Goran Dragic’s confidence ‘at an all-time high’ as he returns to Phoenix

Posted by on July 20th, 9:24 am

PHOENIX — Confidence has long been a critical component of Goran Dragic’s success, the lack of which has led to his struggles.

As a rookie in 2008-09, Dragic played timid most of the time to earn the nickname “Tragic” and at one point early in his rookie season I wondered if Sean Singletary might be a better backup.

He returned as a sophomore with a renewed sense of confidence and led the Suns’ best bench of the Nash era to surprising heights.

But his confidence regressed once again in his third campaign playing with an oddly-composed and ever-changing bench unit, and the Suns traded Dragic to Houston as his confidence waned throughout the season.

That’s why I found Luis Scola’s answer about how Dragic improved most throughout his season and a half as a Rocket so interesting.

“I think mostly his best improvement is the confidence,” Scola said. “He needed to be in the court playing significant minutes and also knowing that he’s got the chance to fail and then keep playing. Being the backup point guard for him is a little tough, and when he finally got a chance to play more minutes and play with more confidence he had a chance to make more mistakes without a lot of consequences, and that makes him play even more and make even less of those mistakes.”

If it weren’t for the Argentinean accent and the lack of “Mmm kays,” I would have thought that was Alvin Gentry speaking in 2009-10. Gentry constantly said many of those same things during Dragon’s sterling second season.

Not surprisingly, Gentry raved about the improvement in Dragic’s confidence once again at Thursday’s press conference.

“The thing for me that I noticed the most is that his confidence level is at an all-time high,” the head coach said. “In this league that becomes a really important thing. I think that he feels that he belongs now, he can line up and play against anyone in the league.”

I asked Gentry if he feels Dragic has turned a corner in that regard since he did play with confidence at times as a Sun, and he said that players eventually reach a level where they can put bad games behind them much quicker, which wasn’t always the case for the young Dragon.

Dragic’s confidence finally reached that level when he became “that guy” at the point guard spot for the Rockets following Kyle Lowry’s injury.

No longer was Dragic playing eight minutes and then making way for Steve Nash no matter how good he was going. Instead he was able to run for 35-40 minutes and play through whatever mistakes he made.

Now, this happened on a smaller scale in Phoenix as Gentry gave him a good amount of rope and encouraged him not to worry about mess ups, but never had he enjoyed this kind of freedom to run his own team, the kind of freedom that’s impossible to get with Steve Nash on your roster.

“That gave me a lot of confidence that I can be a starting point guard,” Dragic said of his superb finishing kick.

Dragic’s confidence has grown in terms of his leadership as well. No longer is he that shy kid afraid of taking command of a bench unit full of vets. His court presence is such that he’s not afraid to get in anybody’s face, especially on such a young Suns team.

Dragic even provided veteran leadership this week in Vegas when he asked Gentry if he could talk to Kendall Marshall about his poor first Summer League game “and explain to him it’s no big deal he didn’t play as well as he’d like his first game,” as Gentry remembered it at the presser. “Just remember when I had my first game I left the arena and I went back up in my room and I cried for an hour after the game.”

“I just thought that was great advice, things that he wouldn’t have done a few years ago that he wants to help Kendall in every way that he possibly can,” Gentry said. “I think that those guys are going to be very good together.”

Basketball is a confidence game, and few players need to feel confident quite like Dragic to succeed.

In the end gaining that confidence as a Rocket may have been the best byproduct of the ill-fated Dragic trade to Houston, something that Lon Babby even joked was worth a non-lottery first-rounder.

“My confidence went way up,” Dragic said. “I was not rushing my shots, I was just playing and trying to run the team. I think that’s the main reason I’m a different player now than I was before because I have the opportunity. I don’t have any hard feelings for this organization because I left. I think that was good for me to show all the people what I can do, and I’m really happy to be back.”

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: Goran Dragic · Phoenix Suns

94 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Suns need to go get a 2 guard. Tyreke Evans has a ton of talent, go trade for him. If not ‘Reke, get Marcus Thorton.

    Going in to the season with out a solid 2 guard will make this team 38 win team. they will be stuck with the 11th pick, not good enough to get a star talent. Playing Dudley at the 2 leaves no one on the bench who is a true 2. Go get one of the guys from Sac town now!

