The cupboard is bare for backup centers

The Suns’ whirlwind offseason is drawing to a close. After some major departures and a slew of new additions, the front office has only one spot left to fill: the backup center.

Marcin Gortat, once a high-profile backup himself, has emerged as a big man Phoenix can build around. But he can’t play 48 minutes a night. Robin Lopez, last season’s backup, was shipped off to New Orleans as part of the Wesley Johnson deal. Channing Frye, the only other guy with the size to play at the five spot, is still recovering from injury and won’t be ready for the start of the season. So the Suns must forage in the free agent market one more time. There just one problem — the cupboard is bare.

Taking a quick glance at’s list of free agent centers, the players range from “Who is that guy?” to “Please, no, not that stiff.” There are has-beens, retreads, draft busts, and amnesties galore. But from this rough scrap heap, the Suns have to pull out a diamond. Or at least a serviceable cubic zirconia. Here are some players who are likely to get a look.

Kyrylo Fesenko

The big man from Ukraine played in only three games last season for Indiana. Before that, he spent his first four years in Utah. His stats will not blow you away. He’s never averaged more than nine minutes, three points, or three rebounds per game. He spent much of his time in Utah playing for the Jazz’s D-Leauge team. He is not completely bereft of usefulness however. Fesenko does have size, youth, and defensive ability.

John Hollinger says, “The best-kept secret in the NBA right now is Fesenko’s monstrous defensive stats. It’s not that one or two metrics point out his defensive value; it’s that all of them do, without any pointing to the contrary.”

Having a stout defensive presence off the bench would help the Suns tremendously. Last season, opponents were able to extend their lead or evaporate a Suns lead while the second unit was on the floor. Fesenko could be a part-time anchor who could help mitigate that effect. The one thing to watch out for with Kyrylo is foul trouble. He’s not likely to improve in that area, so his playing time would still be limited. Either way he is the favorite of our own Michael Schwartz and probably the Suns’ safest bet to fill their need.

Darko Milicic

Fans of this blog have finally gotten their wish. Darko is free. A free agent that is, after the T-Wolves used the amnesty on him just two years after signing him to a ridiculous contract. But should Darko be cleared to land in Phoenix? I say … maybe.

He has size, but not much else. It’s unclear whether he can walk and chew gum at the same time. That being said, Darko would be a great addition to the Suns simply by perpetuating Phoenix as the All-Draft Redemption team. If the Suns can make the playoffs, or even stay above .500, with Wesley Johnson, Michael Beasley, and Darko on the team, that might be an NBA miracle. On the other hand, adding Darko would make the Suns a strange amalgamation of last year’s Rockets and Timberwolves, two teams that missed the playoffs. Not exactly a good look.

On the court, Darko continues to disappoint for the same old reasons. He has little to no offensive skill other than the putback. He doesn’t rebound at a level you’d expect from a 7-footer, and he’s foul prone. The Suns should have options better than this.

DeSagana Diop and Erick Dampier

I grouped these two together because they’re essentially the same guy. They’re both 7-footers (Dampier is actually 6-foot-11). They both have used their size to stay in the NBA much longer than they should have. They’re both limited from a production standpoint. And they both have a ton of Mark Cuban’s money.

Diop is a little bit younger and thus may have more in the tank from a rebounding and defensive standpoint. However, they’re both basically stand-ins at this point, just a warm body to fill the middle of the key. Both guys are still professionals, and a new scene with full access to the Suns’ training staff could rejuvenate either of them to a replacement-level player. Which would be an improvement. One more thing, Tony Battie and Jamaal Magloire could have easily shared the headline for this section with Dampier and Diop.

Jermaine O’Neal

Just writing that name makes me quiver. The case can be made that O’Neal has been done for two years. He wasn’t really productive at all in Boston. Clearly Ray Allen and KG refused to disclose the location of the Fountain of Youth they found five years ago. The one thing to consider with O’Neal is that he’s only two years removed from being a double-figure scorer. He has been hampered by injuries the last two seasons, and if there’s any team that can heal the injury prone, it’s Phoenix.

