New era of Suns basketball begins with loss in Sacramento


After one of the more eventful summers in franchise history, the Phoenix Suns finally got back to the business of basketball Wednesday night against the Kings.

For the first 12 minutes, it appeared the so-called “squad in transition” was at ease without its former two-time MVP point guard. Over the final 36 minutes, however, the Suns looked very much like a team still searching for their newfound identity.

That’s all part of the ups and downs that are inevitable for a team beginning the preseason with seven new faces in town.

Phoenix dropped its first game of the post-Steve Nash era 102-96 to Pacific Division foe Sacramento on a night that Alvin Gentry’s squad gave up 27 fast break points off 17 turnovers while also allowing the Kings to crash the offensive glass relentlessly to the tune of 16 offensive rebounds and 44 points in the paint.

The Suns came out at Power Balance Pavilion firing on all cylinders, leading 30-26 after a quarter of play. But poor production off the bench to start the second period (Kings went on 10-1 run), a scoring drought midway through the third quarter (Kings went on 12-0 run) and a turnover-riddled final quarter (Kings went on 11-0 run), doomed Gentry and Co. in their six-point loss.

Outside of the Kings’ numerous offensive runs, Sacramento more than anything controlled the pace Wednesday night. They were more physical in the paint, pushed the tempo off turnovers, outfought the Suns in the rebound department and made it a point to get to the free throw line — with 26 makes to the Suns’ 26 attempts.

A lot intrigue heading into Wednesday’s preseason opener centered around free agent acquisitions Michael Beasley, Goran Dragic and Luis Scola, and despite the game not having any worth in the win-loss column, Gentry wasn’t afraid to use his new toys.

Beasley was very effective offensively during the Suns’ high-scoring first quarter, scoring eight points on two three-point makes. Thought to be a one-man scoring machine, the former No. 2 overall pick didn’t try to do too much in his 24 minutes of play. Primarily playing small forward, Beasley was content hanging on the wings, taking shots — he finished with 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting — when they were available and making smart passes into the post and around the perimeter when opportunities arose. Surprisingly the shoot-first forward led the team in assists with five, but also had three turnovers.

Scola, who played 22 minutes, also didn’t try to show too much in his first official showcase with the Suns. Scola played the part of the willing passer, crashed the glass at the defensive end and took advantage of his paint chances. The Argentine finished with seven points and five rebounds.

Dragic, who was sidelined for the better part of last week with an ankle injury, was plagued by foul trouble most of the night. He did, however, show signs of the player he was in Houston late last season, scoring nine points to go along with four assists.

In a game that the Suns were out-hustled and outplayed, there were some notable contributions off the bench.

Wes Johnson’s struggles from three-point range (2-for-9) continued against the Kings, but his confidence wasn’t shaken. Johnson led the team with 18 points, several of which came from 14-18 feet away. Markeiff Morris has been a dominant figure during the first eight days of camp and it showed in Sacramento. Morris still illustrated a tendency to settle for jump shots, but was productive off the pine, contributing 14 points (5-for-14) and five rebounds.

Arguably the most notable performance in Tuesday’s loss came from the Suns’ first-round draft pick, Kendall Marshall. Due to Dragic’s foul problems and an injury that sidelined Sebastian Telfair, the No. 13 pick from June’s draft played a team-high 28 minutes and showed several glimpses of what he’s capable of doing in an up-tempo offensive scheme. Like most of his teammates, though, Marshall struggled to get comfortable in the half court — accruing three turnovers and just four points on 1-for-6 shooting — but his consistent aggression despite mistakes and a double-digit fourth quarter deficit was very encouraging.

