terms of personnel.”

In other words, if the Suns lose Nash, they won’t panic like they did after losing Amare when they tossed money at Childress, Frye and Warrick and traded for Hedo.

“I hope that we land our targets,” Babby told Paul Coro, adding the Suns will contact several free agents tonight. “I hope we exercise good judgment and use what we use wisely. There are some things we can’t control but that doesn’t mean you overreact.

“Our expectation is that quick fixes are not sensible. What we are generally looking to do is put together building blocks going forward. Some may be shorter term going forward. Every piece may not be here when we get to the promise land but it’s part of the process to get there.”

This free agency period represents the first opportunity for this Babby-Blanks front office to prove it has a plan for the future. The damage had already been done when they were hired in 2010 and last season’s offseason of one-year contracts did little except postpone any important decisions to this summer.

They have essentially been waiting two years for their opportunity to shape the franchise through offseason moves, and thus the front office is much better prepared than it was in 2010 when Steve Kerr’s contract had just expired and the Suns faced that crucial summer with no general manager in place.

Blanks raved about the front office’s chemistry after two years on the job together, and they have spent an inordinate amount of time scouting other team’s NBA players.

For the past eight years, Suns fans have enjoyed the illustrious Steve Nash era. As player after player from the team’s golden Seven Seconds or Less run departed, Nash has been the one constant to keep the Suns the Suns.

If he leaves, there will be painful seasons ahead, a point Blanks even acknowledged Friday at Kendall Marshall’s presser.

“I’d also like to add no matter what happens through free agency, from our analysis there is a risk of tough times in the near future,” he said.

This free agency period will help shape what that near and distant future looks like. My hope is that the Suns don’t panic and start dishing out bad mid-level contracts again but rather make smart use of their cap space in this critical first step of building a new contender if Nash leaves.

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: Free Agency · Lance Blanks · Lon Babby · Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns Analysis

52 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Jun 30, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    FREE AGENCY IS HERE!!!!

    A combination of the last 2 options is what will happen.

    •Watch Nash leave and fill their cap space with a host of young players through trade or free agency.

    •Keep the powder dry, sign more one-year contracts, be bad this season and roll over the cap space until next summer.

    nash will not remain. He will not re-sign here unless he can’t get what he wants from all of the other teams he’s interested in.
    I wouldn’t even be shocked if PHX DID sign him and instantly send him away to help his destination team out.

    The FO keep saying what I want to hear. They seem to be going about it the right way now.

    ((((JR SMITH JJ HICKSON MICHAEL BEASLEY BEING FA’s SCARE ME THOUGH))))

    I don’t even mind if PHX becomes a salary dump solution for other teams over the next year or two as long as we are getting youth and draft picks as compensation.

    It’s not a sexy avenue to take, but that would ensure that the money PHX has managed to gather remains intact and available again right around the time has re-filled the ranks and the next crop of nice free agents are on the market.

    I’d expect PHX to take on that wing-man role in a lot of trade talks while also making smart signings for acceptable money.

    By the way, Eric Gordon is looking for 4 years 58 MILLION. Over 14 MILLION per! To all of you who have been screaming for him, do you think he’s the savior on a 14 MIL per level?

    NO WAY.

  • 2 bk // Jun 30, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    The franchise player for rebuild is either Dwight Howard via free agency next year, or draft. The first is very unlikely happening. So, keeping Nash will give us other #13 or #14 pick next year or two, I am not in favor of that.

  • 3 steve // Jun 30, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    *In before the inevitable Three Stooges remark*

    I’m all about option #3 (and #4, if necessary). More specifically, I’d like to see any real action come through trades. Either get a top-tier guy (which seems very unlikely, as all of those guys are either getting extremely flaky or they’re signing extensions) or bring on bad contracts for future picks.

    If neither of those options pans out, then I’d be fine with signing a couple more of the Michael Redds or Shannon Browns of the world.

  • 4 Scott // Jun 30, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    NYUK NYUK NYUK!!!