    PG – Dragic
    SG – Evans/Thorton
    C- Gortat
    PF- Scola
    SF – Beasley

    Bench: Dudley, Frye, Morris, Telfair, Marshall.

    Package Lopez and 1st round pick +2nd round pick to Sac town. If need be send Marshall too.

  • 2 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Also just a side note, if Tyreke Evans has a break out season or at least a season similar to what he had his rookie year, his price tag will sky rocket. Players are like stock you buy a stock that has talent and potential when it’s down not up.

    Get Evans to the Suns now! Get on twitter and start the #’Reke2Phx2012

  • 3 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Tyreke Evans would offer a SG thats doesnt shoot well, but would add good length at that spot and he could handle the ball a little bit too. He is also one of the best penetrators/finishers at the rim that the NBA has at he 2-guard spot. He would be a nice addition and would probably fit in pretty well with the cast already in place

  • 4 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 10:40 am

    We have to keep in mind dudley isnt a true SG either

  • 5 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Tyreke can shoot well, if he just stops shooting 3′s. His game is very similar to D.Wade’s the difference is D.Wade never tried to take a lot 3 point shots because he knew he was 25% 3point shooter.

    Same thing for Tyreke he is not a 3 point shooter but he taking way too many 3′s. If you take away his 3 point FG shots for his career and just look at all his other shots he is actually a good shooter inside the 3.

    If we want a guy who will shoot well from the 3 then we should trade for Thorton. But he gives us less length on defense, and is not as good a passer as ‘Reke. I would be happy if we got either player. We can’t go in to the season with what we have 2guard right now.

  • 6 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Get KJ on the Phone, let him get the two sides together and make a deal that’s win-win for both teams.

  • 7 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 11:02 am

    PS, Just checked D.Wade’s stats the first 5 years of his career he averaged about 1 3point attempt a game. But the 3 years before this past season he was chucking up a lot more 3 pointers. Losing his athleticism.

  • 8 Yohance // Jul 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    If I’m the suns I am not running around with my
    hands on my head screaming who do we sign now
    for our shooting guard spot. However, I do believe that we have a good amount of big men and probably would be wise to see what we could get for one of them. With the addition of Scola. I think would not mind packaging Lopez, Warrick & draft pick for a legitimate sg who could come in and start for us.

  • 9 Cuso // Jul 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    heard we signed Brown again, not sure on contract terms, hopefully only one year.

  • 10 sun also rises // Jul 20, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    @ cuso – I heard the same thing on the radio, and it looks like he’s here for at least two more years.

    http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2012/7/20/3172676/shannon-brown-suns-nba-free-agency-2012

  • 11 Yohance // Jul 20, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    But, I would rather our FO to either stand pat with who we got or sign a someone who could just feel in at the spot until we can get a legitimate superstar caliber player. Wether it be via the draft, free agency, or through a trade. In my opinion we need to continue to stockpile assets (draft picks and young talent). We need to get somebody who does not mind a one year deal though. I say try and keep Brown, or sign Barbosa

  • 12 Tony // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Welcome back Shannon Brown…., reports indicating it’s a 2-yr deal. Since the FO struck out on Plans A, B, and C, (Gordon, Mayo, and Lee), Brown for two years isn’t too bad a deal, especially considering he’s already familiar with the Suns system and can help Gentry get the new players adjusted to the system more expeditiously.

    I’m curious how Dragic’s game will be effected playing alongside Beasley and Brown, both of whom are isolation scorers and neither are good passers. Gentry has his work cut out for him in making sure the offense doesn’t become stagnant.

  • 13 Yohance // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Yes,

    That’s what I’m talking about!
    Welcome back Shannon. Ready to see you dunk all over
    all the haters. I can see lobs from Dragon, Marshall, and Telfair all day. He young and I believe if he continues like Dudley to work his game he could be our guy. But in my opinion, I still think we need aother defender at the wing and or a knock down 3 point shooter. I would love to get Brewer,JJ Reddick, Q. Rich, Type of player. Just think of how the Heat uses Shane B. in the playoffs last year. Then in the next year we can push for a legitimate star. Say like Josh Smith or Harden, Iguodola, etc.

  • 14 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Russell…Actually Evans cant shoot well.