And 1

  • For those looking to watch the Suns/Kings game on NBA TV, you were probably disappointed when a Western Conference season preview show was flashing on your screen instead. The game was blacked out in the Phoenix and Sacramento markets.
  • As noted above, veteran point guard Sebastian Telfair didn’t suit up against the Kings. He was nursing a sore wrist suffered last week in San Diego.
  • A day after bumping heads with P.J. Tucker, shooting guard Shannon Brown also missed Tuesday’s contest. Following his accident with Tucker, Brown required seven stitches above his eye.  Jared Dudley got the start at the two and was effective in transition (10 points) and on the glass (five rebounds).
  • Tucker didn’t escape the injury bug either. Trying to make an NBA squad for the first time since 2006-07, the former Texas standout left the game in the fourth quarter with an apparent stinger in his right shoulder.
  • Armen Soudjian created a fun video at training camp looking ahead to the team’s future.

  • ShanMan

    Not too worried about a preseason opener. Hard to get a grasp on how well these guys will truly play when they are getting limited minutes, and no name camp invites playing off the bench. I did like what I saw out of Beasley, very efficient offensive game,14 pts and 5 dimes on top in only 24 mins of play. I think the turnovers on this team will begin to drop once they get the on court chemistry flowing better.

  • shazam

    best article of the game posted on the internet..thanks dave

  • suns68

    I’m worried. Very worried.

  • A-ROCK

    I bet Gentry doesn’t get an extension. The should bring the magic’s old coach in.

  • PennyAnd1

    It’s the preseason why are you worried?! LOL

    What standout to me:

    The offense was just not fluid without Nash, but of course it’s expected our starters didn’t play that much, especially Dragic.

    Luis Scola brings legitimacy down post. I like his IQ he’s a reliable scorer & is very efficient.

    Michael Beasley, Dudley, Johnson, and Morris are your scorers. I liked Beasley. He really has Bball IQ, it’s his effort that’s really questioned. Hopefully he’ll be consistent throughout the year.

    I liked the balance that we have. The starters have good IQ players & scorers, and the same can be said with the bench especially with Oneal & Marshall to keep everyone calm & collective.

    Marshall is a great backup PG. Sure he wasn’t good in the beginning, but during the later part of the game when he played his game, you could see how fluid the ball movement was. I like how he just continues to play the game and push the ball. Other PG in that situation would be messing around & just give up, but he has the Nash mentally in approaching the game. If he can just shoot, watch out.

    Gortat was off sink, he’s timing was off going for rebounds, Kings was just scoring all over him, and continues to make bad decisions. But it’s cool it’s preseason.

    I think this team is a playoff caliber team. The team as a whole is perfectly balanced.
    The defense was out of whack but it’s not like they were playing their hardest, unlike the Kings.

  • Luka

    Two things that needs to be improved
    more than anything… Transition defense, interior defense.

  • PennyAnd1

    @Luka

    I’m not concerned about that. Most of our good defenders didn’t play that much. Kings just wanted to win, they played so hard.

  • DBreezy

    Good to finally get to see the team on the court, and of course it’s not surprising that they have a lot of work to do. It was clear to me watching that the Suns were the better coached team with a more established plan of what they wanted to do (even if they couldn’t execute it), but the Kings appeared to not only the more aggressive squad, but the more physical one as well. I don’t think it was a coincidence that Morris started heating up on the types of shots we want him to take more of inside only after the Kings went small late.

    It was interesting to see that the middle was still cleared out on a lot of the sets with neither Scola nor Gortat posting, especially since there wasn’t much dribble penetration setup for any of the pg’s. Johnson looks like he should push Brown for minutes and possibly even Dudley if he keeps things up.

    Broad picture I think the team/staff got an idea of what it will take to win consistently with their preferred style. They want to play uptempo, but the Kings got up just as many shot attempts with a similar percentage. They also shot and made a similar number of 3′s while outrebounding the Suns and getting to the line more.

  • PennyAnd1

    @DBreezy

    I prefer Johnson over Brown, I wouldn’t Dudley’s time to be limited, he could do so many little things out there. If Johnson & Brown were to take more time off Dudz, then it means more shots thrown, but less dirty work and doing the little things that matter. Offense is good, but it’s not good when you take too many shots (especially if the % is low) and the ball is not moving around.

