VotS Live: Breaking down the Suns’ Eric Bledsoe trade

Posted by on July 3rd, 4:59 pm

Kevin Zimmerman is the lead blogger and editor for Valley of the Suns. He is also editor of AZDesertSwarm.com, an Arizona Wildcats\’ blog, and a contributor at SB Nation and Pac-12.com.

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Tags: Eric Bledsoe · Jared Dudley

70 responses so far ↓

  • 1 SHAZAM // Jul 3, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    wow…you really have taken this format to an awesome level

  • 2 Scott // Jul 3, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    It seems like just about everybody on the team can use some shooting lessons. We’ll see how that goes.

    If Butler does stick with the Suns into the season, maybe he’ll show signs of rejuvenation as a consequence of treatment by the Suns’ training staff. IIRC, he’s had a tendency to be injured for a fair bit of his career, and maybe he’s never really recovered from some of it.

    If he sticks around through pre-season, I predict we’ll get a story about how he feels so much better and is performing better due to the ministrations of the training staff. Yeah, I know I’m going out on a limb there … ;)

    Back to shooting, I want to see Dragic, Marshall, Goodwin, Scola, the twins, Tucker, Lee (if he’s still there), and Bledsoe all doing 3 pt shooting drills. The Suns are desperate for reliable outside shooting, and they need it from several different players.

    As for the Bledsoe + Dragic combo everyone keeps talking about, I think it could work out a lot like the Dragic + Barbosa combo from a few years back, with Dragic still playing PG, but switching on defense. In this way Dragic still does the playmaking, which he’s become pretty good at, and Bledsoe takes on the chore of locking down the opposing PG.

  • 3 Scott // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    ^^ I mean that on offense it would be like Dragic + Barbosa racing to the basket, and on defense it would be like Tucker + Dragic last season, where Tucker would often switch to relieve Dragic of the chore of defending PG.

  • 4 Rishi // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    I think we should make this trade; the Magic have Oladipo now and how cool would it be to have a real SG paired with Bledsoe? The Magic want a younger point guard like Dragic anyway! What do you all think about this trade?! :)

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=c7dup4k

  • 5 SLO PHX fan // Jul 3, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    One of you guys keeps pronouncing Gorans last name wrong.

  • 6 DBreezy // Jul 3, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    I think an important thing to note in all of this stuff is that it’s nice to have a coach and GM on the same page. There are a lot of issues on this roster that may or may not be solved between now and next summer with more moves, but at least Horny isn’t in the dark on what the goal(s) are like Gentry was.

    If no other moves are made, McD and Horny are likely going to have to sit down and figure out who they do and don’t want to see on the court next season which seems like it will go a lot smoother than if Gentry and Blanks had the same conversation.

  • 7 suns fan from israel // Jul 4, 2013 at 2:50 am

    is there any news about chaning frye?
    r we still paying him big money?
    is he going to return from injury in the near future?
    4 how long is his contract?

  • 8 Scott // Jul 4, 2013 at 7:19 am

    @suns fan from israel -

    We don’t have any solid answers on Frye yet, but you can see the basics of the salary and contract information for each member of the team by going to the top of any Valley of the Suns page and clicking “Team: Salaries.”

  • 9 Scott // Jul 4, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Did the Suns’ lottery chances just improve a notch, or is this more sneaky tanking by Charlotte?

    Charlotte has just signed Al Jefferson.

    Jefferson has excellent offense, but his defense is typically questioned. I haven’t watched him all that much, but – from what I saw – against the Suns his defense seemed adequate. Of course, that could say more about the Suns …. ;)

    If Charlotte is invested in Biyombo for the long term, Jefferson could be a good mentor for the area where Biyombo struggles most: offense.

  • 10 foreveris2long // Jul 4, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    At least for now, exactly what I thought would happen with Gortat, is happening. He is losing appeal and R. Lopez gets healthier and increases his appeal. It appears Portland had more interest in getting the younger Lopez than Gortat as they are trading for Lopez. This is an important move for Portland as they need to make a playoff run with L. Alridge getting anxious to be playoff relevant. Good for RoLo.Now I think Len will be better than both of them.

    I think McD has an eye for talent and with Horny having a 3 year deal, will understand part of his job is to develop that talent. Wins and losses should be totally irrelevant this year.Go Suns!

    How far the Lakers have fallen when E. Clark leaves them to join Cleveland. I think Dwight is next to say bye to Lakerland.

    Scott absolutely Charlotte just got a lot better by adding a veteran low post player who loves scoring in the paint.

  • 11 DBreezy // Jul 4, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    So the question soon becomes, do the Suns take what they can get for Gortat shortly or do they simply wait and take the cap space next summer? Along those lines do they try and get a cheap veteran 5 so that Len doesn’t have to start the season with big mins? I wonder if Sac actually improves a bit via subtraction and a new coach/owner? They definitely do if they re ignite their interest in Iggy?

  • 12 Scott // Jul 4, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Ah, nice! I always saw Robin as playing for Portland. I figured he’d go there directly from the Suns, but I guess a one-year layover in NOLA was in order.

    Also, don’t count Lopez out from returning to Phoenix, He’s cheaper than Gortat, but he could end up returning in exchange for Gortat, along with another asset (T-Rob?).

    As for Clark, he was targeted early on by Cleveland, with people talking about the move long before the draft. Probably the Cavs showed a lot more interest in him than the Lakers did.