O’Neal is still a solid on-ball and help defender despite his declining athleticism, according to John Hollinger. He could be a savvy pickup for the Suns, so long as he’s willing to accept a small contract and backup role. Despite a declining skill set, O’Neal was once a huge star in this league, so coming off the bench for 15-18 minutes a game may not be the role he’s looking for.

Chris Andersen

The Birdman was once a premier energy/rebounding guy in the NBA. His athleticism and enthusiasm were a key part of Denver’s perennial playoff appearances. After the Carmelo Anthony trade, however, Andersen’s role began to decline and Denver brought in several young big men who supplanted him as a backup.

He became a free agent after the Nuggets used their amnesty provision on him this offseason. The Birdman is my personal favorite to fill the backup center role, so long as he still has something left in the tank. If he still has his athleticism and exuberance, I could see him falling into the Louis Amundson role from the 2010 second unit still beloved by Suns fans. He could be a guy who comes off the bench to pull down rebounds, block some shots, stuff a few put back dunks, and get the crowd on its feet.

Andersen would also bring two crucial elements to Phoenix: crazy hair and tattoos. Between Gortat, Dragic, Scola, and Dudley, Phoenix is one of the least tattooed teams in the league. I’m not saying a lack of ink is hurting the Suns’ postseason hopes, but look at Denver. They’re always in the postseason, and they’ve put at least 10 tattoo artists’ kids through Harvard with the money they’ve spent on ink. Birdman has enough tattoos for an entire starting five.

The other area where he helps the Suns is crazy hair. I picture him and Michael Beasley trying to out ‘do (pun fully intended) one another every night, with both of them raising the bar and pushing the limits as their ridiculous hair styles escalate. Plus, it will give the Suns an added chance to get on SportsCenter. Even if it’s in the Not Top 10. If Birdman can still fly, I think he brings the most to the table.

Tags: Backup Center Free Agency Phoenix Suns Phoenix Suns Analysis

  • Ty-Sun

    The BIG question mark about Andersen is the story that came out a few weeks ago about him. Here’s a quote from one report: “The Nuggets had excused him from team-related activities after Douglas County sheriff’s deputies searched his home as part of an investigation by the department’s Internet Crimes Against Children unit. No criminal charges have been announced.” Until that is cleared up I would be very uneasy about signing him.

    Fesenko would be my first choice until the Andersen thing is cleared up. O’Neal would be my next choice if he would accept a backup role. Hopefully he will realize that might be the best choice for his career now. With the warlocks to work on/with him and limited minutes he could possibly extend his career a few more years.

  • Alex

    Jermaine is my top choice. Bring him in, let Aaron Nelson do his magic and ship im to a contender at the trading deadline. O’Neal looked good for Boston when healthy.

    Diop, by the way, is still under contract with the Bobcats. We better not absorb his 7 million deal.

  • Phoenix Rising

    What about Greg Oden, you can sign him for pennies on the dollar, and his upside is ridiculous. With the potential for making him an All Star not all that removed from reality, keeping him healthy would be the only obstacle (albeit a big one).

    With the help of Aaron Nelson and our critically acclaimed training staff that revived Grant Hill, kept Nash from falling apart, and re-launching a hopelessly lost Michael Redd, the possibility of them pulling one more rabbit out of the magic hat they have in the back room of US Airways Center doesn’t seem all too unlikely.

    If there is a possibility I say go for the risk, it’s not like Channing Frye can’t play center if we need him too. Plus with his newly minted post game and slightly improved rebounding, he has added a depth to his game we haven’t seen in previous years.

    If not go with Kyrylo Fesenko.

  • Ryan Weisert

    Oden was definitely on my mind for this column, but I chose not to include him because he’s still rehabbing from yet another surgery and will likely sit out this season.

  • Joe

    How about Andray Blatche? Give him a one-year contract so he has the incentive to play for a long-term deal. I know he’s listed as a PF but he’s got the size to play center for the Suns style of play.

  • Ty-Sun

    Oden has stated that he will not attempt to play this season and will continue rehab until next year so it’s useless to try and sign Oden this year.