  • Scott

    I didn’t get to see the game, but I’m surprised and impressed with Beasley’s 5 assists. I realize he also had 3 turnovers, but to be honest, I’d expect those turnovers without the assists.

    If anyone here did see the game … what was going on with the 2nd unit that caused such poor production?

  • Pingback: Sacramento Kings Pre-Season Predictions: Games 4-7 – Rant SportsSacramento.ch | Sacramento.ch

  • Andres

    Im not worried at all, actually I was glad to see that Beasley was able to put good stats on his 1st game as a Sun
    Dragic had 4 fouls (!!!) in the 1st quarter which obviously hurted the offense flow after he had to sit
    The bench has yet to find its flow, hopefully Marshall will be able to aid that and I also liked to see Wesley Johnson be the primary weapon of the bench unit and had no issues scoring
    Actually the article could’ve have had a better title to reflect the good stuff showed by different Suns players instead of focusing on the fact that the team lost

  • http://www.chrisyphus.com Chrisyphus

    We all literally just watched an experiment consisting of a ton of people who have just started playing with each other, with a rookie point guard playing his first game–and he was pretty much at the helm the entire game. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Enjoy the mystery and prospect of success of a fresh start–finally.

  • jeremiehawkins614

    It’s just preseason these guy’s will be fine once they rotations get settled this is a playoff team Beasley will be A all star Gortat as well

  • DBreezy

    @Scott,

    While obviously preseason legs/shooting play a role, from what I saw the biggest reason for the poor production was the Kings D. The Suns were far more organized defensively from a schematic standpoint with traps, trying to force people to areas, etc. However the Kings were longer, quicker and stronger. They were more effective at pressuring our pg’s and generally keeping our players out of the paint. They mostly left the Suns long 2pt jumpers that were often contested. Even Scola seemed to be a couple of steps outside of his preferred range on his jumpers last night.

  • DBreezy

    @PennyAnd1,

    If Johnson can stay consistent in making shots, I prefer him to Brown as well. Both are extremely athletic meaning that Shannon doesn’t have the same athletic/finishing advantage over Johnson that he does over Duds. The Kings feature several undersized two’s, but most teams don’t and that has previously been a factor at times in which SG the coaching staff has chosen. Also while Johnson did take and sometimes make several contested J’s last night, he seemed to get himself completely free on more shots than Shannon does. It seems like every shot Shannon takes miss or make is contested.

    Neither guy is great at driving and Dudley is better at slashing/cutting than either imo, but I think Johnson’s athleticism gives him an advantage on actually finishing off those cuts. Neither Johnson nor Brown has shown much intangible wise or on D, but I would give Johnson the benefit of the doubt between the two as he’s younger. They’re both one year rentals, but Johnson has more potential to be retained long term so why not invest the minutes there if he keeps shooting like he has in preseason?

    As for Dudley, don’t you kind of see his situation as being a touch similar to that of your man Penny? When Joe Johnson arrived, he was an inconsistent upside guy much like Wes. Penny was the veteran presence who’s ceiling was limited at that point, and who’s game was more about intangibles. Much like Penny, I expect the coaching staff to lean heavily towards Duds for a long time, but if Wes keeps playing well the outcome seems inevitable.

  • Andres

    @DBreezy,

    It will be interesting to see how the FO would react if WJ has a breakout season. Would they sign him to a contract similar to the one Frye has? Would they let go no matter what and try to land a star maybe? (not likely though)

  • Scott

    @DBreezy -

    Thanks! So basically the Kings kept the Suns out of the paint at all times, starters as well as back-ups.

    If the Suns had been able to cut down on their turnovers, they’d have made the game close.

    Also, I noticed that despite playing a lot of minutes, Tucker didn’t score. I’m still puzzled about why the Suns picked Tucker, as Lighty was a better defender and he shot 50% from 3, which would seem to better fit the needs of the team.

  • Jeremiah

    Morris actually had 16 and 7, not that it makes a big difference.