    Now, if Charlotte really wants to improve, they should trade Zeller to the Suns for the twins. :)

    @DBreezy -

    I think Gortat moves before the trade deadline.

  • 13 Scott // Jul 4, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    BTW, speaking of the Lakers, I’m not entirely certain of what the issues are between Nash and his ex, but maybe Nash will accept a trade to Toronto as a way out of a legal mess?

  • 14 Scott // Jul 4, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Hmm, pie in the sky thinking here (is there any other kind?), but maybe if the Lakers lose Dwight, the Suns propose a 3-way trade sending Scola, Butler, and Kyle Lowry to LA, Nash, Brown, and Jordan Hill to Toronto, and the Suns take back the Toronto 2014 first round pick plus the NY 2016 first round pick.

    C’mon, McD. Bend their minds to your will! ;)

  • 15 Scott // Jul 4, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Or if the Lakers want to keep Hill, send Frye to Toronto.

    The Trade Machine must be broken, because it likes this trade. lol

  • 16 DBreezy // Jul 4, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    @Scott,

    I would prefer to wait until a few more free agency dominoes fall, but if you pressed me for odds on what happens to Gortat today, my guess is that the Suns don’t trade him and he becomes a free agent.

    I say that because as Foreveris noted, the list of potential destinations seems to be drying up and I can’t see McD taking back salary or going over the cap to move Marcin unless it’s a smokin deal. The cap space/trade flexibility in letting him walk is likely better than a poor trade which is essentially what Utah decided with Millsap and Jefferson.

    Another thing that has to be tough when it comes to trading for Gortat is that an acquiring team knows that there is no way that he signs an extension because extensions are linked to a player’s current salary. So you know he’s going to opt out no matter what next summer, which likely tempers any offer.

  • 17 Scott // Jul 4, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    @DBreezy -

    Yeah, and who knows what McD is thinking? But I feel pretty confident that whatever deal he arranges will be as good as we can get.

    As for my trade ideas … sometimes it just amuses me to throw some wacky ideas out there. Maybe one day one of them will come true, and you’ll all be like “OMG!! Scott called it!” lol

  • 18 Vee // Jul 5, 2013 at 12:29 am

    Suns get:
    T. Ariza (7.7m) – E. Okafor (14.5m) – J.Vesely (3.5m) and Wizards 2014 1st round pick

    Pacers get:
    L. Scola (4.5m) – C. Butler (8m) – S. Brown (3.5m)

    Wizards get:
    D. Granger(14m) – M. Gortat (7.7m)

    … would you?

  • 19 Scott // Jul 5, 2013 at 12:40 am

    @Vee -

    The only thing I like in that trade, really, is the Wizards’ 2014 pick. As for the trade of players, since I don’t particularly want any of them, it’s like 4 steps forward and 3 back.

    My preference would be to have the 4 players leave without any of the 3 in return, just the pick. And if I could get another pick, even a 2nd rounder, so much the better. :)

  • 20 DBreezy // Jul 5, 2013 at 1:56 am

    @Scott,

    Agreed that whatever McD gets will probably be the best that could have been done during his tenure. I’m still curious as to when the other shoe will drop in the backcourt.

    There’s no way you bring Bledsoe in to average less than 30mpg and I can’t see Goran averaging less than he did last season. So we’re talking about both players playing 63% or better of the available minutes. From what I can tell from 82games.com there’s no team in the league playing 2 point guards that high a percentage of available minutes. When you look at the teams that did play 2 pg’s most seemed to only play the 2nd pg between 25-39% of their minutes at the two and again no one seems to have two pg’s getting minutes at the rate the Suns project to. Looking a little deeper, the 39% figure I believe came from Min, a lottery team that had no 2 guards due to multiple injuries.

    Looks like the Knicks had Kidd playing 52% of their minutes with 35% at the 2, making them the highest of the playoff squads. The other playoff teams that go with 2 pg’s seem to keep their 2nd pg playing around 25% of the mins. The other interesting thing is that among the playoff squads it looks like most of the teams only had one of the guys switch roles, with one being designated a pg all the time they’re on the court.

    Since this is the summer of analytics, I’m sure that McD is aware of this. I don’t see any need to move Goran or Bledsoe this offseason unless the deal is great, so some exciting stealth tanking looks to be in order. Would it be too obvious if they rolled out a Marshall/Goodwin backcourt off the bench where they designated Kendall as the shooting guard? Caron is going to be chewing on a lot of straws and getting an IV of Mountain Dew watching this.

  • 21 Foreveris2long // Jul 5, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Just a hunch but Dragic is probably not crazy about losing his primary point guard duties.It was only about 3 years ago when the Suns traded him and now within one year of his return he will likely be asked to play most of his minutes as a two guard. I would not blame him for feeling slighted as most point guards in their prime do not accept relinquishing their on the court leadership role lightly. However since we are not a playoff team, his likely heart break or sensitivity to the issue, will not be of paramount importance. I am convinced though he will be traded within a year from now.

    As for Marshall I am not convinced he will be in the NBA in 3 years. If we can trade him as part of a package or by himself where we net a 2nd round pick in return, I would be a happy guy.

  • 22 DBreezy // Jul 5, 2013 at 10:44 am

    @Foreveris,

    I don’t think Goran will lose his primary point guard duties on offense, unless it’s for stealth tanking purposes. Per 36 mins last season, Bledsoe had 5.4 assists to 3.2 turnovers vs 7.9 and 3.0 for Dragic on a team with lesser options and spacing. My guess is that Goran will pretty much always be the 1 on offense, although he will end up at the 2 on D a lot. Depending on Horny’s rotations, Bledsoe will likely only play the 1 when Goran is sitting unless they decide to experiment a few W’s out the window.

