Why the Hornets might take three days to match and Steve Nash’s introduction to LA

Posted by on July 12th, 1:17 am

When it was first reported that New Orleans will likely take the full three days before inevitably matching the offer sheet to Eric Gordon, the average fan might have thought the Hornets were doing it to spite the Suns.

After all, the Suns are basically in limbo until the Hornets match Gordon because they would need to renounce Robin Lopez’s rights as well as amnesty or trade a player if they were to try to fit Gordon’s offer sheet and the signings of Goran Dragic and Michael Beasley under their cap.

It goes without saying that they cannot sign additional players without making corresponding moves either aside from potentially re-signing Lopez since his cap hold is already taking up $7.2 million.

With Gordon’s $13.7 mil first-year salary and the Lopez cap hold on their books, the Suns currently sit a hair under $55 million, or $3 million below the cap. As I have written before, if New Orleans were to shock the world and decline to match, the Suns would need to free up about $2 million to sign Dragic and Beasley on top of renouncing Lopez.

As for New Orleans, after making a bevy of moves today the Hornets have moved $10 million below the cap (as Hornets247′s Jason Calmes reports) with Gordon’s $9.6 million cap hold on their books rather than his $13.7 million starting salary.

As Larry Coon writes in the restricted free agency section of his Salary Cap FAQ:

The player’s prior team cannot match an offer sheet that is greater than their room. They must have enough room — again, either cap room or a satisfactory exception — at the time they are given notice that the player has signed an offer sheet, and at all times until matching. They cannot make moves to create sufficient room after receiving an offer sheet.

The Hornets can go over the cap to match the offer sheet because they own Gordon’s Bird rights, so the $4 million difference between his cap hold and the offer sheet will disappear if not used before the three days are up. In other words, the Hornets must spend that entire $10 million in the three days or else they will forfeit $4 mil of it.

At first I was surprised, too, that they would wait the 72 hours when it seems to be a foregone conclusion that they will match, but they aren’t sticking it to the Suns, they will merely be trying to see what other deals might be out there with this extra cap space before (presumably) locking in Gordon.

Of course this puts the Suns in a tough spot, because they won’t know whether they will have about $11 million to spend (not counting Lopez) or must cut the $2 mil for the next three days. One would think a free agent would wait on the Suns if Phoenix was their top choice, but there may not be any shooting guards left by the time Saturday at 8:59 p.m. MST rolls around.

“We’re a pretty carefully prepared bunch, and we anticipate that, and we just have to play it out,” said PBO Lon Babby. “We know the risks associated with it and have our plans mapped out accordingly to hopefully getting Eric.”

The Suns could have always reneged on their deal with Gordon if they did in fact know for sure that the Hornets will match as everybody is reporting and common sense dictates, but with the Suns trying so hard to made a good impression on the league to accommodate Nash I doubt this was an option they considered very much.

I do wonder why the sides did not at least make more of an attempt at a sign-and-trade deal. Perhaps the Hornets showed no interest from the start or their initial discussions were as fruitful as those on this site between Suns and Hornets fans. With the Suns wanting Gordon so much and Gordon wanting the Suns, a sign-and-trade seemed to me to be the most logical conclusion so I’m disappointed this wasn’t considered more heavily.

So now we wait as Suns management hopes the Hornets miss the matching deadline on Saturday, as otherwise it seems unlikely they would just let him go for nothing.

Suns consider logic rather than emotion to complete Nash deal, make ‘math decision’

Suns management reacted to the possibility of Steve Nash being traded to the Lakers the same way you did when the scenario was first broached.

Yet at the end of the day, the Suns took the emotion out of the decision and used their leverage to extract four draft picks from the Lakers.

“If we could get a deal that worked, it kind of is irrelevant where Steve ended up except for the fact that we have to compete against him,” Babby said. “We felt like getting four draft choices outweighed that.”

Many fans disagree, since fans inherently behave more emotionally than management. Yet that is how Babby and company came to the decision to complete the Nash trade.

Babby said he would “adamantly disagree” with anyone who calls it “a financial decision,” saying instead it was a “math decision.”

“To make that clear, you only have a certain amount of cap space,” Babby said. “Our job, my job in particular, is to allocate how we’re going to spend that. At the end of the day, there was no way to accommodate what he rightfully thought he deserved and our efforts to reload our team. The math just couldn’t work. He ended up with a terrific contract with the Lakers; if we would have given him a similar contract it would have hamstrung us in our efforts to reload and move into transition.”

I understand those who feel the difference between a “financial” decision and a “math” decision is merely lawyer talk, but what I believe that means is it’s not like the Suns were too cheap to sign Nash, it’s that they did not feel spending $10 million a year on a 38-year-old point guard on a three-year contract was the best way to allocate their finite resources under a $58 million salary cap.

If the Suns had signed Nash, there would have been no Dragic, and Beasley would have only been able to be signed if Childress was amnestied.

Combined with the Gordon offer sheet that is tantalizing on its face, but I get why the Suns wanted to commence rebuilding with cap space this offseason, and spending $10 million a year on a player approaching 40 did not jibe with that plan.

Highlights from Nash’s presser in LA

  • “Wow, this is a day I never foresaw in my life, but just an incredible opportunity for me.” I’d be lying if I said I ever foresaw this either.
  • “Originally I wanted to come back …. I wanted to do the best I could to leave that franchise in a better place, but when it became apparent the Suns wanted to move in a different direction and start over in a way that’s when I had to get used to the idea of moving somewhere else and playing for another franchise.” Of course he wanted to come back at $10 mil a year, but Babby did make it clear the Suns wanted to get younger.
  • “I feel lucky that this became a reality.” Who would have ever thought Two Time would utter those words? Kind of sickening for Suns fans.
  • “I could definitely live with myself if it [winning a championship] didn’t happen, but I would definitely be the life of the party if it did.”
  • “They chose to go in a younger direction, and I can’t fault them for that. We’ve been pretty mediocre the last couple years, and we’ve lost some talent and they wanted to try to start fresh in some ways, so it was clear they wanted to get younger and go in a new direction.”
  • Nash chose to wear No. 10 (13 is retired for Wilt Chamberlain) because that is the number playmakers traditionally wear in soccer.
  • Nash answered a few questions in Spanish to the delight of the bilingual reporters in the audience.

Babby on losing Nash

It’s excruciating. I just feel like in coming here two years ago was to get us to this point and somehow find a way to get us through it. At some point Steve Nash wasn’t going to be here and I felt like that was one of my principle responsibilities; to usher us through that phase as gracefully and with as much dignity as we could. I think we’ve done that, I hope we’ve done that. But you never want to see a good friend go and a player of his caliber go. Yeah, it was excruciating, even moreso for many more people in this organization who spent many more years with him and enjoyed much greater success personally and professionally than I did.”

Kevin Zimmerman contributed reporting.

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: Eric Gordon · Lon Babby · Los Angeles Lakers · New Orleans Hornets · Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns Analysis · Steve Nash

112 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ryan // Jul 12, 2012 at 2:43 am

    I thought we would work out a sign and trade deal as well, especially when I saw that the Hornets traded Jack. I thought they were clearing room at the PG to make a deal for Marshall and maybe take on Warrick’s expiring deal plus a first rounder.

    The Hornets waiting the three whole days does suck but I think we should be ok. OJ Mayo and Gordon share the same agent so it looks like we may already have a deal in place for Mayo if we don’t get Gordon.

    There is hardly any starting SG vacancies in the league right now so hopefully no one will sweep in and scoop up Mayo. The only team that does worry me a little is the Mavs. Although, it looks like the Mavs are turning their direction for Elton Brand and are trying to keep cap space open for next season.

    I think Mayo wants to play here since he would obviously be given the chance to start here and would be either a our first, second, or third scoring option on what figures to be a up-tempo run’n'gun offense that will score a lot of points.

  • 2 bk // Jul 12, 2012 at 3:53 am

    Not a big deal at all. The Beasley and Dragic deal can wait after the Eric Gordon Mess is cleared. The only concern is whether there will be good FA left if Gordon stays in NO 3 days later. If no good players left, the Suns can stay at 15% below the cap $58M = around $50M payroll this season without signing garbage players.

  • 3 Scott // Jul 12, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Stupid idea dept …

    Since there’s been so much grinding on Beasley, Gordon, and Mayo lately, no one’s been throwing out a bunch of stupid player ideas. I thought I’d try to fill the void.

    Do the Suns need to add more salary? I might have misunderstood, but I thought someone mentioned that the Suns need to sign another $10m in contracts to meet a minimum salary requirement. I’m not familiar with that rule, but here are some suggestions.

    1) Trade either cash or a 2nd round pick to Toronto for James Johnson. He’s an athletic defensive SF who is overcoming inconsistency and learning to score. He’s 25, 6′ 9″, 248 lbs, and has a PER of 15.

    While his average is 9 ppg in 25 min, he did have a 23 pt game last year, and that was in 31 min.

    The Raps might want to let him go because he’s one of 4 players currently listed as SF on the roster, including 2 draft picks at SF.

    Salary: $2.8m, 1 year.

    2) Trade with Minnesota for the expiring contract of Martell Webster. He’s not played well for the Wolves, and came to them injured from Portland. The back injury occurred during a playoff game against the Suns. When Webster was playing well with Portland, the Suns liked him, and coming to Phoenix he could try out for the SG spot. He has a career 3 pt % of .374, and last year shot .339.

    Webster is 25, 6′ 7″, 230 lbs, and has a dismal PER of 10. The Wolves would probably be happy to get him off their roster, and could even give the Suns a small incentive to take him. Then we could see if there’s anything the training staff can do to help him fully recover.

    Salary: $5.7m, 1 year.

    Together, these 2 additions to the Suns would add $9.5m to the Suns’ salary. Both players are on expiring contracts, so they preserve cap space, and both players are young (25 years old) and worth a look by the Suns.

  • 4 Scott // Jul 12, 2012 at 7:14 am

    Err … typo there. That should be $8.5m in salary. :)

  • 5 Scott // Jul 12, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Awww … the Wolves are going to free up cap space for Batum by amnestying Darko.

    I’m pretty sure they’d let Webster go for a song, as that would accomplish the same thing.

  • 6 bk // Jul 12, 2012 at 7:49 am

    There are about $50M committed for 10 players assuming Gordon is not coming. That’s enough for the required minimum salary (85% of $58M) if there is no good FA to sign but bench roster filler to minimum 13. And there is room up to $8M for Mayo if he is available after July 14th.

    Dragic $8 (estimate)
    Gortat $7.26
    Childress $6.5
    Frye $6
    Beasley $6 (estimate)
    Warrick $4.25
    Dudley $4.25
    Lopez $4
    Morris $2
    Marshall $1.9

  • 7 JZ // Jul 12, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Wow. Hope I am wrong, but that looks like a 35-47 win team. Tops.

  • 8 Jason A. // Jul 12, 2012 at 9:08 am

    @Scott interesting.

    @JZ if we get Mayo I’d be surprised if we missed the playoffs.

  • 9 Andy // Jul 12, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Here’s the thing I don’t understand. In this press conference, at least, it seems like the front office thinks we’re tearing down and starting over. In that case, it seems like we should be preserving as much cap space as possible. Facilitating trades and taking back bad contracts is exactly how OKC put themselves in position to have enough good picks all at once to become the team they are today. I know that these things are slightly less valuable in a post-amnesty world, but we still see teams pulling it off a few times a year. Heck, Cleveland almost got at least one first, if not two, for renting cap space in the collapsed Howard deal. Splurging on Beasley for 3 years at 6 million, rather than Hickson for 5/1 is a first round pick or two we can’t get later by absorbing contracts, say next summer. It’s the same situation with Mayo – signing him to a multi-year deal is just another first round we might be missing out on next summer.

