Notes: Thoughts on Goodwin’s summer and Gortat’s injury


For the most part, this summer has zip-locked a hopeful freshness around the Phoenix Suns. It began when Lance Blanks was relieved of his duties and the Suns hired a well-received replacement in Ryan McDonough.

Aside from Michael Beasley’s run-in with Scottsdale police on Tuesday, there’s been a lot more positive than negative in the draft, through trade maneuvers and by hiring coach Jeff Hornacek. Another smaller bit of good news came in a single tweet by rookie Archie Goodwin, who on Friday afternoon said he was honored to be named the NBA Rookie Transition Program MVP.

I’m not sure exactly what that means, but it sounds like a good thing for the 18-year-old. After all, it was Beasley who was fined $50,000 for being involved in an incident at the program in 2008. And Minnesota Timberwolves guard Shabazz Muhammad was sent home this year after inviting a woman into his room without receiving proper permission.

Goodwin already showed he could make an impact on the court during the Suns’ strong Summer League run, and he has put the fragile discussion of Alex Len and his problematic ankles in the back of most people’s minds.

That’s called a good start.

Thoughts on Gortat’s foot pain

Jared Dudley and Luis Scola made it easy for newly-appointed general manager Ryan McDonough to deal them — both remained professional through a painful 2012-13 season and neither made a peep about playing elsewhere. By doing so, they probably helped their value to be moved.

The Suns’ two players most vocal about their personal situations, Shannon Brown and Marcin Gortat, remain in Phoenix. Brown especially was visible around U.S. Airways Center this summer and showed he can have a fresh start with Lindsey Hunter — the man who picked on him and nobody else — gone. But Gortat’s future remains a mystery.

A lingering foot injury hasn’t helped in any way.

Gortat sprained his mid-foot on March 6 but the effects are still lingering. He left the Polish National Team for the United States more than a week ago to undergo testing on the Lisfranc injury. according to Eurobasket2013.org.

“Physically, I feel better and better, the rehabilitation is going well, but I still feel the pain of the foot, even during training,” the 29-year-old big man said.
“I have to make sure that I will be healthy for the whole season.”

Gortat is supposed to return to Europe for Eurobasket exhibition games around mid-August. Still, it’s not helping his stock if the Suns are indeed shopping him around. And it makes for an ugly picture in Phoenix if both Gortat and Alex Len begin the season struggling with their respective recoveries.

Or maybe that’s a good thing if you’re really into tanking.

Beat.la not a two-way street?

Michael Schwartz noted the Suns’ acquisition of the domain name Beat.la in his breakdown of how Phoenix could stretch Michael Beasley’s contract, but it’s interesting to think about how the team will use it this coming year.

The Suns first play the Lakers in Staples on Dec. 10 and then host them on Dec. 23.

Next year, both the Suns and Lakers could be in a hole of mediocrity — or in the Suns’ case, likely worse. Steve Nash could find himself captaining another eighth-seed threat, but in the first full year under Mike D’Antoni and with likely more focus this time around, there will at least be some high scoring. Likewise, Hornacek’s team should be capable of making that matchup go its way with all the speed and athleticism. When you think about it, last year’s Suns even make Los Angeles look slow afoot. So there’s that.

Another point: Los Angeles’ PR folk are pretty savvy themselves, so it’ll be interesting to see if they sling some campaigns back the Suns’ way to diminish any of this — especially when you consider the majority of Lakers fans would consider a number of other teams bigger rivals. Kobe Bryant may disagree.

And if the Suns are really making such stretches to rile up support, why not buy BeatTheSpurs.com?

  • Scott

    Slow news day, eh? :)

  • Chad

    End August already!

  • Sunsn7

    Suns should move Gortat before the trade deadline. I initially liked Gortat but he seems to talk a better game then he plays. He often takes plays off on the court yet he tries to be a vocal leader at the same time. Sorry but it doesn’t work that way and I dont want him on the rebuilding young Suns much longer.

    I can really see Dragic further growing into his leadership role and being a more vocal leader. And PLEASE play Archie Griffin 30 minutes a game, he’s instantly a fan favorite. Cant wait to see Archie and Andy (Wiggins) light up the NBA together! ;)

  • Sunsn7

    Btw the Suns really dropped the ball going with an updated version of the 90′s jerseys. Definitely should of went with the 80′s uniforms with the western lettering and add the black and orange w/ a lil purple added. I have the Stoudemire one and they are SWEET. Too bad, would of really connected to the Suns roots..just ask Jeff Hornacek

  • sunsfaninla
  • sunsfaninla

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=lkcgl77 then this also next year when we have jabrai parker or andrew wiggins

  • http://valleyofthesuns.com hawki

    If Nash is the lakers starting pg then they are in deep doo-doo.

    SunsN7…..never knew you were so fashion conscious.:)….even with Gortat, this team seems like a bottom 5 lock…..without him, might have trouble winning the D-League.