    As for Kendall, his odds don’t look good as they depend on a lot of internal and external factors. Internally can he get his mindset right on what he has to do to improve and go out and do it? Externally, how do the Suns view Tucker and Goodwin for next season? If the Suns still view Tucker as a rotation guy at the 2 that leaves scraps for Goodwin and Marshall to fight over. I’m sure they’d like to see their 2nd 1st round pick out there and it’s not a given that Marshall will beat him out in camp.

    While I don’t think both Dragic and Bledsoe will be on the roster beyond next season, I think it’s hard to know which one will be moved at this point. Bledsoe has to prove in his increased minutes at either position that he can be a reliable playmaker and much will depend on the kind of extension he’s looking for. If he starts looking for Ty Lawson dollars for example, then my bet is that he will be moving on.

  • 23 Ty-Sun // Jul 5, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Well, almost everyone believes in drafting for talent instead of position and I think that McD essentially did the same thing except he used a trade instead of a draft pick. The Suns picked up a young talented player (and another very good player on an expiring contract) for Dudley and a 2nd round pick. And I would be perfectly happy if McD does it again.

    Who cares if all the pieces the Suns have fit all the teams needs if they are talented, young players that we can either use to build around in the future or as trade chips later on. After all, the Suns aren’t trying to “win now”, they are rebuilding so McD should just try to grab the best young talent he can trade for this season whether those players fill a team need or not.

  • 24 Foreveris2long // Jul 5, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Dbreezy, I think Coro was speaking earlier about the Suns going with a position less and interchangeable backcourt. I could be wrong but it sounds as though the goal will be for either one to run the point, likely dependent on what the defense gives them. Maybe Dragic will be ok with this but a lot of point guards are territorial and want control of the offense.

  • 25 Scott // Jul 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Keep in mind that Bledsoe hasn’t proven he can start at PG for a season, while Dragic has. So Dragic ought to have seniority at PG, and he’s clearly the best play maker on the squad.

    The Suns might put Dragic and Bledsoe together, switching positions on offense and defense, as Dragic and Tucker did last season. I’d have to assume Dragic is okay with that, as it spares him some wear and tear, and he’s already done it. This also gives Bledsoe a chance to display what he’s already proven he’s very good at doing: defending PGs.

    When Bledsoe moves over to SG on offense, the mismatch gives him the ability to use his speed to get past his defender, and once the defender backs off it gives him the option to demonstrate a reliable 3 pt shot coming off the catch (which is something he’s still working on). He can also act as a complementary play maker, as Shannon Brown often did last year.

    Speaking of Brown, if the Suns retain him into the season, he’s the likely veteran at SG to help Marshall run the offense. Brown is another combo guard, and he does have play making skills, even if they don’t come naturally to him.

    I think that unless the guard logjam is cleared up through trades, Goodwin spends this season on the outside looking in, only coming out in garbage time.

    At this point, unless they go all tanky with Beasley, I think Tucker starts at SF. He’d be backed up by Marcus Morris.

    IMO, at this point the players most clearly needing to depart in trade are some combination of Scola, Frye, and the twins, and if possible, Beasley and Brown. And if a team needs a defensive stopper, I’m fine with trading Tucker or Lee.

    If he’s retained, Lee may be an option for reserve minutes at positions 1-3.

    I would not be surprised if the twins get traded during Summer League, and I’d count Sacramento, Charlotte, Philly, and Washington as possible destinations.

    BTW, I find it curious that the Trade Machine has Oriakhi listed as SF, as it hadn’t really occurred to me that he could play at that spot (he’s 6′ 9″ and 255 lbs, with a 7′ 4″ wingspan).

  • 26 Ty-Sun // Jul 5, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    @Scott – It sounds like you forgot about Butler when you were discussing SF. My money is on him starting at SF with Tucker, Morris or Beasley backing him up depending on the situation and who is still on the roster when the season starts.

    ESPN’s trade machine and their team roster lists often screw up player positions so I’m not surprised that they have Oriakhi listed as a SF. If he actually make the final cut he should play most of his minutes at the 4 or 5 spots.

    Goodwin should get minutes this season if he does well in summer league. Lee probably won’t make the team.

    Once DH finally makes up his mind where he will play next season I expect to see a lot of trade activity which could involve the Suns. Dallas might be interesting in Gortat if DH goes elsewhere. They did make him an offer a few years ago when he was a RFA but Orlando decided to match it. On an expiring contract Cuban might think of that as the best option if they miss out on Howard.

    Regardless, once DH make his decision there will be a lot of other decisions to be made by many teams and hopefully the Suns will find a way to profit in those.

  • 27 Ty-Sun // Jul 5, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    BTW, I wonder if Howard is going to drag his decision out so long that he just starts to piss off everyone except the fans of the team that he ultimately selects. He already has a rep for being indecisive.

    I just read that Golden State reached and agreement to sign Iguodala after GS also reached a deal with Utah that will send Jefferson, Biedrins and Rush to the Jazz ( along with 2 1st round draft picks) but no word on what GS gets in return. The report on ESPN say those moves don’t mean GS is out of the running for DH, just that getting him will depend on LAL doing a sign and trade deal with GS that would send DH to GS and LAL would get Bogut (and his expiring contract) in return.

