There are some aspects of the recent trade with the Suns and the Pacers that sent Luis Scola to Indiana in return for a lottery-protected 2014 first round pick, Gerald Green and Miles Plumlee.
1. McDonough is a genius: The new Suns general manager is amazing. We got Scola off of the amnesty wire for cents on the dollar and after an entire season of losing that took its toll on the Argentinian, it seemed that his value would be at one of the lowest points of his career. However, somehow McDonough managed to gain ANOTHER first-round draft pick and two younger and more athletic players in Green (27, one of game’s highest flyers) and Plumlee (24, mobile and athletic center)
2. This was the best thing we could get for Scola: With no star player (or starter) in return for our starting power forward in Scola, it could seem like a lopsided trade. As of right now Plumlee looks like the third-string center and Gerald Green is like a lost sock stuffed under a bed in that wing position logjam. Trades are all about gaining value, flexibility and situation. This trade nets the most value for Scola (even more than we thought and more than we got him for), as well as giving us flexibility with young, moveable players who contracts are trade-friendly. Also, it’s about situation. The Suns are rebuilding. The Pacers are trying to contend. So where would a crafty, 33-year-old power forward want to be playing?
3. It’s all about the draft picks: The 2014 lottery-protected first-round pick is important. Indiana was willing to give it up, NOT because it is worthless, but because it gave them bench depth. The lack of that depth on the bench was one of the reasons they couldn’t get past the Miami Heat in the playoffs. If Indiana makes the playoffs (which they almost certainly will with a 2nd, 3rd, 4th seed) and Minnesota also makes the playoffs (which is much more iffy) then when you add in the Suns’ own pick, Phoenix will own three first round picks in 2014. Next year’s draft is DEEP and GOOD! It has been lauded as the best one since 2003 with LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and others, but could be one of the best drafts in NBA history, and the Suns will potentially have a franchise-high number of first round picks.
4. This was the best trade for Scola: Scola liked coming to Phoenix after being amnestied by Houston…at first. Then the team started losing, had the upheaval with the head coach being fired, injuries to teammates…and more losing. Scola is a consummate professional so it didn’t affect his on court production, but he seemed really down about it. He had been apart of some good teams with the Rockets and didn’t deserve to have to be apart of the team that finished with the worst record in the Western Conference. Phoenix then was able to honor the veteran forward by trading him to a contending team with a similar outlook on basketball; Hardworking, blue-collar, grinding-out style. He will back-up David West and they should get along pretty well together.
5. Phoenix’s off-season is NOT over: One thing that this trade shows us is that McDonough and company are not done wheeling and dealing. As currently constructed, the roster doesn’t make any sense. They have too many players under contract and you can’t figure out who will start apart from Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe. It’s even harder to see who will make the rotation and who won’t. With the younger Alex Len and now Miles Plumlee at center Marcin Gortat would be the logical next domino to fall.