    I also just read that the Suns may be considering Vernon Macklin. WTF is Vernon Macklin? I asked that same question. He is a 6-10 PF/C who was a late 2nd round draft pick by Detroit last year. The only stats I found on him from last year were from a 10 game stretch in the D-league where he scored 15 ppg and pulled down 14 rpg.

  • Phoenix Rising

    Actually recently he has changed his mind. According to his agent he has decided that he wants to play, and therefore is back on the market.

    Not to say he would be a permanent fix, but if we get a dud we still have a capable backup center in Frye.

    By the way that Vernon Macklin sounds good too if he can even remotely get close to those numbers, translated to the NBA they may only be 6pts 5rbs. But that is exactly what we need.

  • Joe

    Greg Oden has one leg shorter than the other. I don’t think the Suns’ medical staff is going to be able to fix that.

  • Ty-Sun

    Well, if Oden is willing to play backup and limited mins then Phoenix would be “the” place for him… unless he wants to go ring chasing and sign with Miami as I’ve been reading since reading PR’s report that he wants to play this season after all. Phoenix would probably be his best bet if he wants a long career but Miami give him the best chance of getting a ring… even if he spends most of his time on the bench or injured. Everything I’ve read about Miami says that they will continue to play “small ball” next season and Oden doesn’t really fit into that equation… but they would certainly sign him if the price was right.

  • Ty-Sun

    You are correct, Joe. The Suns’ med staff can’t correct it but they might be able to figure out how he can learn to deal with it without significantly injuring himself again.

  • Ty-Sun

    Considering everything, if Gortat gets injured early in the season the Suns will very likely ask Scola to play the 5 and adjust the other positions accordingly. NO ONE still on the FA market could play the 5 better than Scola as a starter if Gortat is sidelined. I think that’s one of the reasons that the Suns went after Scola when he was amnestied by Houston.

    Yes, Oden can play the 5 better than Scola but he can’t really be counted on to play large minutes. Neither can O’Neal. No one else comes close to being able to play major minutes if Gortat is sidelined by injury. I know that there are more than a few people here who dislike Gortat’s game but the Suns would be hurt a lot if he is out and misses a lot of court time.

  • Joe

    I think Andray Blatche could play better 5 than Scola. He’s 6-11 260. His numbers dropped last year but the year before he averaged 16.8 pts 8.3 reb 1.5 stl 0.8 blks.

  • Ty-Sun

    Blatche is a head case. He has talent but he’s a mental nightmare. Washington amnestied him for that reason, NOT because of a lack of talent. That’s also why no one has grabbed him already. Someone will eventually take a chance on him but I hope it’s not the Suns.

  • Phoenix Rising

    Completely agree, Marcin Gortat is a talent that will shock a lot of people as this year he can finally prove that he is more then just the recieving end of the pick and roll.

    As for Blatche, the dude is a lazy pig who can score, but doesn’t play defense… .08 blocks really? You’re 6-11, unacceptable.

  • Scott

    Hollinger swears Fesenko can play defense? That’s ironic, since the workout interview Fes did for the Suns had them questioning his defensive ability. Or maybe that’s double-ironic, since it was the SUNS questioning his defense. ;)

    I wonder if teams struggle to evaluate defensive centers, especially if they’re foreign. Fes went in the 2nd round in 2007, several spots ahead of Marc Gasol. Marcin Gortat was taken 4th to last in the 2005 draft.

    Anyway, … please no Darko. No Diop, no Dampier, no O’Neal.

    Of the contenders listed here, Fes is the only young one with a chance of sticking.

    Vernon Macklin is also 25, but I fear the Suns would end up with too many tweeners if they take him. He’s only 6′ 10″ and 227 lbs., so he’d definitely be undersized at C. Heck, Beasley is 235 lbs., and Frye – who is a bit light for C – is 245.

    IMO, the Suns would be better off with Fes, especially since he would be 3rd C behind Frye. The Suns run the risk of being chronically undersized at front court and could use some beef (Fes is 280 lbs).

    While I realize the Suns probably can’t get him, an interesting choice at C would be first round pick Royce White. One of Houston’s roster-breaking 21 players, White is 6′ 8″ and 270 lbs. With his heads-up guard-like play, he’d be like a scoring Boris Diaw at C for the Suns.