  • 28 Foreveris2long // Jul 5, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Ty, Appears GS received very little in return, I think some guy with the last name of Murphy. I think with GS doing the Iggy deal I am convinced they are definitely in play for D. Howard. I think they did the Iggy deal because they suspected they will have to trade either Barnes or K. Thompson to the Lakers along with Bogut to effectuate a sign and trade for Howard

    For what it is worth I think Dwight is a drama queen.

    Scott, I seriously doubt Bledsoe signs any contract with the Suns if he is told he will primarily play shooting guard on offense. If that is the plan, whether he has been a starter or not, my guess is he does not sign an extension with the Suns, becomes a free agent and go somewhere to be a point guard. This could be a very delicate situation but a pleasant problem to have. If the Suns were a playoff team I would agree that Dragic’s experience running the point as a starter will give him the position but we are not a playoff team. Absent Bledsoe being assured he will get a ton of minutes running the point, I think he leaves next summer. I do not think the Suns got him to be primarily an off guard on offense.

  • 29 Scott // Jul 5, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    @Ty-Sun -

    I sure did forget Butler. I guess my limit on remembering players on a team is about 15. ;)

    And I agree that if there aren’t more moves made before the season starts, Lee is the most likely candidate for a cut.

    As for the Iggy trade, I’m jealous of the 2 picks Utah got. Maybe the Suns need to make a trade with them … ;)

    @forever -

    I know very little about what’s going on in Bledsoe’s mind, and what he wants or doesn’t want.

    At the moment, it’s still hard for me to imagine him being a part of the future for the Suns. He may be a good player on his way to becoming an All-Star, but I still mainly see him being traded as opposed to becoming a franchise player.

    Heck, maybe the Suns can trade him to Utah for those 2 first round picks they just got. :)

  • 30 DBreezy // Jul 5, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    @Foreveris,

    I love the new positionalless basketball buzzword. Basketball has always been a lot about matchups and it still is. You’ve just got a situation where there is a transcendent star in the league who can matchup vs a lot of different players and uneven skillsets in general across the league.

    There aren’t as many 4′s and 5′s with inside skills these days for example, making it easier to matchup with them with various players. But get a team that has guys with those skills, like IND or MEM, and it’s very hard to play them without true bigs. Same goes at the two IMO. I think it will be very hard for Bledsoe or Dragic to play big minutes defensively at the two vs guys like Harden, Kobe, etc that have old school SG skills.

    I have no idea if Dragic will be territorial or not, but I’m interested to see what Horny comes up with in the half court. Dragic is really the only pg they have that you can give the ball to and ask him to create for himself and others without plays as Marshall isn’t able to leverage his passing ability. Bledsoe and Goodwin seem more suited for the kind of simplified offensive sets like OKC runs for Westbrook.

  • 31 DBreezy // Jul 5, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    I tend to agree with Scott that Bledsoe is presently more of an asset to the Suns vs being seen as the pg of the future. Bledsoe has yet to prove that he can be good as a full time starting pg, in fact all of his numbers and the Clips record faltered when he was in that spot last season. That would make an extension somewhat of a gamble anyway, but the Suns have the luxury of already having a pg on the roster signed to a very reasonable deal along with another young prospect.

    I can’t see Bledsoe agreeing to an extension early regardless of Dragic unless its for crazy money. He’s got a lot of buzz and momentum around him and he’s headed into a year where he’s going to see the most minutes of his career no matter what position he plays. I’m sure they’ll talk, but I don’t expect a deal this offseason.

  • 32 DBreezy // Jul 5, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    So if Howard does indeed pick Houston, does this officially close the comparison of the rebuilding methods of Morey vs Blanks that I spoke about last summer?

  • 33 Scott // Jul 5, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Howard is down to the Rockets and Lakers, right? And his complaint to the Rockets is he wants them to have another star?

    Sounds like he’s staying in LA.

    As for trades, I’d consider Bledsoe to just about anywhere for picks. Teams needing a PG include Utah, Atlanta, and Orlando.

    Hopefully someone takes Bledsoe. I’d hate for the Suns to simply lose him for nothing. Heh, that would be the downside of the trade, eh? Paying a 2nd rounder, taking on Butler’s contract, and playing Bledsoe for an unhappy year while the Suns lose Dudley … all for nothing. :p

    Another possible trade the Suns could make would be Gortat to OKC for Adams and Roberson. I’d think they’d rather have a veteran C with shot blocking skills than a rookie C, and I believe they’ll have the cap space to re-sign Gortat. (OKC, with its curtain of silence, would also tell Gortat to keep his trap shut.)

    Nobody’s going to take the Perkins contract, I think, so OKC will just have to eat it.

  • 34 Ty-Sun // Jul 5, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    @Foreveris2long – Yep, DH is a drama queen although I don’t think he tries to be. I think GS made the moves they did both because they will make them better with or without DH and they still give them an outside chance to land him. I really don’t give a damn where DH decides to play but it annoys me that he can’t make up his mind and just do it. Yeah there are a lot of things to consider but I really do believe that most decisions are best made by your gut feelings. Over thinking things usually leads you to making a wrong decision.

    @Scott – I think Butler will play well for the Suns. I’m sure he’s not happy about being traded but this is a contract year and I’m sure he will play hard just to increase his next contract value. And he’s good enough that he might even be a good mid-season trade chip.