  • http://valleyofthesuns.com hawki

    btw…..saw RudeCorona posting on BSOTS the other day.

    Our favorite Slovenian reporter was the one who commented on the heat in the building that precipitated the fight between Dragic & a player from Turkey.

  • http://valleyofthesuns.com hawki

    Watching Nash these days reminds me of a game I saw in the Suns inaugural 1968-69 season.
    Suns were playing the Cincinnati Royals who had Oscar Robertson at guard & Bob Cousy was the player-coach.

    Cousy actually played in that game…he was 40 years old. I remember 2 things…1-.Cousy made an unbelievable half-court bounce pass to a guy cutting to the basket for a layup ….and 2- Cousy’s chest hair was turning white…

    They’ll squeeze another year out of Nash but I think in the near future Nash should seriously consider the coaching profession.

    ps….Oscar was the All-Star game MVP that year.

  • Zack B.

    “Brown especially was visible around U.S. Airways Center this summer and showed he can have a fresh start with Lindsey Hunter — the man who picked on him and nobody else — gone.” Great to hear. Though SB has his faults, he did not deserve to go out like that.

  • Noitall

    I would sell Boston Beat.La for a 2014 1st rounder!!!

    They might do that!

    Or at least get them to pay for Beasley’s salary.

  • DBreezy

    The Suns should only none Gortat if its advantageous, period. Otherwise let him walk like the Jazz did with Milsap and Jeffrson. A solid fiscal situation is more important. The Suns won’t even be in the playoff chase like the Jazz were so there’s not even an obligation to play Marcin more than than Len or Plumlee, especially after the trade deadline.

  • http://none Sillmarillion

    I really have to say that I hate this tanking attitude. What about the spirit of sports? You should get out on the court and try to win, no matter what. If Gortat is the best center on the roster there is an obligation to play him, because you want to win. If Marshall sucks you don’t play him, because you want to win. Winning, that’s what it is all about. Tanking (losing on purpose) is against the idea of sports and I really, really hate it.
    Besides, there is no lock on the #1 pick anyhow. You can be the worst team in the league and get #4 pick.

  • Ty-Sun

    I found this in on another site about the MVP award and Goodwin:

    “While this award has nothing to do with his basketball abilities, it echoes the character and maturity of one of the youngest players in this year’s rookie class. Fellow rookie and Minnesota Timberwolves 1st round pick, Shabazz Muahmmad was reportedly expelled from the same program. Muhammad was caught with an unauthorized female visitor in his hotel room. He will be fined and be required to retake the course with the 2014 NBA Draft Class. Unlike Muhammad, Goodwin excelled with the program and acted like a professional.”

    Goodwin sounds like he certainly has the character, IQ and work ethic that the Suns need in new players. And we already know that he’s a talented player. I already liked him but I’m liking him more and more every day.

  • john

    Goodwin at 29 could turn out to be the steal of the draft. I can’t wait to see him in his third season if he continues to progress like this.

  • Scott

    Both Goodwin and Len said in interviews they intended to be the best players of their draft class, regardless of where they went in the draft.

    As readers here know, I’ve had my money on Goodwin all along. Over his career, I think he could very well be the best player in this draft.

    Going out on a limb a bit … I suppose it is even possible that if Goodwin could contend for ROY. I don’t expect this to happen, because of his youth and the depth at his position, but he has a lot of competitive fire, intelligence, and native ability. If things fall apart a bit on the Suns due to trade, injury, or underperformance, and if Goodwin is getting starter’s minutes by January, I wouldn’t rule out a push by him to contend for ROY.

  • Scott

    ^^ “I suppose it is even possible Goodwin could contend for ROY.”

  • GoSuns

    @ sillmarillion but teams have to go through the process of building a foundation and identity, tanking should also be called developing because teams are figuring out what direction they want to go in by playing everyone and seeing who fits, building up trade stock of players that won’t be a part of the future to turnover into assets, and putting themselves in the best possible position to compete as they see fit set forth by the team’s direction

  • Ty-Sun

    I’m also against tanking as the term implies deliberately trying to loose just to get a higher draft pick. I don’t think that the Suns are trying to do that. I think they are just doing the best they can to clean house and start rebuilding nearly from scratch.

    I expect Horny to put the best players he has on the floor and play every game to win every night. But the people who want to tank shouldn’t worry. The players the Suns have either aren’t good enough to have a significantly better season than last year or aren’t experienced enough to really change things.

  • Carter
  • Carter
  • Carter

    Never mind those…posted them wrong

  • Luka

    I’m in favor of tanking. If we deal Gortat that will guarantee a few extra losses for next season. If they could get another first rounder, and a younger role player for Gortat (similar to the Scola deal) then by all means.

  • Scott

    I imagine the Suns can’t deal Gortat till his foot has healed.