    At the rim he shot 65%, which is excellent considering he took 7 shots at the rim per game.

    From 3-9 feet he shot 27%

    From 10-15 feet he shot 24%

    From 16-23 feet he shot 30%

    From 3PT range he shot 20%

    He is actually one of the best finishing guards at the rim, and one of the WORST shooters in the league at the guard positions.

    He took less then 2 threes a game, so no, shooting 3′s is not his problem, his problem is not laying it in or dunking it. Stats dont lie.

  • 15 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Why sign Brown for two years? wasn’t the plan to leave cap space for next year?

  • 16 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    @ Tony

    The offensive flow concerns me as well. The ball will often stop at Beasley and Brown, but if they can score 15+ points per game each then it might not be the end of the world. Beasley can create his own shot a little bit better then Brown. Shannon needs to be set up a little more then Beasley, but Brown did well as a starter last season, he had games of 32 21 28 and 24, but he also had games of 6, 7, 8, 10. A little more consistency would be nice, but he is not a bad option. More ball movement and a heightened offensive awareness would be nice to see from him.

  • 17 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    I dont know the money or terms of the contract, but I am sure it was no more then 4 or 5 million a year. He doesnt kill our cap space too much, we will be better with him then without him and I think thats why the FO decided on two years.

  • 18 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    (because he wasnt gonna sign for one probably)

  • 19 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    I found these stats for Tyreke for last year:

    65.4% at Rim
    34% From 3-9 feet
    26% From 10-15 feet
    31.5% From 16-23 feet
    20% From 3PT range

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/plus/shooting.cgi?player_id=evansty01&year_id=2012

    A little bit higher, but overall seems like he just goes to the rim to score.

  • 20 Tony // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    @Greg,

    I agree and from what Brown had said previously, he wasn’t going to accept a 1-yr offer. So, 2-yrs should be ok, although because of both players’ proclivity in taking horrible shots, Gentry has to maintain control over them and not let either of them become another situation similar to Peitrus’s time as a Sun.

  • 21 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    @Greg 5million? Are you kidding me???? We could have signed Lee or Mayo for that. Brown is not a 5 million $ player, no way.

  • 22 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    if it is 5million for 2 years we will no longer have “max room” cap space for next year. If it was a one year deal we would have about 15-16 mil in cap space for next year, now this leaves with 10-11 mil.

    just a terrible contract. I guess they didn’t learn their lesson from Frye, Childress, Turk.

  • 23 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    The only thing that I can think is that FO realized they had no shot at signing the restricted free agents at max contracts next year. And it doesn’t sound like they will have enough money to go after Josh smith, unless they find someone stupid to take on Frye’s contract for an expiring deal.

    Brown adds very little value to this team, he is at best a reserve guard on a decent team. we are grossly undersized if he plays more than 20-22 minutes a night.

  • 24 Shane // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    @Russel Mayo opted to go to Dallas despite the Suns offering him more money and Lee has said since the beginning he wanted to join the Celtics because he fits their system well. I do not like Brown either but at 8-9 million for two years is not bad and still gives the Suns cap flexibility.

  • 25 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    @Shane that’s the reason they gave him $5 million? are you kidding? That’s the same reason they gave Childress and Frye those horrible contracts, remember? Because They couldn’t get Amare to sign to the none guaranteed deal. So they over paid two scrubs.

    Why not get off their butts and make a move! we have the picks we have the cap space, go put together a trade for a real SG.

  • 26 Shane // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Also I heard the second year Brown can opt out of the contract, so most likely he will inflate his production opt out and look for big money elsewhere leaving the Suns with enough cap space to be able to go after Josh Smith or any other free agent.

  • 27 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    oh and don’t forget Hackim Warrick, another contract given as a gift because they didn’t get Amare. what’s with this team and overpaying scrubs because they didn’t get their main options?

  • 28 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    hoops data is accurate. check that site out.

    and obviously we couldnt have signed mayo or lee for that because Mayo wanted 8+ from the Suns (even tho he took less in Dallas) and Lee just got a sign and trade deal worth up to 6.5 per season wiuth incentives I have read. Also, Lee wanted to be on the celtics from the beginning, not PHX. So are you kidding me? Lee or Mayo could not have been signed for 4 or 5 mil or else they would have been here a week ago.