    *In with the first 3 Stooges remark* :)

    I hope the Suns are being thoughtful and disciplined in their decisions.

    I don’t expect Aaron Brooks or Shannon Brown to stick. I’m okay with Telfair staying, because I appreciate his effort in some games late last year, but if the Suns can replace him with better talent then they should do so, or if they need the cap space they should cut him. (I believe Telfair’s renewal comes up tomorrow.)

    I don’t expect the Suns to be looking at free agents like Beasley, but rather trade possibilities and mainly players who truly fit the mold of the Suns.

    I’d like to see the Suns land at least two significant players they haven’t had before. Some of the guys I’ve mentioned in the past few days, like Scola, Ray Allen, Mayo, would all be fine, if the price is right.

    If Redd wants to return for another low money, one or two year contract, I’m fine with that.

    I agree with what Babby appears to be saying in that it’s better for the Suns to wind up with nobody than to take on ill-fitting players with crippling contracts, unless they get something like first round picks for taking on expiring contracts.

    So … good luck, Suns fans! (crosses fingers)

  • 5 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Jun 30, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    From Paul Coro of AZ Central:

    The #Suns showed interest in Dragic but tough for an 8-figure price, wish to be a franchise PG (with Marshall) & Houston’s push to keep him.

  • 6 Roger // Jun 30, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    I’m for keeping the powder dry for ’13 FA market. By being bad for one more season may also get us into top 5 pick next year.

    Putting together a roster this season will be difficult for Sarver, he probably worries about how to fill seats after Nash leaves so here’s what the FO might do.

    1. Let Nash and Brooks walk or do sign&trade to accumulate picks in 14 & 15. Shannon, Price and Redd walk too. Wait till ’13 to amnesty Childress or Warrick.
    2. Re-sign Hill, Bassi, match Lopez.
    3. Babby signs Ray Allen for 2 years and complete the roster with another low-cost “scorer”.

    Starting 5 – Kendall, Allen, Hill, Gortat and Morris. Ok to mix Kendall with veterans coz Lance will say the rookie is cerebral.
    Next 5 – Bassi, Dudley, Childress (until Fry returns), Warrick and Lopez.

    So that’s it to-be-bad-for-one-more-year roster !!

  • 7 Scott // Jul 1, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Eric Gordon will be visiting the Suns on Tuesday, after discussions with the Hornets and then a visit in Houston on Monday.

    When NO picked Austin Rivers in the draft, I wondered if maybe the Hornets were not entirely happy with Gordon.

    Or maybe they’re worried about Gordon’s knee, which kept him out for most of the season last year.

    IIRC, he’d had a sore knee when he was with the Clippers, but it wasn’t that bad and no one thought anything of it. After a knee-to-knee collision with Grant Hill early in the season, his knee started swelling up, and he had to have it drained. The doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong, and some advocated rest while others recommended surgery. After an extended rest didn’t fix it, Gordon had surgery where particles of cartilage were removed. After rehab, he returned, but it was already about the end of the season.

    Anyway, I don’t know if Gordon is worth a max contract, $12m per year, but he does have a PER of 19 and has a career scoring average of 18 ppg. I’d assume he’s most likely to return to NO, as they should have the most money to offer, but if he’s looking to move to a winning team, both Houston and Phoenix will look more appealing than NO, despite The Brow.

  • 8 KeZ // Jul 1, 2012 at 12:14 am

    Personally I really like Beasley´s game. I wouldn´t mind if we signed him(sometimes u need someone with attitude and a “dont back down from anybody” type of player on the court, which we know our team doesn´t have). Josh Smith on the other hand is a bad bad man! The FO must sign him. But we all know they won´t do it because there retarded and will offer mad money to some scrub.

    Once again, sorry for my english….I´m swedish.