  • http://ultimatesimbaseball.com Brenton

    If its a lis-franc injury, then it makes sense why it hasnt healed yet. That kind of injury takes a really long time to fully heal, but it never feels like a major injury. I still like the Gortat and Beasely to OKC for Perkins and a #1, trade. If OKC would go for it. You could then waive and stretch Perkins after next season if there is a free agent you want. Or use him in a trade or s&t. OKC instantly gets better with Gortat, and they lose the cap albatross that is Perkins. And changing Beasely into Perkins is a home in terms of character and leadership.

  • JD

    Kendrick Perkins is untradeable and has one of the worst valued contracts in the NBA. His efficiency rating last season is a terrible 8.2 and he actually had a negative rating in the playoffs! By comparison, Beasley, the Morris brothers and Wes Johnson all had better ratings than Perkins. All for $17.5M over the next 2 years. If the Suns trade for Perk all they’re getting is dead salary and a logjam that will slow down the progress of their young big men. And Perkins can’t be a leader if he can’t even lead by example on the court.

    As far as Beasley, remember OKC is not the team that is tanking. A contender will want nothing to do with Beasley. If the worst team in the Western Conference doesn’t even want him, why would the second best team in the conference?

  • http://ultimatesimbaseball.com Brenton

    Thats why you would trade Beasely for Perkins, because they both suck, both have terrible contracts, but Perkins is a professional while Beasely is a big POS. OKC isnt doing that deal by itself, so you have to offer Gortat, who is a huge upgrade over Perkins, and then hopefully coerce a 1st round 2015 pick out of it. OKC might say no, but they could use a trade exception on beasely, and then waive him.

    Not that the Thunder would definitely go for this trade, but lets not think we can trade Gortat and/or Beasely for LeBron James or something equally stupid and unrealistic.

  • Scott

    I would trade to take on Perkins, provided OKC was willing to give other assets. I imagine several GMs around the league would do the same.

    However, I can’t figure out what OKC is trying to do with their team. For instance, they signed SF Ryan Gomes for $4m. Why? They have players at SF, and he wasn’t even playing in the league.

    My guess is that strange as it may seem, Presti likes all of his players and plans to play the hand that he has rather than attempt to make adjustments in order to win the championship.

  • http://ultimatesimbaseball.com Brenton

    Gomes was a 1 yr contract, so maybe Presti figured that Gomes just needed a positive environment and the right system to succeed, and decided to take a chance on a one-year. A low risk deal.

    I dont know, he is a GM who has made both great and terrible moves.

  • Polish Fan

    Sorry guys but for me its a bullcrap all these articles about Gortat bla bla – he is injured he is supposed to be transfered and so on.

    He is after injury, made a break in preparation for a Championships with national team just to be fully ready for the Suns in the upcoming season. His muscle in his leg is thinner as it wasn`t used for a while and that`s what he is to work on.

    And yeah they should draft him, but i guess we do not need to talk about it all the time as we will not say anything new, though. On the other hand, he is fighting for his new contract this season, so I can bet with Yall that he will play very well as he puts his money on that personally

    Lin? Just starting, with an injury and he is a kind of question mark for now. Gortat gives a quaranty of some level of basketball around the rim. But for the Suns – they should deal him for some go to guy. Or wait for such a player in the upcoming draft :)

    Plus they should look for Karnowski – another Polish center playing in NCAA. Plus they should look again on Lampe (ex Suns) who signed with Barcelona. Man grew up and he is playing really well at pos 4 (if needed on 5).

  • Scott

    @Polish Fan -

    The Suns aren’t talking about a Gortat trade. They say they expect him to play for the Suns this year.

    Fans are talking about trading Gortat because they want to get something good for the team’s future, like a young player. They don’t want to have Gortat leave the Suns at the end of this season and have nothing coming back in return.

    As for his injury, Gortat said to the US press he has pain in his foot. Most believe he is still feeling pain from his original injury.

    Here’s the story as it appears in the US news:

    The Polish center flew to the USA on Thursday to undergo medical tests, after completing the first stage of preparations for the EuroBasket together with the rest of the team, in Gdansk.

    “Physically, I feel better and better, the rehabilitation is going well, but I still feel the pain of the foot, even during training,” the 29-year-old big man said. “I have to make sure that I will be healthy for the whole season.”

  • http://none Sillmarillion

    Yeah, I read the same comment. So he has some pain in his foot, but it can’t be that bad if he does normal traininigs with his national team and plans to play the EURO tournament. Gortat will be just fine, he is an professional and takes care about his body.
    I am more worried about Len.

  • Polish fan

    I can understand that fans want something for Gortat than nothin at the end of this season.

    What I wanna say is that I am reading it for X time – thats nothin new. You can repeat that in these articles but its pointless imo.

    Anyways, You will release salary cap space so You`ll get something… : )