    Dont assume we wont have cap room, there is a whole year from now until next off-season. If the front office wants to make a few extra million in cap space, they will find a way to get it done. Teams find ways to unload cap space all the time. With all of our picks, we can pair picks with Frye or Warricks contracts as incentive for teams to take on their deals, and we wouldnt get anything in return except for the cap relief.

    Goran has good length at PG and Brown is 6’4”….so overall our backcourt is not “grossly” undersized, just slightly

  • 29 Shane // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    @Russell The Suns do not have many options at all, so they chose instead to sign a guy who knows the system and will not tie up cap space for the next off season.

  • 30 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    He will not opt out. No one will give him 5 mil a year, no one. at most he will get is 2.5-3mil. He is not a 5 mil contract player. The guy will make a few dunks then shoot 38% from the field and suck the air out of the building. This guy is Nate Robinson and no one wants to give Nate even a 1 million any more after that one year when he got 7mil.

  • 31 Shane // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    @Russel Hakim Warricks contract comes off the book after this season, freeing up more cap space.

  • 32 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Shannon Brown is the type of player that can shoot 11 for 50 over a course of a week when he is slumping. That’s the type of player guy’s don’t want to see on the court more then 20 minutes because he will damage other players game.

  • 33 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    and russell. why are you comparing a 2 year deal to 4 and 5 year deals? Brown’s contract is no where near the liability you are claiming it us. Like I said, this does not completely screw us, there are tons of options.

  • 34 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    and no. warricks deal is not off the books after this season. its thru 13-14 with no team option in that year, so unless we trade him….

  • 35 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    @Shane Hakim Warrick should have never ever gotten a 4 year contract…Ever, all contract eventually come off the books. Why not sign me to 4 year contract and pay me 20mil? I can sit on the bench and clap throughout the game too. And guess what my contract will come off the books in 4 years and clear cap space too.

  • 36 Tim in BC // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I think Brown is not a bad player but kind of streaky and would have preferred Barbossa (what about that Belinini as he is still FA??)

  • 37 Shane // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    @Russell It is not for sure that he gets 5 million, its just a rumor that he gets something between 4 and 5 million. Its not the end of the world if he does not opt out because we can trade him.

    I know you do not like Brown and heck I do not like him either but this was the best option for the Suns. You would have rather spent 8 million a year for Lee or Mayo for the next 4 years?

  • 38 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    honestly, you guy’s would have never noticed if it was Childress or me playing for the Suns last couple of years. They should have signed me, I might have made a few 3 pointers at least.

    Give me that 30 milllion that he got.

  • 39 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    @Shane anything more than 1 year 3 mil is a rip off. He is not worth more.

  • 40 Khalid // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    @ Yohance

    The best player would be Barbosa. I hope to see him back at the valley. A one-year contract would be a good start. I guess that would signal the end of the summer player movement. Awaiting Lopez’s decision to take the offer or find another team.

  • 41 Shane // Jul 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    @Russell My point is we will have the cap space to sign any free agent we want to a max offer next off season.
    You can complain all you want about Warrick and Browns contracts but by next off season they will be gone.

  • 42 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    and in defense of Shane, i dont think he was arguing for the fact that Hakim’s contract was a good deal. He just said it comes off the books, which was wrong, but you totally missed his point.

  • 43 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    I know what Sarver is thinking, he is thinking if I sign a bunch of these scrubs I’m bound to get lucky once and maybe one becomes a star. He is trying to win the lottery. He did the same thing with the Warrick, Childress deals he though he had a steal, he thought Childress will be Shawn Marion.

  • 44 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    @Shane no we don’t, a max contract for a restricted player starts at 13-14. For a non restricted player like Bynum/Josh Smith/Howard it starts at 17-18 mil.

    If the suns sign Brown to a 2 year deal it only leaves 10-11 million in free cap space, not enough for a max contract.

  • 45 John // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    @Russell Complain and cry all you want, will not change a damn thing.

  • 46 Shane // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    @Greg I thought Warrick’s last year is a team option meaning they can cut him?

  • 47 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    3+ million is not a rip off. Gerald Green got 3 for 10+, and that was a deal at very beginning of free agency. that set the market for SG, and I dont think Gerald Green is a superior player to Brown, he hadnt even played since 08-09 cause no one wanted him and he was a terrible player. He turned a few ten day contracts into 3 for 10+ then i think Shannon is ok at 2 for around 8 or so. Anything significantly higher is alarming though.