    Of course, if this is a 47 win team, maybe that’s worth it. But… boy, it’s hard to see that. We’re not even in the same realm as either LA team, the Spurs, or the Thunder. Memphis and Denver are way ahead of us. Even if you stop right there, the seventh team in the West was on pace for a 45 win season last year. And with Dallas just having pulled in Collison, Brand, and Kaman, I think they’re probably back ahead of us. Utah was better than us last year and they’re young enough we’d expect them to improve. Even with Mayo, I don’t see how anyone could be surprised if we miss the playoffs. We might have a shot, of course, but surprise seems a bit much. I think, even optimistically, we’re probably a .500 team that’s going to have our playoff spot determined by health (our team and others’) and who around us gets better or worse.

  • 10 Ty-Sun // Jul 12, 2012 at 10:01 am

    With either Mayo or Gordon (unlikely now) on board I can see this team winning 50 games… or loosing 50. The Suns are going to be a very different team next season and a lot depends on how well all the new pieces work together. With a full training camp and preseason this year they will at least have more time to turn this new collection of players into a real team.

    But until the roster is complete and they actually all hit the court together I have no idea how good or bad this new team will be. But I do know that it will be interesting to see what kind of a team that they will eventually evolve into.

  • 11 Jason A. // Jul 12, 2012 at 10:35 am

    @Andy I don’t disagree with your statement per se, but I think what this FO is doing is acquiring assets. You’ve heard Babby talk about it before. Mayo on a reasonable contract is an asset. Beasley is an asset. It seems as though we’ve been able to add guys that in years’ past fans have clamored for us to trade for.

    If you compare what we paid for Warrick and Childress against what we’re paying now for players, especially with some of these amnesty cuts, I think there are a lot of assets out there for us. Those assets can be parlayed into a star. Maybe a FA signing here, a lucky bounce there, and we’re in the running. Besides, with LA where they’re at and OKC where they’re at, there is no window for a deep playoff run in the next few years. But in three years I think the West will be wide open.

  • 12 Roger // Jul 12, 2012 at 11:10 am

    How about Grant Hill, where does he fit in the picture?

  • 13 Ty-Sun // Jul 12, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Grant Hill isn’t returning. He’s presently looking at offers from other teams.

  • 14 Andy // Jul 12, 2012 at 11:51 am

    @Jason
    My problem with that logic is fairly straightforward: almost by definition, if you are acquiring an unrestricted free agent, you are paying him more than (or at least, the absolute maximum that) the market has judged him to be worth. Why is another team going to surrender assets for the right to acquire a contract they could have signed the player to themselves? In that scenario, the FO are betting that the player substantially increases in value from what you paid. But in both the cases of Mayo and Beasley, we (and the rest of the league) has seem them for a minimum of four years in a wide variety of roles, getting starter minutes. There’s not much reason to think that the market is suddenly going to spike for them, regardless of their performance on our team for the next few years. I think you would be very hard-pressed to find a scenario where an unrestricted free agent with four or more years of experience gets signed to a contract above the MLE, and then that contract becomes a significant asset. More often than not, I think it usually ends up a significant liability. (And Frye and Childress are two perfect examples of that.) And even if they do really well, we get to flip them for a first round pick. Which is great but..

    On the flipside, if you just do one year/team option contracts, you are left with an asset that we are absolutely sure is worth a first round pick in this league – the space to facilitate trades and take on bad deals. And that asset doesn’t have any of the downside (getting locked into an overpaying contract) that these deals have. This is why I feel that, unless you’re really serious about competing in the next year or two (which this press conference seems to be downplaying), you’re likely just better off not signing the kind of deals we’re signing.

  • 15 Ty-Sun // Jul 12, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Just read that Hill has narrowed his choices down to LAL, OKC and Miami. The Lakers are probably where he will wind up because Nash has actively been recruiting him there but he has offers from all three teams.

  • 16 ... // Jul 12, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Hill isn’t coming back since 1: we have a logjam at SF and 2He’s at the end of his career and wants a ring so he’s signing with a conteder (Heat, Thunder, Lakers)

  • 17 Jason A. // Jul 12, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    For those questioning the FO on tying up our dollars on the fruitless pursuit of Gordon, I am beginning to think we did it as a favor to his agent, Rob Pelinka. We hook him up with the contract he wanted and then if Nola matches Pelinka will deliver Mayo at half the price. We get the player, we keep our reputation as a player-friendly franchise, and we enhance our standing with the agents. Win-win-win!

  • 18 Roger // Jul 12, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    @Ty

    Based on Babby’s comments on Hill, you’re right I’ll be surprised he comes back. Miami is already loaded so that’s not a good destination. LAL makes sense because of Nash’s recruiting but LAL may not have the money that Hill deserves so OKC might be it.

    Do you think OKC might be interested in S&T Hill + 2nd picks for Thabo? That would be nice!

  • 19 Ty-Sun // Jul 12, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I hope you are right Jason A. With Mayo aboard I see the potential for a very good team this season. Not great but very good.

  • 20 tjr // Jul 12, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Sign and trade Robin Lopez for Marshon Brooks
    -Lopez Brothers on the nets would be fun/interesting
    -Brooks fills the sg need and I think would be a good fit along side pass-first Marshall.
    Throw in Hakim Warrick for Travis Outlaw also to make the money match up more potentially also.

  • 21 Tony // Jul 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    @Jason,

    wow! You really take the cake as the ultimate Sarve-supporter. So now you give the FO credit for offering the max to a restricted free agent who’s team had never given any indication they would not match any offer, including a max-offer, so that they would tie money up waiting for NO to match and then, when they do match and if he’s still available, to then overpay for Mayo.
    If you haven’t yet, you should check out the BrightsideoftheSun site, you would fit right in with those clowns.

  • 22 bk // Jul 12, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Babby said FO is not satified as the team 7-10 in the west. So, Eric Gordon fit the bill. Suns is 1-6 if they got him. Suns is 11-14 if they don’t. That’s how FO saw it, does it?

  • 23 Jason A. // Jul 12, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    @Tony I think it’s pretty obvious you have no idea of what you’re talking about. Mayo is available and if we sign him to a $6-7 mil annual deal that’s not overpaying. I’m not sure you have a good grip on what a good contract is. When a player has potential, youth, and a history of 17-20 ppg as a starter, $6 million is not a lot of money.

    Perhaps you should just stick to posting on azcentral.com. Those haters are completely clueless.

  • 24 Scott // Jul 12, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    From the “in the year 2000″ dept …

    I think the Beasley signing has to stand on its own, outside the context of the offer to Gordon.

    The length of the Beasley contract indicates Blanks is probably working off of a plan that will take at least 4 years to rebuild.

    Any thoughts on that?

    Four years seems like a long time to me, and decisions to sign guys you wouldn’t want to keep, like Beasley, only stretch out the timeframe.

    Who would you want to bring to the team, to test out and possibly keep? High IQ, high motor, high character guys who can defend, create, and shoot. (Like the guys on the Spurs.)

    Beasley sounds to me like the contract you compromise to take because you have to fill a particular need on the team and there are no other choices that will keep you in contention. Except the Suns aren’t contending, and Beasley’s multi-year contract seems to be taking up space.

  • 25 Scott // Jul 12, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    If the Suns hadn’t already robbed the Lakers of picks, they could have agreed to take on Metta World Peace for picks. That would be a signing that makes more sense for a rebuilding Suns than Beasley.

    Does it not?

    That’s a player who does not fit the mold of the team, but he’s taken on in this case to bring the picks needed for rebuilding, and his contract expires in 2 years.

    That seems more appropriate than signing a guy for 3 years when he’s clearly not part of the team’s future.

  • 26 joey // Jul 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    i totally agree with jason. beasley at 6mil is a good value contract. mayo at 6-7 maybe 8mil is a good deal as well. we would have 2 talented wing players that can score 20-25 anytime. that’s a huge upgrade from last year. now if we can just find another amare in the draft we would be set for a great future. these moves set the foundation for a very bright future. att this point i hope hornets match and we get may. he’s much cheaper for about the same production. then next year we’ll have childress 6.5mil, warrick 4mil and a extra 5-6mil if we get mayo instead of gordon. that’s about 15mil to spend on a bigtime free agent.

  • 27 Scott // Jul 12, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Since the Suns have already robbed the Lakers, though, what about offering to take on Tyrus Thomas from the Bobcats in exchange for Bobcat picks?

    Tyrus Thomas plays PF, the position where the Suns need help with Frye out. He’s under contract for 3 years at $8m, $8.6m, and $9.4m.

    Why not take him on, instead of Beasley, for tasty Bobcats picks and maybe offloading either Warrick or Childress as well if they don’t want to give a lot of picks?

    That would seem to have been a better rebuilding move than taking on Beasley.

  • 28 Scott // Jul 12, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Heck, if the Suns could trade Warrick and Childress for Thomas and a future first rounder (top 3 protected), it still looks like a good deal to me.

  • 29 Ty-Sun // Jul 12, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Beasley is a gamble. No doubt about that but he can play both the 3 and 4 and I’m not quite ready to give up on him after only 4 years in the NBA. In the 10-11 season he did average 19.2 ppg as a starter for Minn. Last year his ppg dropped to 11.5 but he also played over 9 minutes less per game and mostly came in off the bench instead of starting. I look at his contract as a good gamble, nothing else.

  • 30 bk // Jul 12, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Kris Humphries is still available. He is a top 10 rebounder in the league last season.

  • 31 Andy // Jul 12, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    I think the point several of us are trying to make is: gamble for what? If he plays to the best of his ability, we’re what, competing for a playoff spot? Barely? We could have accomplished the same by keeping Nash. If he plays like he has up until now in his career, he’s overpaid and we have a bad contract. That, to me, is the biggest problem with the move. If we think he’s going to be good enough to be worth the contract, we wil be exactly the 7-10 seed Babby says we don’t want to be. But if we’re just signing him to fill a roster slot, we could have done that in any number of ways that would have been better for rebuilding. If it’s halfway between the two, we are stuck with the same directionless team and front office we’ve had the last several years.

  • 32 Tony // Jul 12, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    @Andy,

    well-stated! Judging by their career statistics, the best we could hope from Beasley and Mayo is likely not good enough to make the Suns even 2nd round contenders. Let’s not forget that although Beasley has a career average of 15.1ppg, he only shoots 45% and for a 6-10 guy, that’s extremely poor. In addition, he only averages 5.6 rpg as well in addition to being an extremely poor defender.

    @ Jason,
    I have no problem with giving Beasley a 1 year deal at $6 million, but a 3-year deal at that range is extremely risky. The same goes for Mayo, who is an even less efficient scorer than Beasley with only a 43%fg and he also doesn’t play any defense.

    I think BrightsideoftheSun is warping your intelligence, and that you should check out AZcentral to possibly regain some rational perspective. Most of those knuckleheads on BrightSide would praise the FO even if they struck out on top FAs for the next ten years.

  • 33 bk // Jul 12, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    I think signing Humphries makes more sense to me than signing Gordon or Mayo. The younger Suns will be a mod of the older Lakers..