    And I have no idea whether Bledsoe is being considered as part of the Suns’ future or not but the trade for him was a good move. Other teams wanted him but the Suns have him. If the Suns play him at the 2 and it doesn’t work out, other teams will still want him because they will assume that the Suns misused him. If the Suns play him at the point and it works, good for the Suns. If the Suns play him at the point and it doesn’t work, odds are that at least many other teams will think that it didn’t work because he was playing for a mediocre team and he still has trade value. Considering the circumstances, Bledsoe should prove valuable to the Suns regardless of how this season turns out.

  • 35 Scott // Jul 5, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    LOL … and there goes Dwight to Houston!

    Hopefully McD can use this opportunity to send his older assets to LA.

  • 36 DBreezy // Jul 5, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Dwightmare.

  • 37 Scott // Jul 5, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    ^^ Good grief. Now Dwight is back on the fence.

  • 38 Scott // Jul 5, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Oh, I see. He’s asking for a sign-and-trade in a non-obvious way.

    He can get $30m more from the Lakers, but he’d pay less in taxes if he was in Houston. I think that pretty much covers it.

  • 39 Scott // Jul 5, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Okay, now Houston is the official destination. Whew!

    Howard should have picked the Rockets last year, FWIW.

    In other news, Calderon joins the Mavs (I predicted that so long ago).

    Millsap and Carroll join the Hawks. (Serves the Jazz right for giving Carroll’s number to a rookie when Carroll was still technically with the team.)

    Mayo joins the Bucks at $8m a year, 3 years. (Overpaid.)

  • 40 Scott // Jul 6, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I understand Robin Lopez was traded to Portland for Withey and a future draft pick.

    Withey goes to NOLA, while the pick goes to Sac.

    That’s pretty much the same offer I was wanting for trading Gortat to Portland.

    So either Portland was willing to give that for Gortat and Phoenix rejected the offer, or Portland decided they wanted Robin Lopez more than Marcin Gortat.

  • 41 DBreezy // Jul 6, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    @Scott,

    Neither of the situations are great, huh? I see Landry went to SAC, which should help them stay above the Suns in the standings. Scola looks like a solid replacement for Landry in GS on paper, but I think they gave all off their picks in recent trades.

  • 42 Ty-Sun // Jul 6, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    It was a three team deal, Scott, and not that simple.

    NOLA sent Lopez to Portland and Vasquez to Sac. NOLA got Tyreke Evans and Withey in return. Sac also got two 2nd round picks from Portland.

    If the Suns and Portland had traded Gortat for Withey and Portland had only thrown in two future 2nd round picks I would no be happy with that trade. Unless Gortat is an idiot, he will play his ass off this season just to improve his paycheck next year whether he stays with the Suns or moves on.

    Whether that happens or not, Gortat is still worth more than Withey and two second round picks. Len may be cleared to play by training camp but he certainly won’t be in game shape – especially NBA game shape – by then. That would leave Withey as the Suns’ starting 5. Great start for a season of tanking but that’s about it.

    I doubt that Portland wanted Lopez more than Gortat. I also doubt that McD would have taken such a weak offer from Portland for Gortat. I also think that NOLA mostly took whatever they could get for Lopez to clear cap room for Evans and Jrue Holiday.

  • 43 Scott // Jul 6, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    BTW, speaking of Portland trade acquisitions, is Alex Oriakhi comparable to Thomas Robinson?

    I’m not going to go into all the numbers, but basically they are physically comparable. Oriakhi is carrying more body fat, and is slightly less athletic. Their game seems fairly similar: around the basket, decent defense.

    Statistics-wise, Oriakhi trails Robinson in every department (using the final year of college stats). To give a rough estimate, Oriakhi produces about 80% of what Robinson does.

    Thomas Robinson: 6′ 8″ w/o shoes, 6′ 9″ with shoes, 244 lbs., 7′ 3.25″ wingspan, reach 8′ 10″, no step vert 28.5″

    Alex Oriakhi: 6′ 8″ w/o shoes, 6′ 9″ with shoes, 258 lbs., 7′ 3.75″ wingspan, reach 9′, no step vert 27″

  • 44 Scott // Jul 6, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    @Ty-Sun -

    Ah, you have different information than I did. The article I read mentioned just one pick, which I assumed was a first rounder. They didn’t specify the year, either.

    A first rounder and a second rounder was what I was looking for from Portland for Gortat, and a future first pick + Withey (who was drafted #39) is what I thought Portland dealt out for Lopez.

    As for Gortat being worth more, it depends on when the deal goes down. Maybe Gortat will stick around till the end of the coming season and go with a sign-and-trade.

  • 45 Foreveris2long // Jul 6, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Ty, It would not surprise me one bit if Portland wanted Lopez who is 4 years younger than Gortat and had similar stats with Gortat this past season. While Gortat remains a better rebounder, Lopez has probably not hit his peak.Not to mention he is cheaper than Gortat. Portland expressed modest interest in Lopez last summer. Considering the likely playoff push Portland is trying to make they apparently do not like Gortat that much or at least not for the value McD may have been seeking.

    I wonder if the Warriors are thinking about trading Harrison Barnes after acquiring Iggy. I would think they will hold onto him but he deserves to be a starter. The Warriors should be very, very good next season. Jerry West and his friends in Golden State are no joke.

    Scott/DBreezy, While I agree Dragic is a better passer than Bledsoe and should see the primary point guard duties early in the season, how these dynamics pan out will be interesting. If Bledsoe and Dragic were the same age I could see this trade being a bargaining chip for another deal but McD does not strike me as the GM who gets perhaps a young promising point guard only to ship him out as part of another deal and keeping the substantially older point guard. Could happen but I surmise McD is intrigued by what a substantially younger, stronger and more athletic point guard can eventually bring to the table.