    Yes, he’s got the anxiety issue, but he’s also a competitor. At 21, he’d fit into rebuilding and if he doesn’t cost much in trade, he’d be a low cost rebuilding tool. I’d trade Houston a Laker first rounder for him.

    A team like the Suns is going to get more out of this great passing big man than just about any other team, except maybe a Rick Adelman team.

  • robzilla

    five words, Joel “the vanilla gorilla” Przybilla

  • Animan

    Scott, I agree with your claim to Royce White, however I doubt Houston would be willing to part ways with him so easily. But I do love his game. He nearly averaged a triple double in the summer league, which is a poor comparison for NBA readiness, but still. In my mind, Fesenko, White, Oden and hell, even Darko suit my needs. I like the concept of the suns being a “second-chance” team. (If only we had gotten Mayo.)

    On a side note, Miami is stupid for not picking up Darko. He fills their needs perfectly. Center who isn’t needed for much. But I digress.

  • Joe

    @ Ty-Sun
    I know Blatche is a head-case, but maybe the fact that he was amnestied and not a lot of teams are knocking on his door (the Spurs and Heat are rumored to be interested) will be a wake-up call for him to get himself together. It’s at least worth investigating.
    If he has the right attitude, offer him a 1yr deal to prove himself.
    Certainly seems more likely than the Oden scenario you were pushing for. At least Blatche has talent and is ready to play. Who knows when or if Oden will ever be ready?

  • kev

    @Joe: I know Blatche is a head-case, but maybe the fact that he was amnestied and not a lot of teams are knocking on his door (the Spurs and Heat are rumored to be interested) will be a wake-up call for him to get himself together.
    Well he is amnestied. So he is gettign paid for the remaining portion of his contract. There is no urgency.

    Plus a headcase as he is, is not a good idea to add to the “immature” Beasley. We have a young team and not a good idea to add a person who can spoil the chemistry.

  • Scott

    @robzilla -

    Przybilla has signed with the Bucks.

    @Animan -

    You never know. Houston got Royce White with a first round pick, and they’ve got too many players, many of them looking to be fairly good. Some players are going to have to be cut, and some traded.

    One way of trading a player without taking another player on is to trade for a draft pick.

    At the moment, I don’t know which team(s) Houston plans to trade with, as rosters everywhere are close to finalized.

    It could happen that the Suns could get a quality young player from Houston for a draft pick. Probably not Motiejunas or Lamb, but I’d imagine the rest would have to be considered available.

    If Houston had not already picked up Asik, it would have made sense for the Suns to look into possibly trading Gortat to Houston for a couple of those picks.

  • Joe

    I totally agree Kev. It’s high risk/high reward. I just think it’s worth looking into.

    Realistically, I think the Suns should go with Vernon Macklin or Jerome Jordan, who’s a 7’0 240 center. He played for the Knicks last year and had similar stats to Macklin. In the D-League he averaged 18pts 8.6reb 2.8blks. The only problem is Jordan is from Jamaica and he might be a bad influence on Beas Knees. ;)

  • Scott

    BTW, both the Bucks and Rockets are overloaded with big men. The Rockets have 15 and the Bucks have 8.

    And FWIW, Marcus Morris is almost certain to be one of the players cut by the Rockets, if his contract will allow it.

  • KeZ

    The Birdman would be a nice addition to our team.

  • Red

    How about Yi Jianlian – he’s currently playing at the Olympics and has had some decent games. He hardly played last season but had a 12p, 7r season in 09-10… he averaged 15p, 10r, and 2.2 bpgs in London.

  • Joey

    I say we cut or trade telfair and sign 2 guys. Oden for sure bcuz he’s worth the gamble and either redd, birdman, or blatche. I like blache first bcuz his potential and scoring, but redd would really help our 3point shooting, and birdman would give us hustle and dirty work. It just depends what fo thinks we need more. There is no need to have telfair in the way of marshall getting minutes and developing. He needs to go and those other 4 players I mentioned would be much more helpful to this team.