  • 9 Scott // Jul 1, 2012 at 12:33 am

    In relation to Gordon being “worth it,” I should note that Scola is due to make about $20m over 3 years, and he has a PER of 15, ppg of 15, and a measly 6 rbp. He doesn’t shoot the 3. While he’s not athletic and keeps his feet on the floor, he’s not bad defensively, and his motor is good.

    Gordon is only 6′ 3″, which is short for a SG, but he’s got a 6′ 9″ wingspan, which helps make up for the smallish stature.

    Gordon can improve defensively, and he doesn’t assist or rebound much. He’s mainly a finisher.

    So there’s a comparison of the two. Their cost is about the same (with Gordon slightly higher, and one more year on his contract).

    Ray Allen, BTW, has a PER of nearly 15, and may be expected to be slowed by age and injury. He made $10m in his last year.

    So Gordon would be better than Allen.

  • 10 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Jul 1, 2012 at 12:55 am

    Paul Coro?@paulcoro

    Confirmed that the #Suns have expressed interest in Jordan Hill, as @SeanDeveney and @mcten reported.

    Paul Coro?@paulcoro

    The #Suns reached out to Jamal Crawford, per @ChrisBHaynes. They talked last year too. In-game, he told @Jumpshot8 that he should be a

  • 11 Scott // Jul 1, 2012 at 12:59 am

    Mayo will be visiting with the Suns, not sure when. He’s also slated to meet with the Nets, Celtics, and Pacers. (The Pacers nearly got Mayo earlier in a trade of unequal talents, but it fell through due to clumsiness on the part of the Pacers’ FO.)

    In addition to the Suns, Rockets, and Hornets, Gordon will be visiting the Blazers, the Bobcats, and the Mavs. (I think the Mavs just moved to the top of the list for Gordon.)

    The Suns will also be meeting with … Jared Jeffries? Hopefully that’s just cover for a clandestine meeting with Jeremy Lin. :)

  • 12 Scott // Jul 1, 2012 at 1:03 am

    BTW, if Nash is really getting low-balled by the Suns FO, it’s possible Sarver may ride to the rescue.

    Per Coro:

    The Suns’ negotiations to retain Grant Hill (twice) and Channing Frye in recent years started with low initial offers before Managing Partner Robert Sarver stepped in late with above-market offers.

  • 13 Scott // Jul 1, 2012 at 1:33 am

    @Rich -

    I don’t like your FA rumors. :(

    I hope we don’t end up with Jared Jeffries, Jordan Hill, and Jamal Crawford. Good grief. That doesn’t seem right.

  • 14 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Jul 1, 2012 at 1:36 am

    The bottom line is that the Suns don’t want to (and shouldn’t) give Nash 3 years at 10+ mil per. I hope they stick to that.

    I don’t know about Mayo. I do know that he wants to be a starter and a star so I can see why he’d visit with the Suns. He’d start day one.

    Jordan Hill seems content to go back to the Lakers and that’s a good fit for him.

  • 15 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Jul 1, 2012 at 1:38 am

    @Scott –

    I don’t like them either… Though as I just said Hill seems very willing to return to the Lakers.

    If Crawford wants to be here and the Suns really were trying to get him then… I guess he isn’t as bad as Shannon Brown… I suppose… I’m going to vomit now.

  • 16 KeZ // Jul 1, 2012 at 1:53 am

    If i were the suns FO, i would target Josh Smith, Kris Humphries and Michael Beasley.

    But that´s just me.

  • 17 KeZ // Jul 1, 2012 at 2:01 am

    A starting 5 with:

    Marshall
    Brown
    Smith
    Humphries
    Gortat

    would add some much needed defence while still playing “Phx style on offense”.

  • 18 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Jul 1, 2012 at 2:19 am

    Here is a list of the 2012 FA class, restricted and unrestricted.

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/2012-nba-free-agents

    I don’t see J Smoove anywhere on that list and if he’s still under contract I don’t see how PHX has a shot at him.

    Kris Kardashian, (formerly), is free but he seems to have value. I would imagine a team already headed in the direction of contention would be more up his alley.