  • 48 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    thats what i wasnt sure of, if it was a team option or not

  • 49 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    We only have 2 deals expiring next year (Warrick/Telfair) for a combined 5.5 mil.

    2013 contracts on the Books:
    Gortat 7.7 mil
    Frye 6.4mil
    Dudley 4.25 mil
    Beasley 6.25mil
    Dragic 7.5mil
    Marshall 2mil
    Morris 2.2 mil
    Scola 4.5mil
    Shannon brown 4/5mil
    2 first round picks (3mil combined)

    48-49mil in cap space already. We no longer have cap space to bring in a max player. The Brown deal killed it.

  • 50 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    sources im reading say Hakim’s deal is not a team option for 2013-2014

  • 51 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Warrick has a team option for 2013-14 with I think a 300k buy out.

  • 52 Shane // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    @Greg Oh that is unfortunate.

    @Shane We could also trade Scola, Brown or even Gortat for a SG next offseason. I think some people were mentioning Harden, we could trade some players and picks to them in exchange.

  • 53 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    If the Suns are stupid if they offered more then 1 year. just stupid.

  • 54 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Hmm well Brown or no Brown, we couldnt get an 18 mil max player anyway. and if they are restricted, and we offer the max, if they are a legit max player their teams will likley match, similar to hornets. and if their teams dont match we likley reached out and payed max money to a guy who doesnt deserve it. so stop complaining

  • 55 Shane // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Oops I meant @Russel. Lol

  • 56 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Trading Gortat? And who is going to play Center? It only took us 25 years to get a quality Center in his prime. Sure why not, lets give him away because we want to keep Shannon Brown?

  • 57 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    they have a whole year. they can trade frye and picks and dump his contract on someone else. wow that was easy now they have plenty of money. its not dumbest thing in the world, they have a plan. Lance Blanks is a smart dude, stop ripping the FO we have no clue what they plan on doing in the next year.

  • 58 Shane // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    I think we should all just relax and wait until the next off season to see what happens.

  • 59 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    The solution was simple, the Suns had the assets in pciks to make a deal for Marcus Thorton or Tyreke,Why go for a scrub on a 2 year deal? this kills any max offer we can give to anyone.

  • 60 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Gortat is untouchable unless we got rid of him to offer Bynum a max deal, or a S&T with the Lakers. But thats a hypotetical situation obviously

  • 61 CoBo // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    @Greg
    Just to clarify Warrick’s contract will come off the books for next year, he has a team option for the 2013-2014 season. I cant imagine the suns picking him up again. Found the info on this website…

    As for the Mayo drama, something doesn’t add up. He signed a two year 8.5 million dollar deal with the Mavs, with the last year being a player option. It can’t be true that he wanted 8 a year from the Suns if he took the deal. I really think the FO may have passed on him.

  • 62 Shane // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    @Russell Gortat is expendable, if the option is there to a get a superstar caliber player for a trade involving Gortat would you say no?

    I still think Gortat only had a good season because of Nash and that makes him expendable.

  • 63 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    @Greg no one is taking Frye’s contract unless we give up our 1st round pick (not LA’s). Our pick will be in the lottery.

    So in order to sign a max player we will hae to give up our lottery pick because no one is willing to take player that we over paid (Frye) and then we were forced to give up a pick because we signed another player (Brown) also over paying him thus takign away the max player option.

    Why not just not sign him, don’t give the pick, and just sign a free agent to max deal instead? why lose a lotto pick?

  • 64 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    @Shane? names?

  • 65 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Marcus Thornton and Brown are actually very comparable. Thornton shoots everytime. He is worse or equal with Brown in that aspect. And, he shoots similar percentages, worse from 3 then Brown even. He is also 6’4′ so he is also extremely undersized in your opinion.

    Thornton is better then Brown, no doubt. but not significantly better.

    And Evans would not be cheap
    not cheap at all. He is a young talent and the Kings would want a ton in return I am sure.

  • 66 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    @Shane unless you are getting Dwight /Bynum for Gortat picks and players no, Gortat is not expendable. He is a top 5 center in the NBA. Centers are impossible to find. It took us 25 years!