  • Joey

    Yi would be interesting pickup but I think he is a little bit too soft down low and the suns need a backup bigman that is strong on D. That’s why I think oden is the best option and worth the gamble. I would take blache over Yi as well. Blache has issues but I think alot of his attitude problems were due to him being stuck with wizards. Blache is 6’11″ and can really score. Plus Yi is too much like frye except frye is betting on D post. I think oden and blache would really give us a solid group of big men and just imagine if our staff can getting oden healthy! That would be very exciting and the talk of the league

  • Scott

    @Joey -

    It would be rational to cut Telfair if the Suns had a competent combo guard, like Mayo. But they do not.

    If the Suns drop Telfair without getting another point-capable guard, they have no one to play PG when either Dragic or Marshall gets injured.

    Hopefully a combo guard is somewhere on the Suns’ future wish list. Past combo guards who filled this need as backup PG were Joe Johnson and Barbosa.

    @Red -

    Yi’s another pick that has been discussed on this board. He looks like he could be a slightly younger and cheaper version of Frye. It’s possible the Suns could get more out of him than other teams, just as they’ve done with Frye.

  • Scott

    FWIW, keep in mind that the Suns still have the Brad Miller contract ($5m) that they can use in any trade.

    IMO, Beasley’s contract should also be available for trade, if the Suns are thinking of running with Scola/Morris at PF this year. His contract won’t be up for trade till midseason, though.

    Finally, as for backup C, the Suns are probably keeping a finger on Frye’s recovery, and may be thinking that if he’s coming back in November or December that they’ll just play Scola at C and get Beasley in at PF till Frye returns. In that case, Scola is the backup C and they’re not really shopping for another one.

  • JT’s Hoops Blog

    The Suns do not necessarily need a backup C. They already have one in Channing Frye. Granted, he is a marshmallow in the paint and would rather stay behing the arc than mix it up in the paint, but he is still a viable option as a backup. Same goes for Markieff Morris. Did he not play Center when he was in Kansas? He can spell either Gortat or Scola for a few minutes as well.

  • jamie

    I”ve not seen enough of him for an informed judgement but Salah Mejri of Tunisia might be worth a closer look, rebounds well and blocked shots.
    24 years old and 7’2″.

  • Joey

    Why are you assuming marshall or dragic will get hurt? I don’t see the logic there. Shannon brown is a combo guard by the way and has played some minutes at point when he was on lakers. But most likely we won’t even need a 3rd point guard and telfair is just taking mins away from marshall which is just stupid and going to hinder his developement. Makes no sense to keep telfair. Either cut him or trade him along with miller’s contract for another 2 guard or center.

  • Joey

    Beasley isn’t going to be traded. We just signed him and are trying to develope him into our top scoring threat. What are you thinking? Thank god you’re not not our gm bro!lol But seriously why would you trade beasley unless it was for d.howard or another star

  • Greg

    @ Joey, Shannon Brown cannot play PG….period. and its not a matter of assuming goran or marshall would get hurt, but every team needs depth. shannon brown is not good depth. telfair at this point may be better then Marshall as far as his development goes. Sometimes playing a rookie in a role he isnt ready for can hinder his development too. its unrealistic to assume telfair and miller’s contract is enough to get a sg or center of any quality.

    and you say sign 2 guys? where do you think the minutes are going to come from? the rotation is too crowded as is. we already have 11 guys that should get minutes, not many teams run 11 man rotations.

  • Greg

    Royce White would not be available for a late first round lakers pick…..without his anxiety issues some people said he was a top 10 talent….Houston’s not gonna throw him away, he is a unique talent.

  • Tim in BC

    I would say the Birdman would be a good back up as I always liked his hustle/rebounding and he seems to be a good team player. Colorful kind of dude too and we need a good hairdo now that Lopez and Childress are gone!

  • Scott

    @Joey -

    Did you ever notice how few players are able to complete a season without missing any games due to illness, injury, coach’s decision, or other reason?

    Of all the Suns, I think only Gortat played in every game last season. Fellow iron men Dudley and Frye played in 65 and 64, respectively, of all 66 games.

    So it’s unlikely that both Dragic and Marshall, together, will have perfect attendance. One or the other will almost certainly miss at least one game due to a tweaked ankle or whatever. That’s why you have a backup.