  • 19 KeZ // Jul 1, 2012 at 2:27 am

    Ah, my bad with J Smoove. I thought he was a free agent :(

    Nick Young is a free agent!? Interesting………

  • 20 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Jul 1, 2012 at 2:27 am

    Suns also poking a stick at Chris Kaman. I wonder if he’d take on a bench role. If so, I don’ mind it.

  • 21 RC3973 // Jul 1, 2012 at 5:37 am

    The Phoenix suns should get Josh Smith,Gordon,Batum. a sign and trade with nash for a player and pic would be great such as rudy gay and 1st pick.then sign mayo to compete with marshall.
    Suns Team:
    Marshall/Mayo
    Gordon/Dudley
    Smith/Gay
    Morris/Batum
    Gortat/Frye(not healthy)
    get rid of lopez,brooks and that sign and trade that would be dangerous possible ring as well.plus they will have trade bait for howard (players are interested in teams qualities)

  • 22 KeZ // Jul 1, 2012 at 5:55 am

    @RC3973 -

    I don´t want to be a hater, but that will never happen!

    Maybe on Nba Live 13…….

  • 23 Scott // Jul 1, 2012 at 7:24 am

    Suns are also linked in FA rumors to Raymond Felton, which I can’t picture happening.

  • 24 Scott // Jul 1, 2012 at 8:19 am

    BTW, here’s some guys the Suns might look at for Summer League …

    PG Scott Machado
    PG Zack Rosen
    G Nemanja Nedovic (if available)
    SG/SF William Buford
    SF John Shurna
    PF Eric Griffin
    PF Cameron Moore
    C Henry Sims
    C Garrett Stutz
    C Xavier Gibson

  • 25 KeZ // Jul 1, 2012 at 9:16 am

    @Scott -

    How do you know this? Do you have “Insider”?

  • 26 Scott // Jul 1, 2012 at 11:18 am

    How do I know which free agents the Suns are reportedly visiting? Just using Google to find basketball new sites.

    For instance, there’s a twitter feed on Hoopshype:

    http://hoopshype.com/twitter/media.html

    They just reported that the Suns have been approached by the Knicks for a sign and trade on Nash. Theoretically, the Suns have inquired about including Fields in that trade. The Knicks probably offered Shumpert.

    I say the Suns should spice it up by asking for Lin. :)

  • 27 Scott // Jul 1, 2012 at 11:20 am

    As for the list of names for Summer League, those are my suggestions, not actual Suns picks.

    In fact, since I posted it has been reported that Zack Rosen will play in Summer League for the 76ers. So he’s off the list ….

  • 28 Scott // Jul 1, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Also, while it is widely reported that Toronto has made a $36m / 3 yr deal to Nash, there’s a source that says that’s false.

    Another source says Toronto offered $20m for 2 years.

    None of the Nash suitors has anything interesting to offer the Suns in sign-and-trade without significantly diminishing their team.

    If it was NYC, I’d ask for Lin, Fields, and Shumpert. And toss Jefferies in there, if the Suns are serious about that.

    To me, Lin is the obvious way for the Knicks to trade for Nash. Anything else is something for nothing.

    Shumpert and Fields didn’t play all that well last year, except against the Suns. Shumpert averaged 9 ppg, 3 apg, and 3 rpg with a PER of 11.

    Fields scored 9 ppg, 3 apg, 4 rpg, with a PER of 12.

    Since Telfair was very bad for the first part of the year and still had a PER of 13, that shows how bad these guys were.

    The PER for an average player in the league is 15.

    So I say Nash goes to NYC on a sign-and-trade that includes Lin (PER of 20), or nothing.

    @Rich -

    Tony Meija seems to think the Suns are interested in Micheal Beasley. lol

  • 29 KeZ // Jul 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    @Scott -

    Thanks for the hoopshype site bro.

    The sign n trade with the Knicks would be nice.

    Yeah I saw that to about Michael Beasley….I personally like Beasley´s game, so I wouldn´t mind if we signed him.