    It does not bother me one bit that Bledsoe has not started a full season just like it did not bother me that Dragic had not started a full season before becoming a Sun a second time. McD seems to have foresight and is not hung up on experience and other factors for a team who only won 25 games last season. It is about building a championship caliber team, not this season but in two or three more seasons. Now if by Christmas Bledsoe does not show promise running the point, he could be traded but I seriously doubt they are considering using him as a bargaining chip in the immediate future.

  • 46 Scott // Jul 6, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    @forever -

    I don’t think the Suns can afford to send Dragic away just yet. He’s a competent play maker, and the other PGs on the team could learn a lot from him. As for his age, I don’t think it hurts the Suns at all, because you want your team leader and play maker to have maturity and experience, as Nash provided to the Suns when he returned from Dallas.

    I think you can either have an older PG, or a young PG with an older team, if you’re looking for success. A young PG and a young team seems to lead to a lot of pointless churning.

  • 47 Foreveris2long // Jul 6, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    I am not expecting them to trade Dragic this summer but it would not surprise me if Bledsoe plays well early, and Dragic is traded by the trade deadline. If Bledsoe does not show promise trading Dragic would be unlikely absent some deal that is too good to refuse.

    Regarding a young point guard running the show, that is exactly what Russell Westbrook did with a really young OKC team. They essentially did it for two years and the team took its lumps, what they now reference as growing pains. Now they a championship caliber team.

  • 48 Scott // Jul 6, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    @ forever -

    I see what you’re saying, which is, basically, that since the Suns are tanking this season anyway, why not give Bledsoe starting PG minutes and let him get the experience he needs? Which is what the Thunder did with Westbrook, and what happened for Dragic during the end of his last season in Houston.

    So far as I can see, Bledsoe’s basic stats are not that far off from Dragic’s anyway. Maybe with more court time Bledsoe can bridge the gap.

    As he begins his 4th season, Bledsoe is on pace to average 17 points and 6 assists for every 40 min.

    Dragic, who is starting his 6th season, averages about 19 pts and 9 assists per 40 min. So Dragic is the superior playmaker. Bledsoe would need to make 50% more assists to equal Dragic’s assist numbers.

    As for your final point, yes, OKC is aging together, as opposed to having a young PG with vets (like former Celtics) or old PG with youth (like former Suns). Westbrook is starting his 6th year, and Durant is starting his 7th. They churned for a few years, and probably would not have got anywhere without Durant’s exceptional talent.

    If the Suns had a Durant type figure, who could average 20-30 ppg in a season, both Dragic and Bledsoe are already not that far off from playing the Westbrook role.

  • 49 DBreezy // Jul 7, 2013 at 2:54 am

    @Foreveris,

    I don’t believe McD traded for Bledsoe for the express reason of using him as s trade asset and keeping the older Dragic, but I also think he sees reality. Bledsoe is a hotter trade commodity around the league at the moment and if you trade for him before Oct 31st you can also lock him in on an extension like the Rockets did with Harden. If someone is enticed by that and offers a sweet deal, I think McD will take it. If not, he plays the string out and sees how things go. Both with the on court play and the extension asking price. I happen to think that Bledsoe has yet to show that he’s worth Ty Lawson money, so if that’s the request it could be an issue especially when you have Goran on the roster on a reasonable deal. It’s not like Goran is that old.

    @Ty-Sun,

    I remain skeptical that the market for Gortat is as good as we Suns fans think. The guy has been on the block for awhile now and there haven’t really been any credible rumors about the guy. Dudley was thought of as a lesser trade asset, but he found himself in more credible rumors last season and ultimately did net a bigger prize than it appears Gortat will. It’s possible that the market value of the asset has been misjudged, it happens all the time. Remember when all of the leagues pundits said that Eric Dampier’s expiring deal was the most coveted asset in the league and worth following? How did that turn out?

    The league has changed a bit because of cost certainty issues within the cba. I suspect that if Marcin isn’t gone this offseason, than mostly likely he will be here till next summer as a deal agreeable to the Suns FO will be unlikely. Scola’s lower salary slot and non-impending FA may make that less of an issue for him.

  • 50 Scott // Jul 7, 2013 at 10:25 am

    There’s an article today from Bob Young about how Bledsoe could be a reincarnation of sorts of KJ, and Dragic would in that case be in the role of Hornacek.

    Dragic’s going to have to work on his shooting if he wants to be Hornacek.

    And where is Chambers? Is he in Charlotte (Zeller)?

  • 51 Scott // Jul 7, 2013 at 10:33 am

    BTW, I hope if you can you’re watching the Orlando Summer League games, which started today. As I type this, Miami v Utah is starting, and I saw Trey Burke is suited up.

  • 52 foreveris2long // Jul 7, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Scott good info on Orlando Summer league. I had totally forgotten about it. Yeah I saw Young’s article and it is an interesting parallel.

  • 53 Doug // Jul 7, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Now that the dust is settling with the Howard and Josh Smith I guarantee that the Lakers, Hawks, or Dallas will fall over themselves to trade for Gortat (whichever one does not get Bynum).

    I still see us trading Scola before the deadline.

