Jalen Rose and Bill Simmons’ NBA preview series on Grantland touched on the Phoenix Suns, and to nobody’s surprise, they’re only expected to impress more than the Philadelphia 76ers. Once Bill and Jalen get past the first few minutes of trashing on Suns owner Robert Sarver three years after it was cool, they get into some interesting discussions.
- Simmons is one of the skeptics about Eric Bledsoe. While he may be a great defender and a potential star, he didn’t prove he could run an NBA team when Chris Paul was out last season. And if Phoenix wants to look at Bledsoe as a longterm player, it could be hard determining his ability to play the point guard position since Goran Dragic will be the 1A option. Yes, the Suns want to run with two points who can both set up the offense, but there could be handholding from Dragic. After all, he proved in EuroBasket he knows how tempo and game management works. This will be an important development if the Suns see Bledsoe as part of the future
- The discussion gets interesting when Simmons and Rose begin discussing Phoenix as a trade partner. Of course, the two most valuable assets are Gortat and Dragic, who could be nice acquisitions for contending teams. Both are on relatively decent contracts, and Simmons and Rose think the Oklahoma City Thunder would be nice trade partners. Dragic could give the Thunder a third option to handle the ball a la James Harden. Such a trade might dump Kendrick Perkins’ contract on Phoenix — a scary thought but it’d free up a lot of cap space in the summer of 2015.
- Rose complained a lot about Mike D’Antoni.