Well the trade-deadline has come and gone. The Phoenix Suns didn’t make any major moves which was the contrary to what most of the NBA community expected. The Suns made two deals within the final 48-hours of the trade deadline:
- Suns send future second-round draft choice to Houston in exchange for Marcus Morris.
- Suns send Sebastian Telfair to Toronto in exchange for Hamed Hadaddi and a 2014 second-round draft choice from Toronto. The draft pick belongs to the Raptors or the Kings, the Suns will end up receiving whichever pick that ends up being higher.
So with all the trade deadline fiasco now in the rear view mirror, the staff-writers on Sun-N-Gun, including yours truly Matthew Wu, and our two recent staff-writers Eric Saar and Daniel Keagle. We’ll give our take on what took place! Let’s kickoff with the thoughts from our newest staff writer, Eric Saar!
Overall Grade: B-
This trade that nets Phoenix, raw big man Hamed Haddadi, and future second round draft pick is overall positive for the Suns. The Suns just got Telfair off the books creating permanent minutes for rookie Kendall Marshall and Phoenix will probably waive Haddadi if he doesn’t blow management away… which he won’t. However, it is good for Telfair because he gets the chance to stay the back-up point guard to Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and goes to a team that isn’t in the midst of a rebuilding process.
The Marcus Morris trade wasn’t bad, it is confusing though. Phoenix sent a future second-round draft choice to the Houston Rockets for the twin brother of Markieff Morris. The brothers played together constantly growing up all the way through college at Kansas and will play well together here in Phoenix, and the draft pick is almost nothing; but there is a problem. There is a logjam at three positions. Phoenix has Jared Dudley, Shannon Brown, P.J. Tucker, Michael Beasley, Wesley Johnson, Luis Scola, Markieff Morris, Marcus Morris, and maybe Channing Frye later on all at three positions(Shooting guard/Small Forward/Power Forward). Lindsey Hunter has rest assured the public that he’ll find a way to get everyone playing time, but that remains to be seen.
Overall Grade: B-
The Phoenix Suns made two deals prior to the trade deadline but let’s face it, neither one was a “blockbuster” move by any stretch. Realistically, how often is there a “monumental” shift in the trading market post-All Star break? Nevertheless, the Suns might have helped themselves long term with these respective transactions.
The deal to acquire Marcus Morris was understandable considering the low risk of forgoing only a second rounder, which Phoenix ultimately retrieved in the Sebastian Telfair transaction. Perhaps putting Markieff and Marcus Morris on the floor together will ignite their first-round potential coming out of Kansas last year. The trade of Marcus Morris is a nice story, but only time will tell if the twins will have a substantial impact on this organization moving forward. So in many ways, this trade should receive an incomplete until further notice.
Sending Telfair to the Toronto Raptors for Hamed Haddadi and a second-round pick seemed like a sensible switch for both teams. Yes, Haddadi isn’t exactly a household name in the NBA, but this deal does two things for the Suns. First, it puts Kendall Marshall on deck behind Goran Dragic. Considering the way this season has turned out, the Suns first rounder needs more opportunities with an increased workload to develop his skill set and his confidence. Because at this point, one would have to imagine Marshall hasn’t exactly panned out the way the Suns had previously hoped after drafting him out of North Carolina. Second, Phoenix has more options not only on the court at the center position, but also in the front office with the second-round pick. Seriously, it never hurts to have more draft picks regardless of how questionable the league’s draft class is this year.
Still, it would’ve been nice to see the Suns pull the trigger on Jermaine O’Neal. If other teams like the New York Knicks were reportedly interested in acquiring O’Neal, get as much value as possible for the backup center. It’s not like the aging center is vital piece to the Suns future, right? And with the Telfair trade finalized and Haddadi on the roster, was there really a need for yet another big man on the bench? Doubtful.
Overall Grade: D
I absolutely loved the Sebastian Telfair trade, for so many reasons! First off being that the Suns would receive a future second-rounder in exchange for Bassy; a conditional second-rounder that favors the Suns might I add. Telfair is on the final year of his contract and the Suns was able to find value for him, while at the same time doing right by Telfair sending him to a place like Toronto where he’s relatively close with many players on that team. As Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld mentioned, Telfair is very close with Rudy Gay, Kyle Lowry and Alan Anderson, all four guys train together every summer out in Las Vegas. As far as Hadaddi goes, he was included in the deal for salary cap reasons. As Eric mentioned, the Suns are likely to waive him.
As much as I loved the Telfair deal, I loved the Marcus Morris deal even more. There was a running joke prior to the NBA draft that, if the Morris twins were separated coming out of Kansas, they wouldn’t be able to play. While both guys have fared well in the NBA thus far, they haven’t blown anyone away. The two players are posting near identical numbers this season and now that they’re finally reunited, perhaps they’ll be able to replicate the dominance they displayed at Kansas. The best part was, the Suns were able to get a young talent like Morris who’s still on his rookie contract for Sebastian Telfair.
At this point, it’s not about the trades the Suns did make, it’s about the ones that they didn’t make. The fact that the Suns held on to Marcin Gortat and Shannon Brown was one, big, giant, asinine, MISTAKE! If the Suns didn’t get the memo yet, Gortat’s value is plummeting, and it’s plummeting fast! The Suns decision to hang on to Gortat befuddles me almost as much as the Gangnam Style video. No one has any idea what’s going on but things are happening anyway, or in the Suns’ case, not happening. If the Suns decide to trade Gortat during the draft or over the summer, they’ll get far less in return as opposed to trading him before the trade-deadline. One thing is for sure, the Suns front-office won’t do well on Wall Street; they clearly don’t have a very good grasp on that whole, “Buy-low, Sell-high” Concept.
“Whoever’s playing hard and playing well, that’s who will play,” Hunter tells The Arizona Republic. “It’s that simple. Guys are still earning the right to be out there. We’re not in the playoff race or haven’t won 30-plus games so nobody’s earned that right to say they deserve X amount of minutes.”
As for Shannon Brown, it’s imminent that he’s going to lose his role on the team to Wesley Johnson. Since the all-star break, Brown hasn’t registered a single second of playing time. According to reports, Lindsey Hunter told Brown to “Be professional and stay ready should his number be called.” Shannon Brown certainly has value on the open market, he’s having a decent year and I’ll bet the grand total of $4.42 that’s in my checking account RIGHT NOW, that there were teams asking for him. Chances are, Brown will now spend the rest of the season being a spectator as opposed to a contributor, but had the Suns traded Brown, he would have contributed to the team in a huge way by hauling in a draft-pick or two. Brown is signed through the 2013-2014 season, and his role on the team going forward is vague to say the least.