    Bynum…… Gortat (both are top 10 rebounders)
    Gasol…… Humphries (both are top 10 rebounders)
    Whoever SF……. Beasely (both are question mark here)
    Bryant…… Dragic (both has good PPG as starter)
    Nash……. Marshall (both assist leader)

  • 34 Scott // Jul 12, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    @Ty-Sun -

    If the Suns are rebuilding, shouldn’t they be taking on either A) bad contracts that give good picks or promising young players, or B) promising young players on short contracts, to see if they’re keepers?

    You could say that Beasley is a promising young player, but to me he looks like a typical stopgap player, because the Suns won’t be keeping him past this current contract. He’s not Suns material.

    Beasley isn’t a good defender, or a heady guy who makes everyone around him better. He’s a headcase with an average b-ball IQ who can score.

  • 35 Ty-Sun // Jul 12, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    If I thought that the Suns’ FO in any way thought that Beasley was “THE ANSWER” to turning this franchise around I would be among the first to claim that they were completely insane. Beasley is a piece of the pie, not the whole pie. You put together a good team and you have leverage in enticing even better players to sign with your team and you have better trading chips when the opportunity for a trade comes up.

    I’m well aware that some people think that the Suns should just tank next season and try to rebuild through the draft. Taking chances on some players could very well keep them in the mediocre team range but they could also pay off and allow them to rebuild much quicker than they could through the draft.

    Which way is right? You can make a case for either strategy. OKC built through the draft. The Heat and the Mavericks – the last two NBA champions – didn’t. Neither did the Lakers or the Celtics. The Suns’ FO may not be smart enough to rebuild on the fly but that is what they are trying to do. Time will tell. Either way, you can’t rebuild in one season.

  • 36 Scott // Jul 12, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Moves by Blanks that make me worry:

    Trade away Dragic for Brooks

    Sign Brown

    Sign Telfair

    Sign Beasley to 3 year contract

    It looks to me like Blanks has a particular kind of player he wants to sign: someone who has to have the ball in their hands, a headcase, someone with iffy offense yet also not known for their defense.

  • 37 Tony // Jul 12, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    @Scott,

    in other words, BLanks prefers to sign players without any skill-set then! I don’t know if it’s just getting a good night sleep or what, but you are on a roll today.

    @Ty-Sun,

    Beasley should not even be considered a “piece of the pie.” It’s one thing for him to be over-paid for what he does on the court but yet still be a good locker room player, but based on his history, Beasley is neither a good player nor a good teammate. The one thing I have always given Sarver credit for is recruiting players with good attitudes and who are good teammates. Since Blanks arrival, however, it seems as if the character of the player is becoming less and less relevant. This started with Arron Brooks, then Beasley, and even Eric Gordon’s behavior is suggestive of a mal-content and baby. As regards to Dragic, whom appears to be a very good teammate, reports have indicated that it was Sarver who was at the forefront in bringing in back. So, I wonder if Dragic would have been a Sun once again if not for Sarver’s involvement?

  • 38 nathan // Jul 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Why not shop Channing Frye? He probably doesn’t factor into our future plans, and his performance doesn’t match his contract. I bet a team like Boston, who’s trying to contend and desperate for front-court help would give up a pick for him.

  • 39 Scott // Jul 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    @Ty-Sun -

    I agree you don’t have to rebuild through the draft. The draft is one tool, and you have to be both lucky and good at drafting in order to have it work for you.

    Trade and free agency are the other tools.

    My point is that it makes no sense to me to take Beasley for 3 years, as he has no future with the Suns. He’s not Suns material.

    It would make better sense to me for the Suns to try to get James Johnson and Martell Webster, if possible. (Maybe it’s not possible.)

    These guys are a lot closer to what the Suns are looking for in players. They have the right character, IQ, contract, age, athleticism, defensive ability, and so on. If they can perform well, they could have a future with the Suns.

    In a different sort of way, it makes sense to me for the Suns to attempt to trade Childress (and possibly Warrick) for Tyrus Thomas and picks. Not that I think Tyrus Thomas has any future with the Suns; the benefit is in the pick(s), and – if Thomas can play – getting needed depth at PF instead of surplus depth at SF.

    Blanks and Gentry say they like to try to “reclaim” lost players, like Beasley, Telfair, and so on. If so, then why not direct themselves at a situation where it will benefit the future of the team, as in a trade for Thomas?

    I’m not saying Beasley won’t put up some points, or that he can’t fit into the Suns’ system. I’m just saying he doesn’t fit the profile of what the Suns should be doing, which is disciplining themselves to make moves that are not only for the present need (stopgap signings), but also aimed at the future.

  • 40 joey // Jul 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    the whole point of signing beasley and mayo is to build a young group of talent to entice other free agents in the future to come to phoenix. they have to start somewhere and mayo and beasley are by far the 2 best young players available unrestricted. plus they provide a instant offensive upgrade. what else can the front office do? 1 yr deals are not going to be accepted by mayo and beasley. especially since there are reportedly 6 teams interested for mayo and a few others who were interested in beasley. you have to entice them to come and make them feel wanted. 1 yr deals don’t do that at all. so far this offseason the fo has done as good as they could’ve to build a solid young squad and still have flexibility next yr to do more. the only slight problem i would have is slightly overpaying for dragic, and that’s only because i think marshall is a better shooting version of mark jackson. marshall will be an allstar in 3-4yrs if he gets a shot to start at some point. now if we sign mayo instead of gordon and steal harden from okc next year, then we’ll look damn good. plus we need to find a real post playing pf with all those picks we have. then we’ll be right back in the playoff mix. go suns

  • 41 abel // Jul 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    this article is crap what happen to the suns having all this cap space for 3 max players that they have been building and saying for like the last 3 seasons just cuz we sign eric gordon and beasley/dragic now were already hitting the cap cieling and if this all works out then after the signings we still have a crappy team its like there is no hope for the future of the suns the numbers for next off season look like the same as this off season go look at the salary numbers at hoopshype.com

  • 42 Scott // Jul 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    @Tony -

    Well, you know I’ve always been uncertain about Blanks. I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I’ve had a bad feeling about him since it was announced he was one of the nominees for the job. (I was hoping he wouldn’t get the job, and then he did. Probably as a result of his friendship with Kerr.)

    I also clearly agree that under Blanks it is looking like character and skill are no longer relevant. Instead, there’s some sort of bad boy fantasy going on.

    It makes me wonder whose idea it was to bring in Price and Redd, because they don’t sound like picks from Blanks. Was it Babby? I didn’t have much objection to either of these players, because it’s clear they were both on the cheap, and both have good character and high IQ. My objections were based sheerly on their ability to play, and we knew from the outset in both cases there was some impairment. That’s why they were cheap.

    Redd, as we know, was coming back from injuries.

    Price was another undersized SG pressed into service at PG, but aside from that, it’s not like he had a posse or was going to take guns or drugs on the team plane or anything. In that regard, even now I’d rather be paying him to be the 3rd PG on the team than Telfair.

  • 43 Scott // Jul 12, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    @joey -

    I’m all for signing quality FAs. But if the Suns sign Beasley (which of course they did), doesn’t that take away cap room that could be used for Harden?

    And do you really think Beasley is what makes Harden sign?

    Mayo I’m better with. He’s a relatively high IQ guy who plays good perimeter defense and shoots the 3. We know the Suns can use a guy like that. He’s also a combo guard who could be pressed into PG duty if there was an injury. If Mayo is signed, that enables the Suns to drop Telfair in a year and not pick up another PG for depth.

  • 44 steve // Jul 12, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Since when has character won anything?

    In most professional realms, character is very important. In professional sports, it doesn’t matter if you killed someone just as long as you got away with it. If you’re good enough, they’ll find a place for you no matter what you’ve done. Run dog-fighting rings, drug distribution cirlcles, beat up some strippers, assault a minor… it doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you can play. I keep hearing about the Suns and their high character guys, but I just haven’t seen that in their past or present to any greater degree than most other professional franchises.

    If Beasley continues to play the way he has played in the first four years of his career, he will be an underwhelming, slightly overpaid player (and I say “slightly” because his contract isn’t that big. When we’re talking about total dollars, Beasley’s level of production so far has been worth $3M or so, I’d say. Overpaying a guy by $3M isn’t all that terrible if you know you’ve got a $58M spending limit).

    However, I don’t think Beasley was signed with the hope of a 13.0 PER and a WS48 of .022. Beasley has been given two fair shakes in his career, in my opinion, and those were his second and third years in the league. I would consider his second year to be his “fairest” shake, so far, considering the fact that he couldn’t be considered anything higher than a third option, and he wasn’t a rookie. In that season, he posted the following:

    14.8/6.4/1.0 with .450/.275/.800 shooting splits. On the advanced side, he had a PER of 16.1, WS48 of .095, eFG% of .463, and TS% of .505. Now those numbers are nothing to write home about, but they’re also not bad, especially considering they came from a second-year player. Also, 70% of his attempts were jump shots. That’s no outrageously high, but if that number could be brought down to the mid or low 60′s, you’d see his overall FG% jump by 2-5%, and that’s 47-50% is a whole lot more palatable than 45% for a big, athletic SF.

    There is never zero risk in any deal. The Beasley deal carries moderate risk. He’s still not viewed as a commodity (whether or not that’s justified) in the eyes of many talent evaluators in the NBA, so even if he doesn’t pan out in a PHX uni, he could probably still be moved. By my feeling is that the absolute worst case scenario for Phoenix is that he’s overpaid by a few mil per year, and that’s not all that big of a deal, especially in light of the fact that they can’t really do much else with their money at this point besides gamble with it a little….

    Anyway, this got a little long-winded just to say basically this: If Beasley doesn’t improve, the Suns will be throwing a few mil per year away for the duration of his contract. If Beasley wises up, he could be a $10M player on a $6M contract.

  • 45 Lloyd I. Cadle // Jul 12, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Andy -

    It is better to be a 7-10 seed and a young team with room to grow than to be a 7-10 with Nash-an old team with no potential to grow.

    Beasley is a gamble that may pay off big time if he can stay out of trouble. Scouts rate his talent as top notch.

    Sports is full of stories where guys were given up on and became great players with a new team.

  • 46 joey // Jul 12, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    @scott
    beasley doesn’t have anything to do with our ability to sign harden next yr. remember warrick 4mil gone, childress 6.5mil gone if amnesty is used. that’s 10,5mil to throw hardens way. okc won’t be able to keep harden and still resign ibaka. plus we can still find a way to get rid of fryeif we need to. so the suns still have options and the ability to create around 15mil in cap space next year. i bet if we offer frye and a 1st round pick just to take him off our hands, there would be teams who jump on that around draft time next yr. i think we are looking alot better already with room for a few more guys next yr.

  • 47 Gosuns // Jul 12, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Beasley is worth 6mil whether he plays like he did last yr improves, Steve is right its not a big deal to overpay him a few mil compared to a guy like rashard Lewis who was gonna make over 22mil this yr coming off a per of 9 last ye

  • 48 Scott // Jul 12, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    @steve -

    You’re sounding quite cynical. If you take character out of sports, you’re left with a purely sociopathic enterprise.

  • 49 Jason A. // Jul 12, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Some of you guys blow my mind. Maybe it would be good if we don’t sign anyone and just BLOW for the next 10 years. Why sign any decent players? Let’s just field a team to get us the best draft picks. Who cares that the 2013 draft is weak? We’re going for the #1 pick. We know how well that works out.