  • Luka

    Anyone else here still pissed about the 2010 offseason? Not because Amare walked, but because Sarver dropped the ball having no front office intact to land us a decent replacement. I realize that this Suns team is re-building and not a finished product but the lack of common sense in the front office is impossible to ignore. If we could’ve at the bare minimum snared David Lee in 2010 I’d not have been as annoyed… But our bozo owner saw it fit to spend more money on: Warrick, Turkoglu, Childress, and overpaying Frye than to give Lee a 14-15 mil dollar deal. Fuck you Sarver.

  • Scott

    @Luka -

    I imagine Sarver was taking the advice of Steve Kerr, who was GM and remains an owner.

    Lance Blanks is one of Kerr’s friends.

    Kerr was the one who recommended the ownership group switch from a traditional GM to the current arrangement of talent scout and agent.

  • Andres

    Also Its about time to stop talking about the “Nash-less” Suns. Lets move on!

  • PennyAnd1

    @DBreezy

    I see your comparison to my man Penny. I’m also a fan of IQ players, so I agree with your statements. The reason why Wes has more uncontested shots compared to Brown is because of one thing.. IQ. That’s all it is, Brown just wants to be like Kobe.

    @Scott

    The 2nd bench was still trying to gel together , but you have to like Marshall for staying calm and pushing the ball. I was expecting a blowout since Kings were so aggressive physically and everything seemed to go their way, but Marshall just kept playing smart. I liked that. It shows character about him.

    What really killed it for the Suns last night was Dragic not playing much, too many TO, and not getting the rebounds.. Kings just pounded them in last night. But I expected it. You obviously could see the difference that Suns were still trying to get to know each other while Kings were the aggressor, too much actually.

  • sun also rises

    Lee was looking for near max money in 2010. After seeing what he’s done in Golden State since then I’m personally happy as a clam that we didn’t sink him. Same end result if we get him instead of all the garbage that Sarver signed that summer but without the upside of getting Gortat in the mercy trade that came out of it.

  • Luka

    @Sun Also Rises… If they’d only traded Barbosa for Turkoglu and inked Lee we’d have been a playoff team the past two years. Lee put up all-star numbers in GS last season.

    Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate mgmt for getting Scola. But, the fact remains that a lot of time was squandered and some dumbass shit went down. Maybe they get their star player next year.

  • Ty-Sun

    Some of you are making too big of a deal about rebounding in this game. If you look at the box score, the Suns were out rebounded 51 to 47… 4 freaking rebs. As to offensive rebounds, it was dead even with both the Suns and the Kings pulling down 16.

    To me the real problems were Dragic’s early foul trouble and Telfair and Brown having to sit out the game with injuries. If Dragic hadn’t gotten into foul trouble and Telfair had bee able to play I doubt Marshall would have been forced into playing a team high 28 mins in this game. And if Brown had played I doubt Tucker would have gotten 20 mins in the game either (no points but 7 rebs and 2 steals wasn’t too shabby though).

    And with Telfair and Brown out, the Suns had exactly 3 players from last years team playing in this game with a lot of new faces on the court. The Kings are essentially the same team they were last season with a few new additions. The Suns are an almost entirely new team. And training camp just started about 10 days ago! A 6 point loss – even to the Kings – in a preseason game looks a lot better to me considering everything the Suns had to deal with.

  • DBreezy

    @Scott

    The Kings pretty much kept the Suns out of the paint until they went smaller towards the end of the game and Morris was able to get a few nice plays inside and I believe Jones got fouled in there a couple of times during that span. The flipside of the Kings smaller lineup was that it had an easier time scoring vs the Suns.

    While fewer turnovers would definitely have helped, that was basically a wash for both squads. Each had 17 TO’s and the Suns were actually +3 in points off turnovers. To win they would have either had to shot a better overall FG%, made significantly more 3′s than the Kings, or rebound well enough so that the Kings would have had fewer possessions/shot attempts than the Suns. The Suns have been at a significant disadvantage in FT’s attempted for years, so if they play even in the other categories they’ll probably lose by 5-7 points on most nights.