  • Joey

    &@ greg
    First of all I wasn’t saying shannon brown is a capable pg. just that he is a combo guard and can play a few mins at point if we had an injury like red suggested. Second of all, when did mins ever become an issue with 11th or 12th man on any teams roster? We are taking about backups who will only see minable mins anyways so your point about not enough mins is stupid. This is why I think oden would be a great project for our staff. If we could just get 10mins a night out of him we would have a huge upgrade to our post defense. By the way, we don’t need street ball telfair in marshall’s way and he doesn’t help his developement either. what can telfair teach marshall other

  • Ty-Sun

    Telfair is simply insurance in case Dragic is injured. Marshall has zero NBA experience and no one has a true idea of how well he would be able to handle starting AND playing extensive minutes yet. That’s why the Suns aren’t really interested in getting rid of Telfair. Plus Telfair’s contract is cheap, it ends at the end of this season and he already knows the Suns’ system. If Marshall lives up to expectations maybe next year the Suns may go with only two PGs on the roster.

  • Scott

    @Ty-Sun -

    The Suns would go with just Dragic and Marshall only if the Suns also have a combo guard. Brown is not a combo guard. He’s a pure SG. He has no ability to create plays for others; he scores.

    If he ever played PG in a triangle offense, that’s because the triangle doesn’t need a play-creating PG. And if he was good at it, he’d still be there.

    For that matter, I believe Telfair is an undersized combo guard. He’s not a great creator or floor general, though he can do a little of it. The issue for him is height. If he was half a foot taller, he’d play primarily at SG.

  • Ty-Sun

    That goes without saying, Scott. I was adding to your point not arguing with it. Since the Suns do not have a real combo guard, they need Telfair as insurance at the point.

  • Scott

    @Ty-Sun -


    At some point I expect a combo guard to show up on the Suns’ shopping list.

    If the Suns end up waiting till next year’s draft, a quality combo guard should be available with one of those late first round picks.

  • Joe

    Jerome Jordan news:

    A couple of writers for HOOPSWORLD had this tweet about an hour ago regarding a Summer Ball game at Impact Basketball in LA.

    stevekylerNBA: Can not comprehend why Jerome Jordan is still unsigned… he hasn’t missed a shot… big strong and agressive.

    YannisHW: Free agent center Jerome Jordan looked really good. Quick, athletic, explosive. Was knockin down outside shots too.

  • Scott

    Jerome James seems like a nice guy; not a headcase or knucklehead. He’s 25 and a bit raw for his age, but then he only began playing 8 years ago. He could be a late bloomer like Marcin Gortat.

    He’s 7′ 1″ and 240 lbs., with a wingspan of 7′ 5″. He was included in the NY to Houston trade, and subsequently cut. No real wonder about that, as Houston has too many big men, even after cutting a few.

    He doesn’t have the experience of Yi or Fesenko, but like them he’s 25 y.o. and thus fits into the Suns’ current youth movement. While he did not play significant minutes, rebound, score, or get to the line much, in his brief NBA career, when he did get to the line he shot 80%, and when he did take shots he had a FG% of 51%.

    From what I can see, J. Jordan is considered a bust, but it may just be that expectations were too high for a raw player who needed time to develop. Now that he’s a couple years past his draft date, he might have have a better game.

    Last year he played smatteringly for the Eurocup, NBA, D-League, and Adriatic leagues. He had the most on-court minutes with the D-League, and in 8 games averaging 33.5 min a game, he scored 18.6 pts, had a FT% of 87%, and averaged 8 rpg. He also racked up 4 personal fouls, on average.

    In the Adriatic league he played 11 games, averaging 12 pts and 5 rebounds in 21 minutes, with 2 personal fouls.

    For his NBA stint he earned a PER of 18, but that’s an aberration caused by not having enough court minutes and games played.