  • 67 Shane // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    @Shane Bynum? Harden? Iguodala?

  • 68 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    @Greg, really? what GM in the league would take 2 shanon Browns for one Marcus Thorton? i don’t think you guy’s watched Brown last year at all, except in teh last month.

    Brown is not a starter, he is no Marcus Thorton. He isn’t even close.

  • 69 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    You dont know that Russell. alot of teams would actually love Fryes ability to stretch floor from 4 and 5, those type of guys are popular trade commodities. We could give up lakers picks and 2nd round picks, but even if it is our later lotto pick (basing it off i dont think Suns are gonna be that bad), I would rather have a MAX player then a late lottery pick, ecspecially in a WEAK draft next year. Look at our last lottery picks. Marshall, Morris, Lopez. You wouldnt trade one of them for a Max player?

  • 70 Shane // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    @Russel Bynum? Harden? Iguodala?

    The only reason Gortat is a a top 5 center was because of Nash!

  • 71 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Iggy? no way I’m not giving up Gortat for Iggy. He is a grea defender but he can’ t shoot and he can’t score much. plus he’ll be 30 next year? NO Way!!!

    If you trade Gortat for Harden, you are stuck in the same position you get your 2guard but now you have no Center. we have to get some scrub to play Center because no one is giving up good Centers that play defense and rebounds.

    As for Bynum? yes sure. If you can get me Bynum for Gortat and picks I’ll go for it. can you get him? unlikely.

  • 72 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    @Shane I didn’t know Nash taught Gortat how to play Defense and rebound? Good to know.

  • 73 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    I never said that russel stop putting words in my mouth you are being worse then Tony. Im saying Thornton is not significantly better then Brown and he would cost way more. Obviously I would prefer Thornton, but he isnt a talent that makes us that many games better then Brown.

    Thornton is better. I said that. Statistically last year, Thornton was not much better. which is why i said not significantly better. He has had two good scoring years on awful teams.

  • 74 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    he is a glorified Shannon Brown.

  • 75 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Right now of all our starters:

    Gortat, Beasley, Goran, Scola, Dudley

    All are below avg defenders except Gortat. Gortat is the only one on the team that will have any impact on D. the other 4 guy’s are just not very good defenders.

  • 76 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Russel. you are being ridiculous. Gortat’s assit rate was 80% 2nd highest in the league. Nash clearly was a large part of that 80%, and Nash and Gortat were highly successful in the pick and roll game. Nahs gone, Gortats offense will decline slightly.Shane didnt say anything about rebounding or defense. just stop. you are arguing just to argue now.

  • 77 Shane // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    @Russell You are overrating Gortat, you will see this season how he will struggle offensively without Nash.

    You will all see next season how Gortat is nothing without Nash like Stoudamire and many other players are nothing without Nash!

  • 78 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    actually, Goran is not below average at all. he stole nearly 2 balls per game in his two months of starting and he is an active, lengthy defender at the 1. Dudley is also above average, but not by much. Scola is a good post defender, not on the perimeter, he is also average. I am saying all of this based on metrics. Gortat is also not a great defender, but his metrics are outstanding.

    You are seriously pulling stuff out of your ass

  • 79 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Amare scored 25 a game with raymond Felton Shane….Carmello is only one who hurt amares scoring.

  • 80 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    @Greg if Frye had 1 year left on his contract he would be interesting piece for another team or if Frye had 3 years 10 million left someone will take a flyer.

    No one is taking a flyer on Frye for 3 years 20 million. He is a bench player that will make starters money. not happening unless we give them a lotto pick.

  • 81 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    @Shane His scoring might go down but he will still get his 12-13 pts 10-11 rebounds a night. He is very very valuable. To me with out a doubt Gortat’s game puts him to top 5 category for Centers. He is a complete player. He gives you everything you want form a Center.

  • 82 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    after this season their will be two years left…which is when theyd look to deal.

    and unless a starter is on a rookie contract, 6.5 million is below average starters money. thats basically the mid-level exception

  • 83 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    @Greg Dudley at the 2 is below avg defender, he constantly gets beaten by 2 guards he can’t keep up with them. He is a hustle player, and his best defensive position is at the Small forward where he does ok, but we will play him at the 2, we can not start Brown he is horrific.