  • Ty-Sun

    And another point of concern is that the Suns shot only 65.4% from the free throw line AND got to the charity stripe 8 times less than the Kings (who shot 76.5% of their FTs). The Suns really need a player who will drive hard, attack the basket and draw fouls.

    Gortat really needs to push harder to the basket and try to force fouls. Morris should too. Does anyone keep track of fouls drawn by individual players? That would be an interesting stat to me.

  • DBreezy

    @Ty-Sun,

    Not to make a big deal out of a preseason game, but generically speaking 6 points is actually a fairly sizeable loss by NBA standards. The beauty of the product from a league standpoint is that a game like that feels really close keeping fans who may not be diehards engaged.

    If you look at the league last season, only 4 teams (OKC, MIA, SAS, CHI) had average point differentials of 6 or more. Most of the playoff teams were between 2-3 on their differentials. On the flip side, only 3 of the lottery teams last year had negative differentials of -6 or lower (CLT, CLE, NJN). Personally, I watched the league for a long time before the reality of that set in for me.

    As for rebounds, they matter because of the style the Suns wish to play. At their height during SSOL, the Suns were significantly better shooters than their opponents. That was one of the things D’Antoni always harped on with SSOL, that the Suns have players that could discern and make high percentage shots quickly in the shot clock. Since shooting has largely been a lost art in the modern NBA, if the Suns could shoot well and up the number of possessions the differential would multiply greatly over the course of a game-especially with teams that aren’t used to running a lot.

    If you look at the Suns better seasons up through 2010, they tended to shoot about 48-49% which was usually 2-3% higher than their opponents and they usually made 2-300 more 3pt shots than their opponents. If you look at the last 2 seasons, they’ve basically shot the same percentage as their opponents. The number of made 3pt’s has dropped to 116 and only 46 more than their opponents last season. With no Frye or Nash, I would expect more of the same.

    So if you accept that the style and personnel isn’t likely to lead to more FT attempts than their opponents, how many places are left for the Suns to find a sustainable advantage with which to beat their opponents more often than not? Rebounding in general, offensive rebounds in particular are on big area. If they play even on the glass, poorer shooting squads like SAC are able to shoot an equal percentage as the Suns because they get easy putbacks and they tend to increase the number of FT’s the opponent takes as well. Obviously it also slows the break down as well, meaning a better set defense that’s tougher to score on. Is the latter as big of a deal when Nash was around? No, but that isn’t the case anymore.

  • Ty-Sun

    My point was, DBreezy, that the Suns didn’t get “crushed” on the boards as some people seemed to imply. And with only 3 players from lay year’s team playing last night, this team is arguably comparable to an expansion team so a 6 point loss in preseason game still looks fairly good to me. The Kings have a LOT more team continuity from last season than the Suns do. They don’t have to learn how to play with each other. They already know that. The Suns are still learning.

    The Suns shooting percentages from the field and the 3pt line were actually slightly better than the Kings (41.4%/40.7% and 31.8%/30% respectively).

    The free throw line was part of the problem, rebounding also played a part but the biggest problem was simply that Dragic was limited to 15 mins because of fouls which forced Marshall to play almost twice that much when he’s obviously not ready yet and not a real scoring threat.

    I maintain my opinion that it was a good first game for the Suns even though it was a loss. It showed some strengths and some weaknesses which need to be worked on which is what the preseason games are really all about.

  • steve

    @DBreezy

    Average point differentials are not an indicator for average margin of victory or average margin of defeat. When the Heat won last season, they didn’t win by an average of 6 points per game. Their average margin of victory was 13.24 points. Their average margin of defeat was 10.7 points. 46 wins by an average of 13.24 points minus 20 losses by an average of 10.7 points divided by 66 total games gives you an average differential of 6 points.

    However, if you look at it in terms of absolutes, rather than differentials, the average game the Heat played in last season was decided by 12.47 points ( (46*13.24+20*10.7)/66 ), not 6 points.

    All that was just to prove I’m nerdy, but also that a 6 point margin is actually fairly close. I only examined one team, but I would be willing to bet that a majority of NBA games are decided by more than 6 points (maybe 60%-65%).