    One guy says Mayo plays no D, another says he has good perimeter defense. One guy says Beasley isn’t worth the risk (what risk!?!), another says a one year deal is ok. Why? I’m pretty sure you guys are taking out of your arse. That’s fine, we can sit here all day arguing about this or that. The proof is coming in November.

    Then again, some of you will be unhappy if we make the playoffs, some of you will be unhappy if we miss the playoffs, but most of you will be unhappy no matter what. Good luck y’all.

  • 50 Andy // Jul 12, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    @joey
    Hak has 2 years left on his deal. He’s not gone in 2013/2014, rather he’s getting 5 million dollars. And even after next season, Frye will have 13.2 million left over the next two years. I don’t think we have much hope of getting someone to take his contract off our hands (unless we want to offer a real 1st, not one of those Laker poo-bombs), at least until the last year of the deal.

    And to everyone on Harden. Harden will be a restricted free agent. Like Gordon. Like Gordon, he will get a max offer. If OKC even lets him get that far, they will also certainly match any max offer he gets. The big difference is that Harden has already said he wants to stay in OKC and wants to work on an extension. This is all a long and short way of saying 10.5 million dollars for Harden is delusional. Any plan that includes “and then we sign Harden (for not compensation)” is a very flawed plan. And, don’t forget, just as we can amnesty Childress, OKC is still sitting on the ability to amnesty Perkins and clear out 8.5 million in cap space overnight, as well as 6.5 million in team options they can decline next summer. As a result, I think they could, if they wanted, baby-max both Ibaka AND Harden, though they’d be shallow as hell. At the very least, they’ll be able to credibly threaten to match offers to both and get a good sign and trade on one of the two.

  • 51 Andy // Jul 12, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Also – as far as paying free agents go, remember, contracts are also about what you forego, as much as what you get. For example, next year, had we signed one year contracts in place of Dragic and Beasley, we would have had 32.5 in committed salaries. A max offer for a veteran from another team is about 17 million (i.e. the various Bynum/Howard/Paul fantasies being tossed around.) We could have made a max offer to two free agents, and then amnestied Childress to make an additional 10 million dollar offer to a midlevel player. If we’re all so confident in our franchise’s “player-friendly” status, shouldn’t we have loved the chance to offer Dwight Howard and Chris Paul simultaneous max deals, and then thrown an additional 10 million at Howard’s good friend Josh Smith, or whoever?

    However, with the reported numbers of 6 million for Beasley and 8.5 to Dragic, the Suns already have 47 million in salaries committed next summer. And that’s if we let Robin Lopez walk and sign only one year contracts from here on out. If we sign Mayo to the bandied about 7 million dollar deal, and then re-sign Lopez at the also bandied-about four million for at least 3 years, the team is capped out for the next two years. Amnestying Childress would free up 7 million, sure.. which is just enough to get back into the pool of Beasley/Mayo type mediocrities. I don’t think adding another player of that stature is going to make us contenders. If we resist the temptation to sign Mayo, though, we’d be able to amnesty Childress to make a genuine max offer. Not likely that Paul leaves the Clippers for us, or that Dwight adds us to his list, but hey, maybe we can steal somebody like Andrew Bynum? (blech)

    The point here is that overpaying by a few million and few years here and there eats away at a team’s options very, very quickly. Selling the long-term assets (whether its draft positioning, cap flexibility, or actual players) you need to acquire elite talent to buy the short-term wins to get from 30 to 40 just isn’t the way to win a title.

    And, @Jason, what is “the proof?” Do you think we’re going to win a playoff series? Win 50 games? Compete for a title? You keep saying we’re all too cynical, so what is it you think we’re all overlooking? You can say we’d all be happy losing for a few years, fine. But I think it’s even worse to fixate on getting some between the 6th and 10th seed every year. If we’re not in this to compete for a title, what are we doing? Do you want our team to be good enough to barely miss the playoffs and draw fans of the opposing team every night, while selling enough tickets not to go under? The fact is, it’s knee-jerk demands to think short-term and “not throw away” a year, combined with fans who don’t question ownership, that lead to teams like the Cubs. People say they’re cursed, but the fact is, they just have a fanbase that only wants to be kind of competitive every year, so they get what they want. I, for one, want better for our team.

  • 52 sksyoshi // Jul 12, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    to all of you who hate the idea of Beasley you need to factor in who he has the potential under the right system to play like Amare. A pf with more of a perimeter game extremely athletic has a decent jumper can be a good finisher off of the pick n roll and actually has 3pt range, cons poor reb like Amare too n def about the same also has more off-court baggage. Also, for those of you wanting draft picks instead Beasley was 2 in the draft mayo was a lottery pick too. Draft picks are not a sure thing look at Oden. Spurs are great because they get guys that fit the coaches system. So all of you who say these guys aren’t Suns players think again if the coach wants these types of players then those are Suns guys. Ty Thomas for Warrick, Childress, or Frye would be great but why would bobcats want other bad contracts? I wish fan fantasy was how we could rebuild our team but that ain’t happening. I know Warrick n Childress left a bad taste but they were never rated as high as these guys.

  • 53 steve // Jul 12, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    I don’t like to throw out insults all that much on the intarwebs because people get their panties all in a bunch very quickly, but the following is a flat out idiotic statement:

    “but the fact is, [the Cubs] just have a fanbase that only wants to be kind of competitive every year, so they get what they want.”

    I’m so happy you can speak for 20 million people, and that all 20 million people agree on the same thing. They don’t want a championship. They’re just in it to be competitive. Laughable on every level.

    Here’s your problem in that giant wall of text, Andy: You keep saying “we” and “us” when talking about your beloved Suns, as if you have some part in this organization more than being a donor to Planet Orange’s charitable cause. There is no “us” or “we” when it comes to sports. Your sports team doesn’t care about you any further than your wallet, and to be honest, you don’t care about your sports team any further than they can entertain you (or should I not speak on your behalf?). And that’s the nature of a business, which is exactly what the NBA is. It’s not a family. It’s not a social group. It isn’t a “we” or an “us.” It’s a business. Your opinion doesn’t matter. Only your money does.

    As far as the cynicism and your ideas on the fast track to a championship, it’s impossible to argue a point without flaw. It’s all hypothetical, and the truth of the matter is that it takes a lot of luck and good fortune to win a championship, maybe even more of that stuff than talent. Just because you have the best roster doesn’t mean you win, and just because you clear the space for big names doesn’t mean they come. Because of that, it’s a heck of a lot easier to be a cynic than it is to be hopeful. 29 teams are going to finish the season as losers next year. If I was a better man, I would bet that the Suns will lose the championship every year for the next 29 years, and the odds will be in my favor without having to look into a crystal ball. It doesn’t take any knowledge to look at a situation after the fact and critique it, and it doesn’t take any foresight to point out that things won’t end well for any given team.

    To your one-year deal spiel: You’re proposing that the Suns sign one year deals until they land a big name… but how does that really increase your chances of landing that big name? The team will have zero trade assets (outside of picks), and the big name will have no certainty who he will be playing with in the following season.

    It took one sentence to poke a hole in that idea. Any argument you can possibly make will have holes. It’s fine for you to have your opinion on how to structure a team, and I encourage you to share, but something so objective as “building a winner” isn’t something you should waste much breath on, and it isn’t something you should be willing to insult/make a fool of yourself over.

    One last thing. I know that Tony is going to mention that I fight certain “opinions” to the death and pretend as if I know them to be fact. Even if you want to call Sarver’s supposed cheapness an opinion, or the source of the Babby/Blanks hire an opinion, or Amare’s desire to leave/stay with the Suns an opinion, or whatever else I have spent extensive time arguing, at the very least, there is evidence to believe any position I have held.

    When it comes to projecting future play, I’ll never try to pretend someone is WRONG for believing something. When it comes to putting imaginary results on past circumstances, I will always tell that person they ARE wrong if what they’re imagining is out of line with the facts. In this case, Andy, you’re taking the easy position (that of a critic) and hiding behind a mask of internet machismo.

    “what is ‘the proof?’ Do you think we’re going to win a playoff series? Win 50 games? Compete for a title?”

    Since you’re in the inquisitive mood, where’s the proof that any of that won’t happen?

  • 54 Andy // Jul 12, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    @steve
    So your opinion is
    1) winning a championship is random, so why try to do it.
    2) your sports team doesn’t care about you, so you shouldn’t care about it.
    I mean, to ask the obvious question, then why are you hanging out on a sports message board?

    I didn’t ask for him to prove that those things would happen. If you read his point, then mine, he was saying we’ll see the “proof” is coming November that we’re wrong – presumably that this is a good building plan. So my point is, and remains, what is that proof? Is it a successful team? Is it winning? Is it heretofore unrealized assets we’re going to flip? What is he saying is going to be proven?

    With that said, I don’t think it’s a particularly controversial position, even in this forum, to say this is not going to be a 50 win team, or a championship team. If you run some pretty back-of-the-envelope calculations, this looks like roughly a .500 team. The problem is, Babby himself says that’s exactly what we’re NOT aiming for.

    As to my one-year deal spiel – if you read my posts above, I’ve pointed out, repeatedly, that those moves give us the freedom to acquire assets by taking on bad contracts and facilitating trades. Not to mention that poor performance increases your odds in the lottery. No, it’s not a guarantee. No, it’s not supposed to be a good draft next year. But it makes more sense than going for 10th. One thing we can be pretty confident about is that having Beasley for two capped out years and then with one year left on his contract the first year we can make an offer of any significance to a free agent isn’t likely to make a huge difference in our ability to recruit people.

    As to “playing the cynic” – I don’t know what you mean there. I’m not just out here saying “the team isn’t going to win a championship, it’s never going to win a championship, this is a waste of time.” I’m on here because I care enough to spend time talking and thinking about how I think we should best build this team up to succeed. Disagreeing with steps taken by management doesn’t make me a “cynic.”

    And, look, man, I have no idea where your hostility comes from -”internet machismo”? “making a fool of myself”? I don’t think anything about my posts (other than, apparently, that you disagree with them) has been all that objectionable. Take a deep breath. Go play with a puppy or something. You’ll feel better.

  • 55 Andy // Jul 12, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Oh, and not that it matters, but the Cubs argument is one I have lifted from Cubs fans themselves. Because Wrigley Field is such a tourist attraction, and because the Cubs are a global brand, ownership has been able to be confident of wringing plenty of money out of the team every year whether they win or lose. People come out to see the park, to enjoy the experience, or to watch the other team. And the ownership (and here, of course, is where most Cubs fans will point to the fact that the Cubs were, until very recently, owned by a corporation, rather than an individual who cared about competition or what have you) was perfectly happy to pay just enough to make headlines and keep playing games without having to really commit to spending to build the kind of infrastructure that wins championships. If I’m “insulting” Cubs fans, I’m only doing it to the same degree as is, for example, this Chicago sportswriter: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/10/26/bernstein-time-for-cubs-fans-to-grow-up/

  • 56 steve // Jul 12, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    First bit: didn’t you get the point about speaking for others?

    Second bit: I believe his point was, “we’ll see who’s right once we see some results.”

    The rest isn’t worth a response.

  • 57 Jason A. // Jul 12, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    @Andy the proof I reference is merely how we do next year. I think we’ll be a playoff team. Compete for a ring? Not a chance, not in year one. But the thing about multi-year deals is this team gets to grow together. You know how our teams were always different every year? Maybe we can build some cohesiveness now. Hopefully it will be with players worth their multi-year deals, but we won’t know that until the season starts.