    Bottom line we will still suck really bad next season because not one single person on this team can shoot consistently, and so teams will pack the paint against us taking away the effectiveness of Dragic, Goodwin and Bledsoe slashing to the basket, and Len inside.

    But the 2014-2015 season we should see marked improvement as we will get 2+ dynamic rookies in next years awesome draft; and we should be huge players in next seasons free agent period.

    There is hope…its just not next season.

  • 54 Scott // Jul 7, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    @Doug -

    Yup, I agree next season could be gruesome if there are no early graduates from the Hornacek School of Shooting.

  • 55 Scott // Jul 7, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Two minor observations watching OSL …

    1) It’s so nice to see the teams that intelligent GMs create, even the SL teams look good. (Watching Pritchard’s Indiana team going against Presti’s OCK squad.)

    2) People complain about the short sleeve jersey, but I think it could actually be a good thing if they change the sleeve to a double-thick “tongue” that drapes from the collarbone down over the deltoid, with stretchy fabric going along the sides of the shoulder, and maybe something more like a heavy netting under the arm to vent heat. This would look less like a t-shirt and more like a serious sports uniform, and it would help protect shoulders from scratches. (Players get tons of shoulder scratches throughout the season.)

    Bonus observation: I still like the idea I proposed earlier of trading Gortat to OKC for Adams and Roberson. They’re looking good. :)

  • 56 Ty-Sun // Jul 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    @DBreezy – Gortat is one of those players that has a variable trade value. It’s not great for teams that don’t need a 5 but good for those that do. And McD is playing it right by not trying to push for a trade. Anytime other teams know that you are trying to move a certain player, they are going to make low-ball offers.

    I think that is what Houston is also trying to do with Asik. They’ve publicly stated that they aren’t interested in trading him even though Asik has requested a trade.

    But I think that Gortat’s trade value will go up as the season goes on and McD will find a good trade partner before the trade deadline if not before the season starts.

  • 57 Scott // Jul 7, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Asik has a poison pill contract, doesn’t he? That ought to make him hard to trade.

  • 58 Jeremiah // Jul 7, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    @ Scott

    What about Boston’s Olynyk? He had a great line today. It’s obviously way too early to make any assumptions. Not to mention SL isn’t necessarily all that good of a measuring tool for NBA success, but I could see him being solid as soon as this year.

  • 59 Scott // Jul 7, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    ^^ Yeah, I just saw that game. I wonder what is going through Hennigan’s head watching his young guys struggle against a Celtics squad that was just Olynyk and “…”.

    Orlando did eventually pull away late in the 4th, and they won despite having Oladipo play PG, but still. I’m a bit surprised that the ORL crew – with a year’s NBA experience under their belts – found the Celtics to be at all competitive.

  • 60 hawki // Jul 7, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    JJ Hickson has signed with the Nuggets.
    That gives them Javale McGee, Kenny Faried, Darrell Arthur & Hickson up front.
    They also still have Tim Mozgov, who they might lose to a team in Russia.

    That leaves Anthony Randolph as the odd man out.
    He is a long, athletic PF who is due $1.7 mil this season. …..wonder if the Suns (McD) have any interest?

    Our PF situation is grim at best:
    Scola……trading block
    Kieff……career back-up
    Frye…….status unknown
    Beasley…..please

  • 61 hawki // Jul 7, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    ps….if nothing else, it’s fun watching the lakers come apart like a cheap taco.

  • 62 DBreezy // Jul 8, 2013 at 12:43 am

    @Ty-Sun,

    I agree that Gortat has a varying trade value, but I’m starting to wonder if we’ve all over estimated what the ceiling of that value is. Mostly I think we’ve given short thrift to how his contract affects things.

    There is zero chance of Marcin accepting an extension from any team, because extensions are tied to the current value of his deal which is below market value. So an acquiring team is looking at a one year rental of a guy who will them become an unrestricted free agent at a position that is notorious for outrageous free agent offers. Add in that what the Suns want are young players and/or draft picks and not nasty contracts and you can see why teams aren’t beating the Suns door down.

  • 63 DBreezy // Jul 8, 2013 at 1:08 am

    @Doug,

    That’s why I’m really curious to see if Horny is going to install some of Sloan’s halfcourt sets for the times the team cannot get points on the break. Even watching their summer league today, you could see flashes of those sets setting up easy buckets and shots. Most importantly to me, those sets seem to create shots off of movement and screens vs relying primarily on the players shooting ability to space the floor.

  • 64 Scott // Jul 8, 2013 at 1:59 am

    @DBreezy -

    Well, that of course has been a consideration. However, a team looking for a center might prefer to try Gortat out for a season first, and would weigh the benefit of finding out how well he meshes with the team before signing him to a large contract against the risk of losing out on him later.

    If OKC was interested, for example, I think the risk of them losing Gortat is small, because they are a competitive team, and if he meshes well they’d sign him to whatever value they could afford. If he doesn’t fit, they can try to deal his expiring contract to another team, let him walk and use the cap room, or try to sign and trade him when his contract is done.

    I watched the Thunder’s SL team play today. I thought Adams and Roberson were not outstanding, but they seemed decent assets with potential down the road. Jarrett, by contrast, was an obvious and ready weapon, and I don’t see OKC trading Lamb at all. PJ3 was out with an infected tooth, so I don’t know how well he’s doing.

    If the Suns were to trade Gortat for Adams and Roberson, I think it would fit their plans better, in that these players are the least ready to perform; they’re developmental and deep on the depth chart. It’s possible OKC might even want the Suns to take another inexpensive player, like PJ3 or Liggins, to clear another spot on their roster.