  • steve

    Just for fun, I crunched the numbers on the Suns, whose differential was 0.24 points last season.

    Average margin of victory – 10.48 points
    Average margin of defeat – 10.97 points

    For even more fun, I found that the number of Suns games that were decided by more than 6 points was 46. 46/66 = 69.7%. Turns out I might have been a little low on my original guess.

    Since I’m having so much fun indeed, the number of Heat games decided by more than 6 points was 48. 48/66 = 72.7%. Yeah, I was probably low.

  • PennyAnd1

    @Ty-Sun

    It don’t matter if the Suns got out-rebounded by 4 to the Kings. What does matter is how easy it was for Kings to get the rebounds. Still it’s preseason games and Kings were playing hard like I mentioned, so it’s not a disappointment no doubt because we didn’t play our best, especially our starters.

    I also agree with you with Gortat & Morris in that they need to push the ball more inside. They’re big guys and they shouldn’t be content in shooting outside unless proven otherwise like Scola. Let Johnson, Beasley, Dudz, and Dragic do the outside shooting.

  • DBreezy

    @Ty-Sun,

    My points were more general in nature, my opinion of the team really hasn’t changed at all based off that game, other than actually seeing Wes make some shots.

    @Steve,

    Yes you are correct that point differentials do not equal the average margin victory by definition. By definition it’s simply the difference between the points a team scores and what it gives up and is designed to measure the ‘quality’ of an individual team. However it’s a stat that’s readily available and I think it’s a fairly good approximation of what I was getting at. Most NBA games aren’t blowouts and there are a lot of lottery teams with abysmal records that lost a lot of their games by relatively small margins. Of course on the ends of the spectrum we have squads like the Heat and Bobcats, but I was talking more about the ones in between.

    I watch a lot of games on League Pass, and it seems to track fairly well with what I see, although statistically it’s probably incorrect as you say. For kicks, I picked a few random nights of scores to look at(check my math!)

    http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/scoreboard?date=20110112
    12 games decided by a total of 75 points

    http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/scoreboard?date=20110209
    10 games decided by a total of 59 points.

    http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/scoreboard?date=20110318
    12 games decided by a total of 129 points.

    and one from 2009
    http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/scoreboard?date=20090119
    12 games decided by a total of 94 points.

  • Ryan

    Saw this link in a Bill Simmons article……by my count the Suns “tight ass” owner has spent more in Luxury tax than 21 other franchises in the time he’s been owner. Though its a small sample Jerry Calangelo out spent just 14 franchises in luxury tax in the time it’s been implemented. This isn’t pro Sarver, just some facts.

  • Ryan
  • danc133

    I watched most of the game online last night. It took a while to find a feed that wasn’t that clippers junk. What I saw was a major part of that loss was due to Marshall not being ready to be a back up PG yet. They read him like a book and for the most part kept him from going where he wanted to. He may be a good passer but wasn’t able to get the good angles on many passes causing the offense to be off a beat and causing more contested shots for team mates. He needs to work on his handles as well as his shot to be a good PG in this league.

    His defense was also poor, going hard for fakes and being out of position to slow down opposing guards. Yes he is a rookie and this is to be expected but, he has a LONG way to go. There were instances where he had a tough time to just bring the ball up with token pressure on him. Not knowing he was hurt, I caught myself saying several times why isn’t Telfair getting any minutes.

    I liked what I saw from Dragic. He played solid D which included a steal for a break away dunk. I hollered hell yea more of that please. He just needs more time to gel with his team mates. Tucker is like Childress, a hustle guy that will get after loose balls and rebounds but not really a shooter unless he had a really off nite.

    Overall I liked what I saw, and think they will be ok with a bit more time together. I think with Bassy running the second unit there will be much less of a drop off in production vs Marshall trying to. He may have been great in college, never saw him play there just highlight clips, but he is definitely below average for the NBA at this time. I think Beasley will be fine, not the defender Hill was but as good a rebounder and a better 3 point shooter. Time may prove me wrong but this team looks like a solid .500 ball club. I’m no expert but have been watching pro ball ABA and NBA since Kareem was still Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr.