  • 30 Scott // Jul 1, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Actually, if I was Phoenix and was going to blow it up and bang on the reset button (SELL SELL SELL!) – and if you can do this under the trade rules – I’d sign-and-trade both Nash and Hill to the max or whatever NY wants (assuming Hill is willing) in exchange for Lin, Shumpert, Fields, and Jeffries.

    The Knicks would get a true all All-Star starting five to parade to the media as a challenger to the Heat (Nash, Hill, Anthony, Stoudemire, and Chandler), and the Suns would get young talent. And Jeffries.

    In return, the Suns would get a future. They’d have a young PG (Lin) who has already started for a team and done well, who can score and pass, is familiar with Phoenix’s offense, and who can lead the team while Marshall finds his bearings. (Keep in mind that it took Dragic 4 years before he came to be seen as starting material. Even if Marshall has the talent to handle starting duties, it’s not likely he can do it in his first year or two.)

    If this sign-and-trade went through (and I believe it should have Knicks owner Dolan drooling), the Suns would start:

    Lin, Fields, Dudley, Morris, Gortat

    And the 2nd unit would be:

    Marshall, Childress, Warrick, Jeffries, Lopez.

    That leaves Telfair and the injured Shumpert and Frye, both due back by January-ish, and room to take on one more player, like Brown or Redd, if desired.

    And the Suns reboot would be more or less complete.

  • 31 Jason A. // Jul 1, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    @ Scott Lin is going nowhere.

    I have to say, I was feeling pretty bad about things and dwelling on that “risk of hard times” comment from Blanks. And then I wake up to see we are EVERYWHERE. The only people we aren’t linked to are Cs and SFs. I didn’t think I’d be saying this but I have to hand it to the FO. For now.

    I think the opportunity is out there for us to pick up value guys that fit a role, and I think that will make us flat out competitive. If we get a veteran PG (Nelson, Felton) for $7 mil, OJ Mayo for $9 mil, and Beasley for $7 mil, we’re going to be downright scary. And young.

  • 32 Al // Jul 1, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Right now, Phoenix has to be sneaky and ready to pounce on restricted players with offensive talent. Gerald Wallace is off the board and Gerald Green and Batum seem to be going the same route as well in the first week of free agency. Suns can offer Eric Gordon a max contract, but that will just be a waste of an offer as NO would most likely not hesitate to match it. I read Blazers and and UNNAMED team offered Hibbert a max contract. Could the unnamed team been the Suns? Right now I think Phoenix should focus on the Brook Lopez situation. The Nets are playing for several players looking for high priced contracts and Lopez will probably be the odd man out when all is said and done. This is a guy Phoenix could quietly offer a max contract and pair him with his twin brother and make for a happy reunion. Now, is Brook Lopez max contract material? Not Quite, but the guy is only 23 and he still has the opportunity to improve. I also like the rumor that Suns may be pursuing Kaman. This is another big with a nice offense around the basket. Kaman for 32-36 million for 4 years is a pretty good offer. This two bigs give Phoenix the opportunity to go ahead and flip Gortat for wing/perimeter players with defense (Paul George?). I guess Alonzo Gee might be a decent pick at 4 mill as well. I hope the suns FO are delusional and start releasing rumors of pursuing big name players; although, it’s a hysterical way to troll the fan base.

  • 33 Mike M // Jul 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    @Scott and Jason A.- I would love to see Lin in a Suns uni and I think Scott’s trade idea actually makes a lot of sense. But that is exactly why the Knicks wouldn’t do it. Lin became too big of a superstar last season for the Knicks to willingly part with him. He’s a restricted free agent and I think he’s going to get some fat contract offers that the Knicks will probably match. No more sleeping on Landry Fields couch for Lin.

    @Al- I’d be happy to have the FO to bring in Lopez but I think a max contract would be overpaying. The guy had a terrible season. I think he’ll bounce back but he doesn’t deserve a max deal after that. You should only give max contracts to players who actually earn them. And I’d rather have Gortat at 7 mil than Hibbert at a max contract. Another guy that is good but doesn’t deserve a max contract.