  • 84 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Greg good luck selling the Frye’s contract to another team anytime this season. You should ask The Suns FO to hire you because they have probably contacted every team about moving and got laughed at.

  • 85 Shane // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    @Russell I hope you are right about Gortat.

  • 86 Russell // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Really below starters money? We gave Beasley 6 mil per a year to be a starter. Last time I checked. Did we pay him to come off the bench?

  • 87 Ty-Sun // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    LOL. Brown on a 2 year contract isn’t the worst thing the Suns could have done. And since no one actually knows the specific contract details it’s premature to call it a bad move.

    And Warrick’s contract is for two more years but the final year DOES have a team option in it.

    And there is still a LOT of time left before the season starts. Perhaps there is still a S&T option involving Lopez open to the Suns that could bring in more talent at the 2. Yes, Frye won’t be ready to play by the beginning of the season so we couldn’t count on him to back up Gortat but at worst the Suns could sign O’Bryant to an unguaranteed contract until Frye is readdy to return and I believe that Scola was pressed into center duty – with fair success – when Yao first broke his foot so Scola could actually be an option as a backup for Gortat if needed. Honestly, Scola’s so crafty that he could very well eat other team’s bench centers alive if that was how the Suns used him.

    But there is still a lot of time before the season starts and plenty of time and ways for the Suns to add more players.

  • 88 Ty-Sun // Jul 20, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Say what you will about Gortat but how in the world did Steve Nash help Gortat to average 10 rebounds per game? His scoring might fall a little without Nash feeding him the rock but how many 10 rpg centers are there in the NBA? Gortat will continue to contribute even without Nash and it’s not certain that Dragic and he won’t click and at least equal last year’s stats.

  • 89 Tony // Jul 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    @Ty-Sun,

    please don’t disrespect Nash by putting Dragic in the same category with him. There’s no way Gortat will come close to what he averaged with Nash. Remember, 80% of his points came via Nash assists.

    Furthermore, what disappointed me the most about Gortat last season was his lack of mental toughness and his decline in terms of post defense. So, I don’t care if he averages 20 rpg, if his defense is as it was most of last season and if he can’t average double digits in scoring, he’s not worth his contract.

  • 90 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    beasley is a different case then the average NBA starter , considering he didnt start last year…so dont group him with my comment@ Russell. and yea i know Dudley is a below average 2 defensively, thats why he should be the 3 coming off the bench and he can play some 2. as a 3, his natural spot, he is an average/slightly above average defender..i dont disagree with that and i never said he is a above average 2, once again putting words in my mouth.

  • 91 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    and if frye has a good year after his injury, if there is a team out their hungry for 3 pt shooting, in particular a stretch 4/5, im sure alot of teams would take multiple picks and frye off our hands. we wouldnt get rid of all 6.5 million, but we could take back in a cheaper asset and save us a few million….you are seriously ridiculous

  • 92 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    im not dumb, obviously teams arent gonna be 100% willing to take on 6.5 million, but like i said, we take a 2 or 3 mil player, send out his 6.5 and picks, it could help both teams. you read what i say, maybe you dont, but then you argue against stuff i say by taking it out of context.

  • 93 Greg // Jul 20, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    @ Tony, Gortat wont go from 16 ppg to under 10….thats just unfair to even assume hed decline that much. Gortat and Goran will still be a nice combination in time im sure. and metrics wise Gortat was a top 20 defender in the league.

    He obviously isnt a top 20 defender, but his numbers point to it as far as team defense goes.

    also gortats offense my improve because Scola will become the true post presence. He will help Gortat play his more natural style 3-15 feet out. Gortats a nice player regardless of Nash, just not as nice.

  • 94 Ty-Sun // Jul 20, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Lol! Don’t put words in my mouth, Tony! I NEVER compared Nash to Dragic. I just said that there’s is no reason to not expect that Gortat and Dragic won’t click and work well together too. And that Nash had no influence on Gortat’s rebounding. If you take offense at me saying that then I can only assume that you are as delusional as a lot of other people here seem to think you are. You obviously pulled that completely nonexistent comparison of Nash and Dragic that you attributed to me from VERY deep from your ass because it was not anywhere in the post I made.

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