    I genuinely believe this team can be good. What did our WC Finals teams have? Nash (stellar), JRich (great shooter), Hill (can finish, defense), Amare (it’s Amare), Diaw (IDK what he brought).

    Now look at this team: Dragic (almost like Nash but better defender), Gordon/Mayo (great shooter who can get his own shot), Dudley (good shooter, defense), Beasley (Amare lite but with outside shot?), Gortat (defense, rebounding, can finish). Plus our bench will be deeper. Why can’t this team go far? I’m not saying we’re going to win it all. But this will be a young, exciting team that we can be proud of. Isn’t that enough for now?

  • 58 Andy // Jul 12, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    @Jason
    We differ pretty significantly in our assessment of some players, clearly, but I actually don’t disagree about either of the following:
    1) It will be very interesting to see how the team works out. I’m genuinely intrigued to see how we use Beasley – he’s the first player since Diaw that I legitimately don’t know what our plan for him will be. That’s exciting.
    2) This team will probably be quite fun to watch some nights. When Beasley gets hot or Dragic starts doing his whirling dervish thing, we’ll score some points, no question.

    As far as “teams to watch in a year where we knew we weren’t going to accomplish anything anyway”, yes, I think this will be a good one. My problem comes in not seeing any sort of coherent plan in building towards a long-term championship here. We can patch holes on the team every summer forever and just keep ending up in the same place.

    HOWEVER, I was just reading up on something, and think there’s some very important information that makes the Beasley deal (and a potential Mayo deal) way more interesting than I had initially thought. Apparently, you get Bird rights after three years if you’ve signed a UFA (I thought it was four). So, I thought if we WERE able to lure a max free agent in 14/15, and then sign Gortat, we’d still be pretty close to capped and limited to rebuilding with spare parts after that year. However, at least under the current CBA, if management is willing to spend the money, we can resign both of them, even if we go even further over the cap spending any money that was left under the cap after Dudley and Frye expire. (Admittedly, that probably wouldn’t be much, since we’d be quite a bit over after adding a max guy and Gortat the previous year.) So if these guys ARE good enough to be worth resigning, and management is willing to pay the luxury tax, and we can lure a legit star that summer, starting in 14/15 we can put out basically the same line-up we’re starting this year (minus really only Frye that we care about), most of whom will be in their peak or close to it, plus a max contract. That’s something to hope for – and it spells out the logic in doing three year deals. Worst case, it adds one additional year onto the rebuilding process, I already knew that. But, even if these guys are second tier players, it gives us the chance to KEEP those second tier players when we’d otherwise be capped out and looking for scraps. Now who’s gonna be an unrestricted free agent in 14/15…. let’s see.. wait a minute, Kevin Love, is that you over there, rejecting your player option? Yeah.. I think we can make that work. :P

  • 59 Scott // Jul 12, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    @Andy -

    Warrick has 2 years left on his contract, but the final year is team option. With all the pine-riding he’s been doing since he’s been here, a common assumption is that the team will decline his final year.

  • 60 Andy // Jul 12, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Huh, neither HoopsHype nor the Arizona Republic article announcing the deal have that last year as a team option. Assuming you’re correct, you just made my night!

  • 61 Scott // Jul 12, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    @Jason -

    Regarding Mayo in his rookie year, Draft Express had this to say:

    Mayo’s commitment and excellence on the defensive end has been very impressive for any player, let alone a rookie. It’s rare to see him out of a stance as he stays low and pressures whoever is in his way. He never gives up on a play – always contesting shots even when beat or late to close out. He takes players out of their comfort zones, by bodying up to them, being physical and taking away their strengths. When bigger guards try to post him, he’ll make them pay by pushing them away from the basket, nullifying their height advantage. He does all of this without fouling, (2.2 fouls a game) which shows his understanding of how to play on this side of the court. That ease that he plays with on offense is transformed to aggression and feistiness on the defensive end.

    Off the ball he isn’t as successful, but not because of a lack of effort. He seems to take it as a personal challenge when defending opposing guards, which at times can hinder his ability to fulfill his defensive responsibilities in the team-concept. He’ll often swipe at an off guard driving by his side instead of taking a half a step in stop him. On the other hand, when guarding a three point threat, he does a good job of faking at a penetrating guard and recovering back quickly to his man.

    One area the he can stand to work on is boxing out. Once a shot goes up he leaves his man trying to anticipate where the ball is going. He can completely lose sight of his man, which is never a good thing. If he could locate his man first, bump him a little bit, and then pursue the ball, he would benefit greatly and increase his very pedestrian 4.2 RPG average.

    From DraftExpress.com http://www.draftexpress.com#ixzz20TVouaMY
    http://www.draftexpress.com

    I find this evaluation to still be true, right to the point where a year ago I watched as Mayo lost sight of his man in transition and consequently his man ran down court, caught a lob and put it in.

  • 62 Andy // Jul 12, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Yup – looks like that’s correct. Good call, thanks for correcting, sorry for the false correction @joey. And also, hooray.

  • 63 Scott // Jul 12, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    @Andy –

    Actually, all you had to do was look on the salary page on this website. Yes, I was surprised too. :)

    It says:

    - **Hakim Warrick’s 2013-14 team option** and Robin Lopez’s 2012-13 qualifying offer are not counted in salary calculation. Markieff Morris’ team option years are because they are likely to be picked up but his 2015-16 qualifying offer isn’t.

    Read more: http://valleyofthesuns.com/salaries/#ixzz20TZ6UxX3

    Also, on Hoopsworld he’s listed as a 2013 free agent:

    Hakim Warrick, Phoenix Suns – $4.3 million – **Team Option** ($4.3 million)

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/2013-nba-free-agents

    An article by Coro says:

    In the first season of a four-year, $17 million contract (**the fourth year is a team option**), Warrick had his lowest scoring average since his 2005-06 rookie season with Memphis.

    Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/sports/articles/2011/09/28/20110928phoenix-suns-hakim-warrick-lockout.html#ixzz20TZo8tC7

  • 64 Michael Schwartz // Jul 12, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    Yes, that is correct. Warrick has a team option for 2013-14.

  • 65 Andy // Jul 12, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    On Mayo’s defense: not that advanced states are the end-all be-all, especially on defense, but b-r defensive win shares like his defense a lot. They say he would have been second on the Suns last year (behind Gortat) and he pretty consistently outperforms Dudley by that statistic. In fact, perhaps surprisingly, in 3 out of 4 of his seasons so far, B-R has his DWS as a bigger contribution than his OWS. That’s probably influenced in the last two years, of course, by the way his team plays and their emphasis on post offense and solid defense, but I was still surprised to see that. 82games says he held opposing SG’s to a 13 PER last year, which is pretty good too. (Though he got lit up by PG’s) Those numbers would seem to indicate that a Dragic/Mayo/Dudley/?/Gortat lineup might actually be a pretty good defensive unit. 82games says opposing PER last year for each of those players at those positions are 12.9/13.3/12.6/?/17.3. That actually means that Mayo/Dudley, by that statistic at least, wouldn’t be much, if any of a defensive drop-off from Dudley/Hill. That’s a pleasant surprise.

  • 66 Andy // Jul 12, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    I didn’t even know this blog had a salary page! Having gone to look for it just now, I LOL’d a little to see that they have total salary commitments next year just assuming we drop Warrick’s contract. I mean, that’s correct, of course, but it’s still funny. Poor Hak. He was going to part of our Stoudemire-by-committee. We hardly knew ye.

  • 67 Jason A. // Jul 12, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Hot damn! No Chilly, no Warrick in 2013! Our future is bright indeed.

  • 68 Michael Schwartz // Jul 12, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Haha, I try to be realistic on the salary page :). I will get it updated ASAP once these FA contracts become official, which I assume will happen on Saturday once we get resolution on Gordon.

  • 69 Andy // Jul 12, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Michael – why didn’t you include Lopez’s QO? Is there a technical reason, or did you not think the Suns were going to extend it at the time?

    Jason – You bastard. For a moment, I thought you were celebrating a trade that just went down where we somehow dumped those two guys before I realized you were referring to the amnesty. I realize that, in context, I should have been able to figure it out, but I had a moment of irrational optimism. Still, I bet we hold off on Chilly another year after that, unless there’s a great offer to be had. That way we can use his salary to pair a good complimentary guy with whichever max player I’m increasingly optimistic (read tired and probably delirious, don’t worry, I’ll be back to doom and gloom soon enough) we’re aiming to land in 14/15.

  • 70 Michael Schwartz // Jul 12, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    No, I thought they would extend it, but just because it’s only an offer, not a contract. I guess it just didn’t make sense to me to include a number that was so subject to change because he is actually a free agent albeit a restricted one.

  • 71 Andy // Jul 12, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Thanks for the explanation, that makes sense. I guess it really only matters in this artificial window – which has been rendered even more incomprehensible by the Gordon thing. His cap hold is weirdly enormous though, right? We’re almost certainly gaining money, in the odd cap sense, when we do that deal?

  • 72 Jason A. // Jul 12, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Yeah I don’t really see anyone worth going after in 2013. Dwight Howard? Do we have an appetite for another RFA SG (Harden)? Josh Smith might actually be the way to go. We might be a Top 4 team in the West with him.

  • 73 Michael Schwartz // Jul 12, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    God I hope they gain money after doing that deal! It’s enormous, but not weirdly enormous as all cap holds are like that. They are set that way to kind of “predict” how much a player will get based on his previous salary. That way you can’t just use Bird rights to give a guy that much more than their cap hold since it will already be pretty high. Nash’s cap hold was $17.5 mil and Hill’s was almost $10 mil. A cap hold for a typical Bird free agent is 150 percent his previous salary and it’s 200 percent his previous salary for guys above the average salary coming off their rookie deal. So yes, cap holds are high, and it’s done so you can’t really manipulate the cap with Bird rights too much.

  • 74 Andy // Jul 13, 2012 at 7:04 am

    Hmm… interesting. That changes what we can or can’t do in 14/15 as far as Gortat then.. have you already run if we can still do a max offer before that year with Gortat’s Bird hold in place? It also definitely removes some of the allure of the Bird Rights on Mayo and Beasley I was thinking about… but I think it’s still a good way to get a couple of guys who are above replacement level complementary players we couldn’t get otherwise under that scenario. I’ll work it out this afternoon.

  • 75 steve // Jul 13, 2012 at 8:18 am

    @scott

    “You’re sounding quite cynical. If you take character out of sports, you’re left with a purely sociopathic enterprise.”

    I didn’t take the time to get back to this earlier, sorry. Most people aren’t sociopaths. I think everyone has that in them, to some extent, but when it boils down to it, most people have been engrained with some shred of the knowledge of good and evil, and most people try to be “good” rather than being raging lunatics. A lot of the reason people choose to be “good,” in my opinion, is because it’s self-serving. Being generally nice to people, not complaining. not stealing, not lying, etc.; these are all things that serve to get your further in life, for the most part. Things like lying, stealing, anger, killing, typically serve as a hindrance to one’s personal success.

    However, there are exceptions to those character rules. If you are good enough at something, doing something bad can actually help you “succeed,” or at the very least your bosses won’t care about your problems as long as you make them enough money. Sports fits that bill. I would never in a million years want my own children to be like Mike. I don’t want my kids to be like Barkley, Kobe, LeBron, or Rodman (I threw LeBron in there because I think he has one of the most despicably huge egos in history, not because he’s done any single action that’s particularly horrible). Michael Vick, Ben Roethlisberger, Adam Jones, Alex Rodriguez, Diego Maradona, Tiger Woods, the list goes on and on and on.