  • PennyAnd1

    @dance133

    I agree with you about Marshall’s game last night, but you can’t judge him with what happened early where he seemed out of place and just can’t seem to do anything right. He still needs to get to know how his teammates work. Most of the time he was

    You should be happy though about later part of his game when he finally got to settle in and started pushing the ball. That’s when things started moving. I was expecting a blowout but Marshall not trying to do too much but set his teammates up was pretty solid to me. Marshall exceeds when he’ll better know his teammates & when when he pushes the ball. Expect a better outing his next game. He’s a smart man he can adjust quickly like he did summer camp improving until the end.

    I doubt having Telfair in there at that situation would’ve made things better. Telfair would probably had tried to take over the game forcing everything and then his teammates will do the same just to get a shot. Marshall is a pure PG with IQ, I’m comfortable with him. just give him time. Don’t worry it shouldn’t be that long for him.

  • Scott

    @Ryan -

    I count 17 franchises that the Suns outspent on luxury tax.

    Keep in mind that Sarver also paid out a similar amount of money in other ways, like to buy out the contracts of Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic.

    So I’ll bet, for example, that in that time period, the actual outlay of money by the owners for Phoenix was substantially greater than the outlay of cash by rival San Antonio, even if it wasn’t in the league of the Lakers and Knicks.

  • Ryan

    @Scott

    yeah I was actually figuring the Sarver years and the Colangalo years separate. Thus putting teams such as Sac, Pdx, Minn, and Philly behind Sarvers Suns. I may have been inaccurate I’ll need to look again.

  • Scott

    @Ryan -

    I was just looking at the totals for the period covered by the report; I didn’t fully pick up on the distinction you were making, which to compare spending under the two owners.

    IMO, Sarver intended to maintain the same financial practices as the previous ownership. He ended up spending more (both on taxes and on buy outs) because after acquiring Nash the Suns wound up on the edge of contention for the championship, which had not happened since the Barkley days.

  • Ryan

    @Scott,

    I agree with you on that point. When I saw the link I couldn’t help but think of several posters on this site.

  • Tony

    @Scott.

    STOP making shit up. You have no verifiable evidence to indicate that Kerr was the primary cause of the Suns misfortunes since Kerr left. Why do you insist on making stuff up to defend Sarver? The truth of the matter is that Sarver was behind the moves to bring in Hedo, Childress, and Warrick, not Kerr.

    I’m seriously beginning to wonder if you, Steve, and now this clown Ryan are in some capacity involved with Sarver….. Oh and Ryan, did you separate the almost $2 million in luxury taxes the Suns spent during the 02-03 season? Because that amount is attributable to Colangelo, not Sarver.

  • Ryan

    I just don’t get it Tony, why the absolute contempt here? If you want to be technical here I believe it was 1.9 million and yes I did make that distinction, if you had read the posts you might know that…..might only cause I’m not sure you could get past the blood you see anytime you think someones posting a pro Sarver post. Hell you probably did read the posts. You’re just a genuine jack ass and you bring nothing to this board.

  • Luka

    I don’t see how anyone can defend Sarver here. For some bizarre reason he is against throwing money at the big name talent. Yet, he’ll spend the same if not more on mediocre role players that never fit. It took Babby two years of damage control just to get the re-build officially underway.

    Someone mentioned that Sarver was behind those horrific acquisitions in 2010. Babby was largely responsible for (Hedo, Warrick, and Childress) as each of those players were his former clients. To sum it up, in typical half-assed fashion, Sarver turned to Babby for help and that was the best they could do. Mistakes like this happen when you run off your front office staff and have nobody to step in right away. I mean couldn’t they have sat on the cap room at the very least?