    I think OKC may have 15 on the roster right now, after you subtract the expired contracts of Fisher, Brewer, and Martin, and allow Abrines to be kept overseas. If you trade Adams and Roberson for Gortat, that opens up a roster spot for them to sign OKC SL star PG Dwight Buycks, which might give them greater depth at PG. (Normally more of a scoring PG, Buycks demonstrated he can rack up assists in bunches in his first game this year.)

    Then again, OKC might say, “No.” ;)

  • 65 DBreezy // Jul 8, 2013 at 8:40 am

    @Scott,

    My point isn’t that Gortat is untradeable, but that perhaps we have his contract situation is a bigger deal than we thought previously. It seems like that looms larger than his play last season in getting an acceptable deal done.

    OKC has just let Harden and Martin go in successive years over an unwillingness to pay above a certain amount of salary even during a championship run. They’re likely leery of trading for someone like Gortat without cost certainty beyond next season. It’s not that he wouldn’t resign there, it’s will he resign there for an amount they feel comfortable with financially? If they could get him to sign an extension, I think OKC and others would show interest, but that ain’t happening. Especially in a world where Pek just a 12M per offer.

  • 66 Foreveris2long // Jul 8, 2013 at 9:00 am

    I am definitely with DBreezy on the diminishing return for Gortat. While I have said for the last 2 years OKC is where Gortat needs to go, I seriously doubt they would give us Lamb as they badly need scoring from another wing and presently Lamb is their best option. They may have done that last season when they had K. Martin but probably not today. Since the Suns drafted a center with their lottery pick I seriously doubt they want another rookie center.

    Since most of the teams who I feel are championship contenders, Spurs, Warriors, Rockets, Pacers, Nets, Heat and Bulls have decent talent at center, only OKC should upgrade that position. The problem is they really cannot afford to give the Suns what they would want, Lamb or P.JonesIII. However if they gave us either one of those two, I would help Gortat pack and offer to drive him to the airport. So yes while OKC is likely the best option, I suspect everyone else will just wait until Gortat is a free agent since there would be no rush in signing him since as D’Breezy mentioned, he will not sign an extension as it would be foolish economically to do so.

  • 67 Foreveris2long // Jul 8, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Hawki,
    I am 100%with you on the Suns trying to bring Randolph aboard to play power forward. As you pointed out we are terrible at that position. Also, watching the Lakers fade like a cheap swap meet teeshirt brings joy to my world. I cannot recall when three free agents, 2 who were starters, Clark and Howard, left the Lakers to go elsewhere. They could easily be a lottery team this season. This has been a good basketball summer so far.

  • 68 Scott // Jul 8, 2013 at 9:51 am

    OKC presently has $14m available, coming from expiring contracts, so I think they could probably absorb Gortat’s $7m salary in addition to other salary increases.

    Perkins has 2 years coming on his contract. I don’t know if there are any options on the final year.

    Not knowing any other details on their financial picture, it seems to me OKC could take on Gortat this year, keep Perkins, and when the season ends, instead of paying $3-4m on 2nd year contracts for Adams and Roberson, they could use that to sign Gortat to a higher value contract (going, say, from $7m to $10m).

    The following year Perkins would come off the books (assuming he’s not off earlier), and that would be another $8m OKC can use to pay salary increases on other players.

    As for whom OKC might prefer to give the Suns, they might prefer to deal PJ3 along with Adams, for salary purposes. Or they might prefer to deal Adams, Roberson, and PJ3. I don’t know.

    But I certainly wouldn’t take Perkins, and I would insist that any trade include Adams and other young talent. If they tried to push Perkins and Adams, it would not be preferred, but I guess it’s doable. Perkins is at least a hard worker, which fits the current ethos.

  • 69 Scott // Jul 8, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Perkins would be Mark West? ;)

  • 70 DBreezy // Jul 8, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    I don’t thnk the team was interested in absorbing Perk’s deal when they had more cap space for 2013 so I don’t see them being interested now that they have less post Bledsoe deal.

    I think OKC is trying to do a few things. While they probably feel Perk is paid too much, they still see value in his locker room presence and the move of Howard to the Rockets along with the playoff series that Brook Lopez, Gasol, and Hibbert had has to give them pause. Perk gives them the luxury of guarding those guys one on one. So if they’re keeping Perk, financially I think they want to preserve some space to find someone to play that Harden/Martin role. They’d love to be able to develop and keep someone affordably in that role, but if not I think they want someone that they can secure for around the MLE for the next 3-4 years of their run.

    While we’re not in Marcin’s head, it won’t take much for him to command a deal in the 12M (yikes!) or more range IMO. While Marcin thinks his value has been hurt by not having Nash and not being featured offensively, it really hasn’t been. Teams like him for his rebounding and defensive toughness, two things he’s kind of pushed to the side as he’s gotten more touches on a lottery team. If he had just worked hard defensively and run the floor hard for offensive opportunities last season, his value would likely be higher even if he didn’t score as much as he did with Nash.

    If you’re a team like OKC and you’re interested in acquiring Gortat, you have to believe that once he sees he’s on a team with KD and Westbrook that he’ll know his place and go back to being the guy from Orlando and his first season in PHX. Doing that on a championship contending team would raise his profile and easily put him in line for a big deal. If you’re not going to pay the tax, you have to look ahead and plan for this type of stuff. Bird was talking about it in an interview today.

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