    Look at all the champions we have in sports and tell me how many you would consider role models. Tom Brady – knock up one super model girlfriend and move on to the next? Tiger – let’s not even go there. Don’t get me started on LeBron and Wade. Usain Bolt – a perfect example of how not to be a humble champion.

    I’m not necessarily trying to say poor character leads to championships. That would certainly be a false statement. However, I think good character has absolutely nothing to do with a team’s chances of winning, and focusing on maintaining good character might just set you behind the curve. If you’re unwilling to take on a talented player just because you don’t like his attitude, I can guarantee one of your peers will take him and be better for it.

    Character means nothing in sports. They only care about on-the-court/field results.

  • 76 steve // Jul 13, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Btw, as far as the sports-as-a-business argument I made earlier, check out the last few paragraphs of this article from a couple months ago on grantland.

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7916743/an-open-letter-seattle-supersonics-fans-okc-thunder-supporter

    I wanted to take the time to address a couple more things.

    “As to my one-year deal spiel – if you read my posts above, I’ve pointed out, repeatedly, that those moves give us the freedom to acquire assets by taking on bad contracts and facilitating trades. ”

    There’s that “US” again. Are you part of the front office? I mean, I work for Sarver, and I’ve never heard of an Andy within the organization. In seriousness, that’s ONE way of doing things. You might think it’s the BEST way of doing things, but I’m just curious… when has that worked before? I can’t say it hasn’t, because I don’t remember every team in NBA history, but I can’t think of a contender off the top of my head that was built that way. The “proof” (if you can “prove” something that is largely happenstance) is in the pudding.

    “it makes more sense than going for 10th.”

    Another opinion that, while somewhat reasonable, is completely unverifiable, especially for predicting future events. I, for one, don’t think it makes more sense to tank, especially for a mid-market with a wavering fan-base and no face to the franchise. If you want a franchise to leave town, the road is paved by tanking. I know you’d like to think the Suns would never leave PHX, but right now, there are about 10 billionaires in line to be NBA owners, and I bet no one thought SEA was going to be NBA-less ten years ago. It can happen. It’s not likely, but if it’s ever going to happen, it will be because of tanking.

    “One thing we can be pretty confident about is that having Beasley for two capped out years and then with one year left on his contract the first year we can make an offer of any significance to a free agent isn’t likely to make a huge difference in our ability to recruit people.”

    Another opinion, but I don’t see how it’s true. Trades can happen any time, and they are completely unpredictable. Recruitment doesn’t always happen through free agency, and it’s actually often cheaper and more cap-efficient to make it happen through trades. Anyway, a bunch of people didn’t think the Suns were going to be able to recruit this year. After all, who was here to play with/for? They had three targets, all three signed. I don’t think the Suns are going to have trouble landing players. They never have before, and I don’t see any reason to believe they aren’t going to be able to land players in the future.

    “As to ‘playing the cynic’ – I don’t know what you mean there.”

    Let me help you out there. A cynic is a faultfinding critic. That’s what you were doing, if I’m not mistaken. Have I been misleading in my representation of your comments?

    “I’m on here because I care enough to spend time talking and thinking about how I think we should best build this team up to succeed.”

    I’ve got some news for you. WE aren’t building this team. WE are having armchair GM discussions with little to no due diligence performed (as evidenced by all the confusion over the bird exception, cap limitations, contract lengths, etc.). That’s all fine and dandy, and I think it’s great to continue. This is all in good spirit and good fun. But it’s not US building this team. It’s not OUR team, unless you literally have some stake in the team’s ownership group, which I doubt.

    I actually don’t disagree with a whole lot of what you said. It’s not about that. It’s about your delivery. You’ve toned it down a little bit since you first started posting, which I’ll credit you for (at least untill the last paragraph of your reply to me), but you began your comment string on this board with such arrogant, condescending, abrasive diatribes that I just couldn’t believe anyone could be a bigger jerk than me on this board.

    I won’t hunt you down any more, but you should try to qualify your statements every now and then, and realize when you’re looking through your crystal ball and when you’re pointing out a fact. You went after someone hard a day or two ago about what Michael Beasley’s impact will be on the Suns, proclaiming that it absolutely was a bad contract… he hasn’t even played one second in a Suns uni yet. Saying, I think it’s high risk because I don’t believe it will pan out is acceptable. Saying “If we think he’s going to be good enough to be worth the contract, we [will] be exactly the 7-10 seed Babby says we don’t want to be” is more than a little presumptuous, in my opinion.

    Or how about this crystal ball prediction (again, with no due diligence)? “If OKC even lets him get that far, they will also certainly match any max offer he gets.” Do you realize how little cap room OKC would have if they had three max players? It’s far from a guarantee Harden will get max from OKC. OKC was a smidge under $60M last season, if I remember correctly, and that was with every player besides Durant and Perkins making less than the league average (actually, Westbrook might have been right on the league average, but you get the point). Unless they can sign 9 other guys for ~$1M-$2M each, they’re probably not going to be able to max Harden. I don’t think there’s ANY chance they could max Harden AND Ibaka while keeping Durant and Westbrook.

    Anyways, this is getting crazily long-winded, so I’ll stop, even though I’m sure there’s more I could type. Point is, I won’t hound you, but try not to put words into my mouth (which you did by claiming I said “winning a championship is random, so why try to do it?” and “your sports team doesn’t care about you, so you shouldn’t care about it.”), and try to realize the difference between a crystal ball and a history book.

  • 77 Scott // Jul 13, 2012 at 9:24 am

    @steve -

    Being good at a sport, despite having poor character, will get you some adulation from people who compartmentalize and rate you purely on your skills. And that’s a valid form of recognition, though it is limited. It’s what causes police, for example, to turn a blind eye to the unlawful activities of celebrities, the wealthy, and high officials. In most cases, the police should not overlook these transgressions.

    On the other hand, no one is perfect. Just because a person is good at one thing, or wealthy, you can’t berate them excessively for not being perfect in character as well. Charles Barkley was justified, to a fair extent, in saying, “I’m not a role model.” And that’s true; he’s just a basketball celebrity.

    But Steve, when you go on to assert character doesn’t matter in sports, you go too far. You seem to be justifying the attitude, for instance, of the administrators at Penn State for their actions regarding Sandusky. Most people would not agree with that position. Character matters more than a winning program. And most believe it is worse if you cover up wrongdoings merely to preserve a good reputation.

    I don’t think you are really aligning yourself with the Penn State administrators, who allowed children to be molested rather than draw negative attention to their program and careers, but you are taking a cynical position that winning is all that matters, or that self-interest is a virtue, and I would have to disagree.

    The virtue we’re intended to appreciate from a team sport like basketball is selflessness. Sharing the ball, creating the opportunity for another, taking the charge, fighting through the screen, sacrificing here and there for the good of others and the group as a whole. There’s no “I” in “TEAM,” you know. And many people do appreciate basketball as a sport for that reason.

    I would not support a team where character doesn’t matter. Many people share that opinion; just look at all the negative press and attendance associated with the notorious “Jail Blazers.” I also don’t choose colossal egotists as my sports heroes. I’m not alone in that, either; look at all the Kobe and LeBron haters, and the general response to LeBron’s “taking my talents to South Beach” infomercial. Heck, I don’t even reserve my praise for the most talented. I like the Pat Burkes, Lou Amundsons, Leandro Barbosas, and so on. I’m not alone in that.

    You say sports businesses are amorally seeking wins. I disagree. Sports businesses are seeking audiences, and they are amoral only to the extent that it is tolerated by the audiences. Now that Sandusky has been exposed, and the cover up by administrators as well, ask Penn State how their program is doing. You think they’re going to find a replacement for Paterno and bounce right back? I doubt it. I think all the pride has been sucked out of that program. Or ask Paul Allen and Portlanders in general how pleased they were with their team during the Jail Blazers era, when players were selected mainly for their skills and not for character. The team was nearly run out of town.

    More to the point here, a lot of fans appreciated Steve Nash, Grant Hill, and the Suns for playing the game more as it was meant to be played, without the huge egos. I’ve heard that from so many people, especially people who did not live in Phoenix but chose to adopt the Suns as “their team.” These fans did not care that the Suns didn’t win a championship. They cared about how the game was played and the character of the players.

    People value sports in more than just one way. Sure, winning matters. You have to put a good product out there. But character is a big part of the equation as well.

  • 78 steve // Jul 13, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough in expressing my hatred of the lack of character in sports. I was simply trying to say that being a “good sport” isn’t required on the professional level, and it’s certainly not a precursor to success.

    I can’t stand that athletes can get away with what they do. But the fact is that as long as the money is good, most sports executives don’t care what their players do, and most fans don’t care what they do either.

    You brought up Penn State (which, obviously, as you stated, I’m not aligning myself with those in power at PSU), and that’s proving my point exactly. Those in power at PSU thought that the good name of the franchise (and yes, it’s a franchise, even in college sports) was worth more than the protection of children. I’m trying to say that sports is a business, and to those inside, the most important thing is money. Penn State is a picture-perfect example of that.

    I’m not condoning the act of disregarding character in favor of money, I’m simply saying it’s true that sports franchises do this. And you’re not really disagreeing with me, from what I can tell.

    “They are amoral only to the extent that it is tolerated by the audiences.”

    That’s my point exactly. If you can get away with it, it’s all good as long as it pads my wallet. PSU got caught, the Jail Blazers were a wreck, the Malice at the Palace almost destroyed the Pacers, but for every one of those instances, there are dozens of instances where morals have been thrown out the door by executives and fans alike in favor of money and/or wins/championships.

  • 79 Scott // Jul 13, 2012 at 10:06 am

    @steve -

    I hope the Suns continue to find players who have game but are also good character guys.

    If they don’t have good character guys, I’ll lose interest even if they are winning.

  • 80 Die Hard Suns Fan // Jul 13, 2012 at 10:50 am

    WE NEED MAYO , WE NEED MAYO , WE NEED MAYO , WE NEED MAYO … Yeah I said it loud and clear, we need this guy. we need to give him the green light and let him know he is our #1 scoring option and let him know we want him to be our guy. the guy got so much potential and i cant believe they never gave him the green light to be him. He is gonna be a breakout player for sure whoever gives him the green light. I dont think Indiana planned to give him the green light so thats why he is not goin there. Sounds like there is a chance he waiting to come to the valley after N.O. matches gordon.

    dragic
    mayo
    dudley
    beasley
    gortat

    that is a Damn good line up
    i dont care what anyone says !!!

  • 81 Die Hard Suns Fan // Jul 13, 2012 at 11:39 am

    MAYO JUST TWEETED HE LANDED IN PHOENIX , WE BOUT TO GET OUR GUY YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO !!!

  • 82 Andy // Jul 13, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    @steve
    If you are seriously an employee of the Phoenix Suns who is on here trashing people for feeling invested in the team, you should probably be fired. I’m not saying that in an asshole way, I’m saying that in a serious failure of PR and marketing way. And given the dozens and dozens of other instances of people doing the same thing on this board, I’m not sure why you’ve latched on to me. But I really don’t care if you have some problem with the verbiage I use in discussing the team, and it’s a fairly amazing level of arrogance to think I would.