  • 34 Mike M // Jul 1, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Some Fun Starting Lineups using current players and/or free agents

    Retirement Home Suns:
    PG- Andre Miller
    SG- Ray Allen (backed up by Jerry Stackhouse)
    SF- Grant Hill
    PF- Juwan Howard
    C- Marcus Camby/Ben Wallace combo rotating for breaks so trainers can rub their bunions

    Baby Suns:
    PG- Kendall Marshall
    SG- Eric Gordon
    SF- Jared Dudley
    PF- Markieff Morris
    C- Brook Lopez (backed up by Robin)

    Headcase Suns:
    PG- Gilbert Arenas
    SG- J.R. Smith
    SF- Michael Beasley (only 1 more year for Metta World Peace!)
    PF- Kenyon Martin
    C- JaVale McGee

    Hmm, that one may be my favorite…If we’re gonna suck might as well do it with some panache.

    Run’n'Fun Suns:
    PG- Jeremy Lin
    SG- Jamal Crawford
    SF- Gerald Wallace (yeah yeah I know he’s supposed to have already committed to the Nets but it’s not in writing yet)
    PF- Ryan Anderson
    C- Jared Jeffries- JUST KIDDING, I didn’t find a center particularly appealing. Just put Channing Frye here.

    Around the World Suns:
    PG- Goran Dragic
    SG- Rudy Fernandez
    SF- Carlos Delfino
    PF- Ersan Ilyasova
    C- Omer Asik

    Reunion Suns:
    PG- Steve Nash
    SG- Leandro Barbosa
    SF- Shawn Marion (via trade)/Grant Hill
    PF- Amar’e Stoudemire (via trade)
    C- Marcin Gortat/Robin Lopez/Lou Amundson/Ben Wallace (he was on the team for like a day), we trade a washing machine to get Jake Voskuhl from the “Rain or Shine El Pasto Painters” of the Philippine Basketball Association (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jake_Voskuhl), and call up Shaq and Pat Burke out of retirement….yeahhhh, that should do it!

    Wow, that was actually really fun! And about as useful actually trying to figure out what’s gonna happen in free agency. Enjoy!

  • 35 Mike M // Jul 1, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    *Elasto Painters.

  • 36 Jason A. // Jul 1, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    I’m getting excited over here. This is what we need:

    PG A. Miller/Felton/Sessions – 3 yr / $18 mil
    SG OJ Mayo – 4 yr / $35 mil
    SF Beasley – 3 yr / $18 mil
    PF Humphries/Illyasova – 3 yr / $15 mil

    The only thing is we might not be able to get that good a PF for that money. I’m not comfortable with Frye and Morris won’t be ready yet. Maybe we just get a guy on a 2 yr deal.

  • 37 steve // Jul 1, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    @mike- I’d vote for headcase suns in a heartbeat. Every game would be like an episode of the real world.

  • 38 Jason A. // Jul 1, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Or I guess we could take the PG money and the PF money and just give it to Nash. 3 yrs / $33 mil. I’d love to see him mentor Marshall.

  • 39 Al // Jul 1, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    @Mike M. Loved your line ups. Don’t underestimate the Baby Suns roster. Sarver would probably have to invest on hospital beds instead of benches for the Retirement suns. As for the Headcase suns, fans that are seating front court would probably be given pepper spray for safety reasons. Lol

    I honestly think that Phoenix could come up with good pieces in this free agency that could convince Steve and Hill to stick around for one more run. The pieces that I am liking right now are:
    Kaman and Brook Lopez offer. Flip Gortat to Pacers for Paul George and Lance Stephenson.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=89x265w