  • Scott

    Oops … sorry, I wrote Jerome James, but I meant Jerome Jordan. Totally different NY center. :)

  • Greg

    My point about minutes is stupid? hmmm, considering there are only 240 mins available in a game…The Suns already have too many guys that need minutes. Even a project, or signing backups for minimal minutes, every minute takes away from the guys on the team.48 mins on court for each spot on the floor.
    Thats 48 for Goran, Marshall, and Telfair
    48 mins for Brown, Dudley
    48 mins for beasley, johnson
    96 mins for scola frye gortat morris (and the 2 backups you want to sign)

    There simply isnt enough mins for the guys they have, let alone adding guys that will expect minutes. You think Oden will sit there and accept only playing in blowout games? No, my point was no stupid, you are stupid for not thinking your point thru.

    and any veteran can teach a rookie a thing or two in the league. its not always about playing ability. you sound like an idiot. and its not about teaching, i never said that. marshall might not be as good as telfair at this stage, ,meaning telfair could steal his minutes because hes better….

  • Eric

    We’re not going pick up a back up center, We have Frye there, Why would pick up someone. Frye will be back after first month, Scola will mins at center and Morris and Bealsey will play mins at the 4 if Scola is playing center, If pick up someone its just for Emergency situtaion, young raw talent that is a good practice player and that will sit end of bench and not complain.
    So you can count out everyone you have listed except Kyrylo Fesenko

    My guess would be someone like Hassan Whiteside.

  • Zack B.

    A very recent Yahoo report I read mentioned a blockbuster Dwight Howard deal framework being discussed. The proposed deal would send Andre Iggy to the Nuggets, Nuggets give up Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington. I would LOVE for us to get engaged and replace the Nugs in this deal. We could give up Duds (as much as we love em) and Frye? I would MUCH rather us get Iggy than Harden, and he’d be more accessible, as he is always on the trading block. As opposed to Harden who is a RFA next season, and the Thunder are more likely to match than not. Iggy is better anyway. We need defense, he’s a lock-down defender. He can facilitate, rebound, and score. He would be the perfect addition to this young athletic core, and is better than Gordon and Mayo. Now you talk about Dragic, Iggy, Beez, Scola, Gortat…backup PG: Marshall, Backup SG: SB, Backup SF: Wes, Backup PF: Morris, Backup: C (insert cheap backup). Hard to believe that team wouldn’t be a contender. Just something we should look into.

  • Scott

    @Zack B -

    IMO, the clearest mistake during the Sarver period was the decision to trade the 2004 draft pick that could have been used to take Iguodala. The Suns, with D’Antoni making the decisions as GM, decided to trade that pick for 2nd rounder Jackson Vroman and a future first round pick.

    If the Suns had taken Iggy at that point, the story of the Suns afterward could have changed immensely, as they would have had an athletic wing with defensive skills backing up Joe Johnson and Shawn Marion.

    When Joe took that crushing facial injury against Dallas in the playoffs in 2005, Iggy could have stepped in. Instead, the Suns had no one. And while I liked Raja, Iggy – as a younger and more athletic player – would have been a better cover on Kobe, and would have been less likely to succumb to a calf injury during the WCF against the Mavs.

    Having said that, I don’t know if Iggy is the right man for Phoenix any more. He’s 28, and will be 29 before the All-Star break. The Suns seem to be aimed at rebuilding with younger players, and Andre is less of a franchise star-type player anyway, and more of an exceptional role player with an enormous salary. I would not be unhappy if the Suns got him, as he’s definitely talented, but he doesn’t seem to fit the current plans.

  • Ty-Sun

    Frye is untradable until he is fully healed and shows that he can play at least at as high a level as he played last year. And even then he will be difficult to trade because he has 3 years left on his contract ($6 mil this year, $6.4 mil next year and $6.8 mil the last year). His contract isn’t really a “bad contract” but he’s still overpaid enough that he will be difficult to trade unless the Suns are willing to take back another overpaid player in exchange.

    And I would have loved to have had Iguodala a couple of years ago but not so much any more. He’s still a great player but the Suns would have to give up much more than Dudley and Frye to get him here now.

  • Zack B.

    My mistake with Frye, but what’s up with everyone on here giving up on players because they’re older? Scola is what 32 or 33…28 is not old and his best seasons have yet to come. This is a guy that’s proven, so don’t give me that window closing bs. I don’t think he was a good fit for Philly in the first place.