    As to the rest of this, man, I have no idea what your problem with me is. I’m not on here talking about your “wall of text” or “arrogance” when you post a 500 word freshman philosophy paper on human nature and sports. I think I, and by this point, everyone else on this board gets it. You don’t like me, my opinion, the way I write, or the way I do things. But I’m here to talk about the team, and am having no problem finding people who seem to be enjoying talking with me. You’re welcome to keep reading my comments and posting lengthy descriptions of my personality flaws from here to eternity, but I’ll be skipping over them. And if it makes you feel better to keep doing it, no stress, it won’t raise my heart rate any.

  • 83 steve // Jul 13, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    “If you are seriously an employee of the Phoenix Suns…”

    SMH

    “As to the rest of this… heart rate any.”

    I guess if you feel like you need to back yourself up, you can, but I said I wasn’t going to hound you any more.

    Btw, I got a kick out of this…

    “I’m not on here talking about your ‘wall of text’ or ‘arrogance.’” Two sentences prior, you wrote: “I really don’t care if you have some problem with the verbiage I use in discussing the team, and it’s a fairly amazing level of ARROGANCE to think I would.”

    Nice touch here, too: “freshman philosophy paper.”

    I can tell you’re gonna be fun.

  • 84 Andy // Jul 13, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    As to the cap situation going into 2014/2015, now that Michael has explained Bird Holds to me: If we assume that Marshall signs a fairly similar deal to Morris, he’d be right around 2 million at that point. Morris would be at 3. Dudley at 4.25. Frye at 6.8. Chilly at 7.3. Dragic at 8.5. Beasley at 6. That’s 37.85. Heck, let’s just assume that the amnesty for Chilly and Mayo’s contract more or less cancel out, and let’s throw 4 million in for Robin Lopez. That’s 41.85. That puts us right at the cusp of a max offer.. but that’s without Gortat’s cap hold. That would basically be 11.5, which takes us up to 52. Even assuming some increases in the cap, unlike this year, that’s not going to get us there. And that’s not including any additional rookie deals we sign this upcoming summer. (Presumably, we can hold off signing players from the 2014 draft until free agency is done? Or is there a cap hold there too?) Regardless, even if we move Frye, without all that other stuff, we’re still at around 46.55. Still not quite enough for a max, or at least probably not with those extra rookie contracts. That does put the Mayo talk in a new light. Granted, we could make other trades or moves between now and then, but even after amnestying Childress, if all that math is right, and everything else stays constant, we’re not likely to be able to make a max offer. Now either a two-year deal for Mayo or a salary lower than the 7 million figure might help with that problem but… I don’t know. I like Mayo, I think we need a shooting guard, and I don’t think that contract is an awful one on its own terms but.. I don’t know if I want him enough to preclude having the space for both Gortat and a max offer that summer. Anyone see an obvious out I’m missing that might lead to a different conclusion? (I guess one obvious one is not resigning Lopez, or holding his deal to two years, which I think lets a Frye trade put us in rounding error distance of a max?)

  • 85 Michael Schwartz // Jul 13, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    @Andy Yes, this is my big gripe about the potential Mayo deal, and I will write about this topic in deeper depth if he signs. Your basic premise is right (although draftees do take on a cap hold that is equal to 100 percent of the scale salary for that pick). My issue with signing Mayo, as you point out, is that that really boxes you into this core. Sure, there is a little flexibility with Warrick coming off the books and a potential Chilly amnesty, but it will be tough to create max space. I like Mayo, but unlike Gordon I don’t think he’s a cornerstone guy. Nice piece? For sure. Potential? Definitely. But if the opportunity cost of signing Mayo is losing the chance at max cap space next offseason, it might not be worth it. I would almost be in favor of just giving Mayo the rest of the cap space for one year (doubt he would go for that, I know), forgetting Robin and then going at it next season with big space. The whole competitive now versus trying to strike it big argument is really interesting as the Suns move on from the Nash era, and I worry that while individually I like all of the moves (and would like Mayo in the same way) collectively I wonder if they are building a less talented version of JJ’s Atlanta Hawks.

  • 86 steve // Jul 13, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Another thing to consider in all of this is that the Suns might just be trying to sit out on the current crop of superstars and attempt to catch the next wave.

    Let’s face it, unless you have a guy named Bryant, James, Wade, Durant, Howard, or Rose (depending on how he recovers), you don’t really have too great of a chance to win a title. Since none of those players have even shown the slightest shred of interest in coming to Phoenix, why not wait and see “who’s next” and not suck too bad in the meantime?

    Many people on here have been expressing plenty of interest in acquiring a superstar through free agency. I think you’re going to be waiting a long time. I can’t think of one superstar in the league right now who will be jumping ship any time soon and might have PHX as a potential landing spot (and no, Harden doesn’t count as a superstar after that awful Finals performance). In a few years (when most of the Suns’ current contracts will be off the books), most of today’s crop of superstars will be fading (except Durant and Rose, barring injury). Maybe the plan is to tie up the money with experiments until then and hope they aren’t terrible along the way…

    Just a thought.

  • 87 Andy // Jul 13, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Ha – well said on the Hawks. My mental comparison was actually the last couple years for the Rockets – last year they had 8 players with a PER over the league average, and 8 players with more than 3 win shares. (Not even all overlapping!) And they’re a team that hovers around .500, 8-10 in the Conference, good-not-great at offense and defense, etc. But they weren’t going to compete for a title and weren’t headed in that direction any time soon.

    Of course, the Rockets might be about to pull off the Dwight trade, so I guess that’s encouraging.. but it took years waiting for Martin to get to his walk year, and the most depressed market we’ve seen for a superstar since.. well, I’d say Carmelo Anthony, but he’s not really a superstar.. maybe Amare, actually? And obviously, whatever happens in the end, they’re being told they’re making the trade but that he’s going to walk afterward as of now. More than that outcome, whatever it is, I think they’ve shown us how insanely difficult it is for a team with these kind of assets to package them into high picks or star players, since they’ve been doing everything possible to do it for about two years and just kept whiffing. And if Dwight and the Nets hadn’t both totally pooched this situation, they’d be looking at starting on a draft rebuild anyway.

    I totally agree on trying to throw a huge short-term offer Mayo’s way rather than the three years. Maybe coupled with the chance to shoot a ton and inflate his value for a year, he’d be interested? You’re probably right that he’s going to want the stability though. It seemed like if we don’t sign Lopez, if we can keep Mayo to seven million or less AND we can trade Frye AND we can move picks or another contract, we might be able to get a max in before 2014/2015 regardless. But 1) I don’t trust my math that much on that and 2) that’s a lot of conditionals. Nervousness-causing.

  • 88 Ty-Sun // Jul 13, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    The Hawks comparison might be right but I doubt that’s what they are shooting for. I understand the desire to at least maintain the possibility of signing a max contract player in the future but I just don’t see it happening next season. As I mentioned before, Mayo’s never been on a team where he was considered even the 2nd scoring option so I wonder what he could do on a team where he was really given the green light to score. It’s a gamble for sure but there are very few “sure things” in the NBA and all of those are already playing for other teams.

  • 89 Andy // Jul 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    @Ty-Sun
    Just to be clear, we’re not talking about next year, even. Michael will know better than I, but I don’t think, with the deals we’ve signed so far, there are too many realistic scenarios that would have us in play for a max next year. We’re looking all the way ahead to the summer of 2014. It’s certainly true that there are very few “sure things” playing in the NBA, but unfortunately, getting one of those “Sure things” has pretty reliably proven to be essential to a championship. That’s why it makes me, at least, nervous about signing OJ Mayo to a deal that more or less precludes a shot at one of those sure things, even if the probability is low. I guess there’s also the option of a two year deal for Mayo, at more money, even with the second year as a player option in case he totally blows up and wants to walk?

    @steve
    Look, I really don’t want to engage, but you’re still talking to me. Let’s just leave it at the fact that I feel the same way about you, and we never have to address each other again. With that said, before we go our separate ways, I have to ask, your SMH indicates… what exactly? That you DO work for the Suns and questioning that fact was unbelievable? That you don’t work for the Suns and my misunderstanding that comment was unbelievable? Your “I work for Sarver” seemed clearly designed to leave you some wiggle room as to whether or not you were a Suns employee. But then you followed that up with your claim of intimate knowledge of the Suns 100+ employees, so it seems like its up in the air.

  • 90 Michael Schwartz // Jul 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    @Andy If the Suns fill up this remaining $11 mil with one year filler contracts, lose Warrick and amnesty Childress, I believe they would have a max spot next summer. Now I haven’t run the numbers exactly, that’s just off the top of my head, and of course they are very likely to fill the $11 mil of cap room and make this point moot. But I do believe if they were to gear the rest of their moves toward clearing cap space for a max deal next summer, they could.

    Not sure how long you have been following the comments on this board, but Tony often accuses Steve of working for Sarver because he comes out pro-Sarver and Tony anti-Sarver in those periodic debates. Steve doesn’t actually work for Sarver, he was just joking there.

  • 91 Ty-Sun // Jul 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    And anyway, as long as the Suns are determined to stay under the cap, even with a single max contract player (who is worth it), they aren’t going to do more than “compete” for a championship… unless they get very lucky. These days it’s beginning to look like Batman and Robin won’t cut it. You need Batman, Superman and Robin to get a ring.

    Sarver isn’t going to pay for that unless the Suns get lucky and find a Batman or Superman in the draft that they can sign on the cheap for the first few years. And I’m not a Sarver hater, I’m just a realist. Sarver is just not ever going to go very far into luxury tax range.

    Of course if you can ever sign that first star then finding another to sign would be easier and clearing cap space can be done to accommodate two max contract players… not always easily, but it can be done.

    Even though I like Morris, his contract also has a team option for the next 2 years and by amnestying Childress and letting Warrick and Morris go next year that would free up almost $12.5 mil if necessary. Not enough to outright sign a max contract but a lot of flexibility if needed.

  • 92 steve // Jul 13, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    “Look, I really don’t want to engage, but you’re still talking to me.”

    Huh? In no way did I reference you or tell you you were wrong about anything in my last post.

    And the SMH was because my comment about working for Sarver was dripping with sarcasm. First, most people would say they work for an organization, not an individual. If you worked at Apple, would you say you worked for Tim Cook? Second, this reference might have missed you because we’ve got a … fanatic … on this site that thinks that everyone who doesn’t believe the Suns FO is completely incompetent is on Sarver’s personal clock. I don’t work for the Suns in any way, shape, or form, although sometimes I wish I had some pull in the org because of some of the boneheaded things they do (just like everyone else here wishes).

    And again, I didn’t reference or attack you directly (or even indirectly, unless you want to count the reference to the group who wants a superstar, which is every single person on this site) in any way. Chill out. I told you I wasn’t going to hunt you down, and I didn’t. For someone who is “skipping over” my posts and who doesn’t have a “raised heart beat” over my comments, you’re making a big deal out of nothing.

  • 93 Ty-Sun // Jul 13, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    I guess my real point is that Mayo, Gragic or even Beasley might turn out to be a jackpot for the Suns. Yes they need to always plan for the future but any “sure thing” player that may be on the market in 2-3 years will surely be gone after hard by teams with deeper pockets than the Suns. Even if the acquisitions the Suns make this year don’t pan out, they should still remain good, solid players that give the Suns a good many more potential trading chips than they have now. That’s also a good thing to have in the future.