    Resign Aaron Brooks and Robin Lopez to no more than 12 million per year for the both of them. Waive Warrick, because chances are Childress will not pick up player option. He will probably choose to opt out and look for longer stability.
    Also, regarding the Brook Lopez offer. Suns would probably have to entice Nets to let Brook go by giving them Markieff and Telfair for Brook Lopez and a 2nd round pick.
    Suns 2012-2013 Line up:
    Nash/Brooks/Marshall
    Paul George/Dudley/Redd?/Lance Stephenson
    Hill/Childress/George/Dudley
    Brook Lopez/Frye/Markieff (if kept)
    Kaman/Robin Lopez/Brook Lopez/Frye

    It would be great if they could keep Markieff and just give Nets a conditional 1st round pick. Or trade Markieff to the pacers along with Gortat for Arnett Moultrie.

  • 40 Jason A. // Jul 1, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Sorry Al, there’s nothing resembling reality in your proposed trades or lineup

  • 41 Edward // Jul 1, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Suns should trade hakim warrick

  • 42 Edward // Jul 1, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    PG: Nash, Marshall, Telfair
    SG: Allen, Dudley
    SF: Gordon, Hill, Childress
    PF: Garnett or Josh Smith, Morris
    C: Gortat & Lopez
    Man I am salivating for this line-up to happen.
    This team would be the smartest team in the NBA! Period!

  • 43 Edward // Jul 1, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    If suns go after josh smith if lihely win a title

  • 44 Edward // Jul 1, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Suns sould go the 10 free agens

  • 45 Scott // Jul 1, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    BTW, when I say the Suns reboot is done, they still need to go out and get a couple of stars. What I meant is they’re covered for the loss of Nash and Hill and they have young talent everywhere.

    So even with that trade for Lin, Shumpert, and Fields, the Suns should still be looking to buy a free agent star. Gordon or Mayo would be fine for now.

    As for NYC saying “No, you can’t have Lin” … remember Lin hasn’t ever played a full season and the Knicks are theoretically going for broke, trying to win a championship now. If they won’t give up Lin, the Suns shouldn’t work out a deal for them with Nash or Hill. That should send Nash to either Toronto or Phoenix.

    Other news … so far I can find no hint of interest by other teams in Robin Lopez.

    Hill has reportedly said he’ll take a pay cut to play with a contender.

    With Dwight telling the Rockets no, the Rockets have been busy hunting a big man and now have an agreement with Omer Asik of the Bulls. I think they were the other team interested in Hibbert, but have chosen to go with Asik. I only see mention of Hibbert in relation to Blazers and Pacers now.

  • 46 Tony // Jul 1, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    @Scott,

    come on, the Knicks are not going to accept an offer of Nash for Shumpert, Fields, and Lin. I don’t think they would even get two out of three for Nash. Firstly, Nash is a free-agent, so although they don’t have the cap space to likely offer enough for Nash, it would be ridiculous to agree to a sign and trade for so many young players. It would resemble another Carmelo Anthony situation except that Nash isn’t in his prime like Anthony was when that dumb deal went down. Secondly, Lin is a cash-cow and he brings a level of excitement to the Garden that is not likely to be matched anytime soon. Lastly, you don’t trade three young players with talent for a 38-year old.

    @Edward and Al,

    how about some degree of reality?? You guys have to remember to keep other teams perspectives, not just the Suns.

  • 47 Michael Schwartz // Jul 1, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Right, they would never get all three, but perhaps Fields and Shumpert? I understand that’s probably doubtful as well but since the Knicks are over the cap they would need to send back more than just Fields to make the salaries work. If I am understanding this and based on the Knicks’ cap situation (three high-salaried guys and a bunch of low $ contracts) this is starting to seem unlikely.

  • 48 Scott // Jul 1, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    @Tony -

    Yes, the Knicks approved of a similar trade to get Carmelo. That’s the kind of trading they do. They don’t think like other teams, and besides, the Suns aren’t asking for future picks.

    The difference in perspective is that Dolan will spend to get top talent; he doesn’t care how much it costs. He wants his team to have max media interest and he likes loopholes that allow him to spend more.