    I’ll give Babby credit for hijacking Gortat from Orlando, and for jettisoning Childress, Warrick and Lopez. But, the more you begin to analyze things the more you realize how piss poor of an owner Sarver is. Loyalty means nothing to the guy. He’d rather hire inexperienced people and pay them less. The sooner this bozo sells the team the sooner the Phoenix Suns can be about winning again.

  • Andres

    @Luka

    Sarver threw 48M to Eric Gordon but NO matched. So he did throw big money at a big name. Also he is paying 30M to Dragic which is a considerable amount of $

  • steve

    Sarver also gave amare max and offered him another $100M contract. I don’t know if he offered Marion’s max contract, but he definitely paid it for quite a while without trying to pawn it off. He also offered an old Nash an $11M per contract when no one else would.

    Let’s not forget he paid shaq $20M per year, and has probably employed more all-stars in the past 8 years than all but a few NBA teams. The notion he won’t pay for top talent is a joke.

  • danc133

    Want to watch Tony self destruct? Everyone look for examples of how Sarver is a great owner. He will just implode or explode either is fine by me. He’s probably angry that his idea to sell Sarver dartboards didn’t pan out and now he has hundreds of them staring at him all the time.

  • Tony

    @Ryan,

    if you can’t handle criticism, then don’t bring up a topic (Sarver) worthy of being criticized about. Being a fan of a team doesn’t mean you have to be a stooge and blindly support every aspect of a team without objection. The Suns have been my favorite team for over 15 years, and I have never seen such inept leadership from an owner as I’ve witnessed with Sarver. You, and your fellow Sarver supporters must recognize that the Suns will not be an elite team again until he sells the franchise. He doesn’t have the resources to compete with the top tier owners nor does he have the skill and competence to build an elite roster. People like Steven conveniently forget that all of the Suns star players since Sarver purchased the franchise came from Colangelo not Sarver. Colangelo drafted Amare and Marion, traded for Joe Johnson, and recruited Nash to Phoenix. In fact, Sarver has of yet failed to acquire an elite player on his own.

    @Steve,

    there you go once again only telling half the story and drawing your conclusion based on those half-truths in attempting to prove your point. I’ve gotten so used to you doing so that it’s becoming too easy! Firstly, yes Sarver traded for Shaq. However, and here’s the key part, he traded Marion for Shaq because he was unwilling to pay what Marion demanded. And after just one full season with the Suns, Sarver forced Kerr into a salary dumping trade with the Cavs in which they got Shaq and the Suns received Ben Wallace and Pavolich (both of whom were immediately bought out of their contracts).
    Once again you imply that Sarver brought in those former all-stars like Amare, Nash, JJ, and Marion. It’s NOT true!! Colangelo brought them to Phoneix, not Sarver. Sure, Sarver took on their contracts briefly, but he also gutted the future of this franchise both by selling draft picks and eventually getting rid of all those all star players. As far as paying Nash $11 million, he was just offered slightly more by the Raptors this off-season and he’s being paid almost $9 million this year with the Lakers, $9,350,000 the following season and then almost $10 million in his last season with the Lakers. So although it’s not $11 million, when taking into account that his value was higher than because he was younger, it’s not as if his $11 million was exorbinant.

    @Andres,

    using Eric Gordon as proof that Sarver will pay for a star player is a weak argument for two reasons. Firstly, while Gordon is a very good offensive player, he’s not worth the max and I’m glad the Hornets matched because they are overpaying him. Secondly, anyone and everyone knew the Hornets were going to match. Do you really believe that Sarver and Babby believed for an instant that the Hornets would not match? Moreover, if Sarver was so willing to pay Gordon the max, why didn’t Babby aggressively pursue a sign&trade with the Hornets? The fact of the matter is that because Sarver and Babby and the rest of the basketball world knew the Hornets would match the Suns offer, offering Gordon the max was simply a no-lose public relations stunt to try and convince Suns fans that Sarver was indeed willing to spend money to bring in elite talent. Judging by your posting, I guess you were one of the ones convinced.

  • Tony

    @Danc133,

    “look for examples of how Sarver is a great owner”???? Give me one example of him being a great owner….