    With that all said, I – who have absolutely NO say in what the Suns ultimately do – feel like it’s time to gamble. Just my opinion. Everyone else’s opinion is equally valid at this point IMO. If I was right much more than I was wrong in making these decisions, then I WOULD be working for one of the NBA teams. I’m not. It’s just fun for me to speculate.

  • 94 joey // Jul 13, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    the whole key to this is finding a way to dump frye on another team. we probably would have to throw in a 1st round pick to get another team to take frye. he’s the key to freeing up enough space for a max guy. frye makes 6mil.childress can easily be amnestied and warrick will be off books by 2014. so that’s 16-17mil right there that can be gone without much of a problem . plus we could get rid of lopez 4mil and now we have 21mil available. the fo could also sell a pick for a few mil if we need it to sign a top free agent. seems to me that we still have plenty of option to clear cap space, even with mayo. especially if we can get him for 6mil instead of 7-8mil. i think we are in great shape so far

  • 95 Andy // Jul 13, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    .. 2 hours and 48 minutes ago, you directed an entire post to me. A post I referenced in that comment. You’re being intentionally obtuse if you’re saying you couldn’t figure out what I was referencing.

    Michael, thanks. As a newcomer, it was easy to mistake the phrase “I work for Sarver” as, well, someone claiming they work for Sarver.

    Tysun – I think we totally agree on gambling. We just want to roll different dice.

  • 96 CoBo // Jul 13, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    First time posting on this site, and I may not know all the statistics everyone posts on here but I have a few ideas.

    It has been said already and I agree that Mayo will most likely be overpaid if the Gordon deal doesn’t pan out. But isnt that how free agency works? Is Gordan really worth 13.5 million a year? I actually like Mayo better but I think both guys would be a risk in signing. Suns FO would pay half for Mayo, but he has been a bench player for two years, and hasn’t really shown much. I do think given the starting role again and a “green light” like stated before could be at or better than his freshman and sophomore years. Gordon is not only extremely expensive, but injury prone. Id hate to shell out a ton of money for a guy that gets to know Arron Nelson more than Alvin Gentry. That being said Gordon is a explosive and dynamic scorer but NOLA is going to match so its a mute point.

    It seems like everyone is looking for better defense from the Suns next year, and looking at who will be on the team it seems like an offensive minded team again. Why not take some of the “assets” we got from the Nash trade and go after a guy like Dejuan Blair. Young and cheap, plus wants out. Played really well for the Spurs, and could really beef up the front court. I know ill take flack for this but he is kinda like Barkley in my mind, undersized but a big body to help defend the other front courts in the west. He would also take some pressure off of Lopez in that second unit.

    I really do like what the Suns are doing this off season. Id much rather watch a Suns team trying to compete than tanking to try and get lottery picks. We all know how kwame Brown turned out… You need a Big 3 now to be considered as a title contention team, don’t see that happening in the valley anytime soon. So in the mean time I’m going to enjoy watching soarin Goran and the underdog Suns run an uptempo exciting offense and leave the ring chasers to their pine thrones

  • 97 Ty-Sun // Jul 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Wow! something really weird happened here… at least for me. Almost all the posts after the 90th are illegible. Refreshing does no good. Rebooting does no good. It’s like they are overlapping on my screen. Very weird.

  • 98 SunsCritic // Jul 13, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Scola is up for grabs! Should the Suns go for him? He’s tough and hustles!

  • 99 Andy // Jul 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    I think Hollinger keeps saying that there’s some weird rule about amnesty claims, where you have to pony up some amount of money for every guaranteed year on the contract? Michael might know more about that. But the article I pasted below seems to imply that it means a minimum bid of over 3 mil a year and that it has to be for a 3 year deal. That might be a little less tempting?

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/amnesty-claim-on-scola-prohibitive

  • 100 steve // Jul 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    @Andy

    Again, calm down. You’re skipping posts. You had posted twice since that post of mine that you’re supposedly taking offense at (although one of your posts was admittedly just 6m after mine, so you were probably typing that before you ever saw my submission). I think it’s hardly “obtuse” of me to believe you were referencing my most recent comment, in that case.

    Anyways, in that post that was somehow so offensive to you that you decided to mention it well after the fact, the main thing I did was address a couple of insults you threw my way. Telling me you weren’t going around calling me arrogant when you called me arrogant two sentences prior to that, and admiring my “freshman” psychology paper style analysis of the human psyche.

    If your panties are going to get into such a bunch that you’re going to dwell on every little word I say, I’ll try to avoid speaking to you directly, but I can guarantee if you’re going to stick around here, our paths are going to cross. I know I’m stubborn and arrogant. Apparently, you don’t like to admit, but you are too. We’re going to disagree every once in a while, but I’ll try to keep it cordial.

  • 101 steve // Jul 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Just to set the record straight, I’ve actually agreed with most of your opinions. I think I’ve already said that, but I thought I’d mention it again. The only reason I went after you at all was because of your bout with Jason (or joey, can’t remember which, maybe both) where you kept throwing out sarcastic insult after sarcastic insult, and pretending as if any counter-argument to yours was sheer stupidity that had no ounce of reason behind it…

    I’m not even saying I disagree with your points against whoever you were arguing with. I just want to make sure that if you’re going to be so haughty, you’re willing to make it a tango. Apparently, you’re a solo performer, and that’s fine. I’ll just try to avoid stepping on your toes.

    :) All right, now, for the internet personality of “steve” to be put aside. To this point, I’ve just been messing with you and treating you like you have treated others. A lot of times people can’t see it when they’re actually being quite objectionable. You might still differ in opinion about just how objectionable you were, but I won’t get into that with you. “Steve” will be nice to you from now on, to the best of his abilities. Sorry for stepping on your toes, and welcome to VotS.

  • 102 Michael Schwartz // Jul 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    @Andy Not sure of the specifics in relation to Scola and that nonguaranteed bit, but yes, your bid goes for every year remaining on the contract. So since Scola has three years left, the amount bid would need to be paid in each of the three years, which could make him a bad deal for PHX in light of our recent discussion.

  • 103 Mr. Cruncher // Jul 13, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    @Ty-Sun

    Helpful tech support tip to resolve your issue: try clearing your browser history and cache. That most likely will do the trick, as there is nothing wrong with the comment display on my end (Chrome v20).

  • 104 Mr. Cruncher // Jul 13, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    @Michael

    What are your thoughts on a heavily front-loaded deal for Mayo or possibly Dragic (if his contract numbers are not already set in stone)?

    My inclination is, yes, at all costs the Suns must keep cap flexibility for a max free agent or player trade in 2013. However, Mayo is not a bad piece to add to a young core, and if we can front-load his deal while maintaining max free agent cap space next year, that seems to be the best of both worlds (presuming we amnesty Childress and do not pick up Warrick’s option).

    Note: I haven’t fully thought through the various cap scenarios and exact numbers but rather throwing out the idea for general discussion.

  • 105 Michael Schwartz // Jul 13, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Yep, that’s kind of what I’ve been saying (well, really I’ve been saying give him $11 mil for 1 yr, but I know that’s not too realistic). I would highly consider giving him the rest of the cap space ($11 mil in yr one) if it’s going to be a multi-year deal. I know OKC did this in extending Nick Collison, not sure if there are rules against this for a UFA. But say he would take 3/$20, then all of a sudden you are getting him for $4.5 mil in Yrs 2 and 3. I am obviously in agreement about maintaining future cap space.

  • 106 Ty-Sun // Jul 13, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Had to finally switch browsers but can read everything now.

    Andy, if I were to keep up the dice rolling metaphore, I’m thinking about rolling for a 7 or 11 on the first roll. You are looking to make your point. Both are winners if they come up. Either way I hope that the Suns can cash in.

  • 107 Andy // Jul 13, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    @steve
    No. Absolutely not. You think I EARNED your behavior? You think my being sarcastic to joey, a grown man who opened his conversation with me by calling me “FREAKIN CRAZY” and saying my views were “total bs” somehow necessitated you to get involved, come after me personally, and teach me, another grown man, a lesson? You may have noticed that joey, and Jason, and whoever else, and I moved past it and were just fine. But you’ve spent the last 48 hours “hunting” me (your own words), disparaging me as a person, and seemingly trying to do your best to drive me out of this community? You think that’s your right as, what, official judge, jury, and executioner of this message board?

    One does not simply “put away” their “internet personality.” You are a human being, I am a human being. We’re not “internet people”. And a normal mature person does not try to “show me” how I’m behaving, or explain to me how I need to behave, when I am fitting in just fine here. And, for that matter, I am quite confident that there are moderators in place who would be glad to tell a new person that their behavior is a problem. Worst case, I would think a “that’s not how we do things here” would work to greater effect than a continual assault. And no, I don’t think I’m going to wave off 48 hours of what I can only describe as over-the-top bullying and trolling with a smiley face and a half-assed apology for “stepping on my toes.” Noble guise aside, I think you took your asshole shtick too far out on a limb, and now you’re just trying to dismiss it with this “can’t you see I was just kidding and teaching you a valuable lesson!” mess.

    That’s fine. I’m glad that this nonsense is over. I don’t want other people here to have to sit through this drama (if possible, I would have preferred to send this message to you individually, but this board does not allow that), and so I, really, genuinely hope that this is done. I am very much enjoying everything about this community that isn’t you. I probably will stick around. But don’t expect me to suddenly just forget the way you’ve acted the last couple days because you condescendingly think you were doing it for my good. And don’t expect me to be grateful that your “lesson” is over and I get the pleasure of interacting with the sparkling good citizen hiding underneath the total bastard that’s been bothering me for two days.

  • 108 steve // Jul 13, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Where has Tony been off to lately? I would have thought he’d get a kick out of this.

    I don’t blame you for not trusting it was a guise. I guess that, just like we’ll have to wait and see the results of the season, we’ll just have to wait and see if you stick around long enough to change your mind about me.

  • 109 Tony // Jul 13, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    @Andy,

    While Steve likes to believe he has the answers to everything, it is common knowledge around these parts that he masks his ignorance by espousing useless and often times irrelevant statistics. For example, if you suggest that Sarver is one of the worst owners in the NBA, he’ll respond by quoting Shaq’s career fg% as indicative that he’s one of the best shooters in NBA history and therefore is a proper rebuttal to my argument. My point is that the more you engage him by presenting well thought out statements, the more he resorts to nonsensical diatribes that are as irrelevant as they lack any substantive basis.
    With that being said, try not to be over-sensitive as you’ll come to find that Steve does have a pretty good sense of humor and once every so often, he does make a good point. It’s also good to have a Sarver-employee on this site, so that we might possibly get inside knowledge about what’s going on within Sarver’s “brain-trust.”;)

    FYI Andy, there is a division within the VOTS community concerning Robert Sarver. Along with Steve, Scott, Jason, Sun Also Rises, and Michael, they represent the pro-Sarver contingent of VOTS. They are fiercly supportive of Sarver, so be forewarned, if you dare to criticize the Suns FO in any way, they will strike back hurling false information and baseless retorts. I, on the otherhand, represent the anti-Sarver contingency, and would like nothing better than to see him sell the franchise. I like to think, or at least hope, that most Suns fans fall into my category. So if you decide to continue being apart of the VOTS community, just try not to take the pro-Sarver contingent seriously.

  • 110 Tony // Jul 13, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    @Steve,

    haha! Yeah, took a couple days off with the family, and come back to see WWIII on VOTS lol! Although I completely disagree with you, I do think Andy was being a bit too sensitive. But in anycase, it’s great to come back to such a lively discussion!

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