    To make the deal more appealing, and mathematically possible, I suggest the Suns see if they can add Hill, Brooks, and/or Telfair, to make it work. And they should agree to take back a contract or two they didn’t really want, if necessary, like Douglas or Novak, if it helps the math.

    The main problem for the Knicks would be depleting their roster and finding it hard to comply with league minimum rules, but I figure they’d still have some sort of exception left (midlevel or whatever) and other tricks they can use.

    The main point: don’t automatically treat Lin as untouchable. You can’t get a star if you assume you can’t. You need to ask and be creative about your opportunities. Lin’s a RFA right now. Other teams are going to bid on him, and he’ll undoubtedly be signed to a max contract. If I have it right, in terms of the logic of the trade, that just makes it easier and more necessary to work him in.

    And don’t think getting two players with bottom-feeder PER (Shumpert and Fields) is such a steal that you can’t ask for more. Zabian Dowdell had the same PER as those guys. The only Suns player last year to have a lower PER was Price. Brown and Warrick were both higher. Aren’t the Suns looking for talent, and preferably a star?

    Ah well. Probably the Suns FO will let Nash and Hill walk for nothing, and dump their cap space on players like Beasley. It’s probably a good thing Odom has already gone to the Clippers, or the Suns would have him too. :p

  • 49 Edward // Jul 1, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Suns should go after Lin ,Allen ,mayo,smith,shumpert, Gordon

  • 50 Scott // Jul 1, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    BTW, it is now reported that NYC has an interest in Grant Hill. If he’s folded into a trade, the Knicks won’t have to use an exception on him.

    It is also reported that the Knicks can offer Lin a 4 yr deal for $24.5m ($6m a year). If you put Lin at $6m, Fields at $4m, and Shumpert at $1.5m, that does enable you to get Nash at $12m a year, does it not?

    It seems to me the rest is just haggling. DO EET! :)

    @Edward -

    Of those, only Mayo and Gordon appear to be on the Suns’ list.

    The Mavs are probably the top destination for Gordon right now, but I’m not sure if they can get him if they also sign DWill. So signing Gordon may be a backup plan for them.

    Mayo is being courted by a few teams, including the Nets and Pacers. His decision will probably have to wait till some of the major contracts clear, like DWill and Nash.

  • 51 Scott // Jul 1, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    BTW, Scott Machado has been signed to play for Houston in the Summer League, along with Zoran Dragic.

    Zoran Dragic is the SG brother of someone you may have heard of. Goran says that of the two, Zoran is the better player.

    Kerr spoke to Zoran in 2010. Presumably there’s been no further contact.

    Maybe the Suns should follow the recent pattern and **sign the brother**.

    Last season Zoran Dragic was named 2011 Finals MVP, Player of the Year and also Defensive Player of the Year in the Slovenian League as the 6-foot-5 shooting guard averaged 15 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals a game and helped Krka Nova Mesto win the EuroChallenge Final Four.

    In 25 games this season for Krka Novo Mesto, Dragic is averaging 11 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, while shooting 53% from the field in the Adriatic League. During 12 Eurocup games, he averaged 11.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game (57% from the field).

    http://www.ridiculousupside.com/2012/4/13/2944657/zoran-dragic-still-waiting-for-chance-to-follow-in-brothers-nba

  • 52 B. Cray Z. // Jul 2, 2012 at 8:19 am

    For Babby, his contract has only one more year left.

    With that in mind, this sleazy lawyer has a plan. He will try to make Sarver eat out of his hand by making the team suck.

    Nash is in his way, as he only wants what is best for the Suns. Nash will want us to bring Hill, LB, Louis, Diaw & Gogi back. Like Nash, they are all unrestricted free agents. Babby will resist doing any of this because that will foil his selfish evil plan to push Nash out the door. Blanks is aware of the plan & warns us of impending dark days. He does not want to take the blame for how badly the Suns will suck.

    MUST reunite that killer bench unit. Let’s go SUNS!!!!

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