Oct 30, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns center Alex Len against the Portland Trail Blazers at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Suns Weekly Writers Roundup January 21


Phoenix Suns Weekly Writers Roundup January 21 

1. What do you think of Alex Len’s performance in the last week?

Troy- Len was impressive this week. I think he proved that even if he ultimately doesn’t live up to his draft position, he has a future in the NBA, if for no other reason than he knows how to use his height to his advantage. I also like the fact that he is making an effort to prove himself. It doesn’t look like his ankle has been holding him back much, so now is Len’s time to grow and become accustomed to life in the pros and show what he is capable of.

Lorenzo- So far his Len’s performance has been what I expected it to be; slow and gradual. It will take time for Len to get back into a rhythm on the court. He was given more minutes Sunday night and it proved to be a successful night for him. Len was 3 for 4 from the field with six rebounds and I expect once he’s in a rhythm offensively he will fit nicely into the lineup.

Eric- I like what I’m seeing from him. I’m glad that he is healthier. He looked more agile than I’ve seen him. That’s the important thing. He’s only 20-years-old and still very raw, but I saw a couple things that were impressive. His aggressiveness overall surprised me a bit, and he showed a glimmer of greatness and potential that really excites the fans here in Phoenix.

2. At nearly the halfway point in the season, where do you think the Suns will finish out West and what will their record be?

Troy- Seeing as Bledsoe is projected to return this season, I think he can ensure a late win streak that will allow the Suns to pull off the 8th seed with a low to mid-forty win season. Probably 45-37 at best, give or take a couple of wins. Considering they were projected to win 19 games that would be a huge success even if they don’t make noise in the playoffs. I think the Suns will get a playoff spot based on the pure effort of the guys on the team.

Lorenzo- I expect the Suns to continue to struggle in close games; with that said I still expect them to win enough games to get in with the 7th or 8th seed in the west. The Suns will miss having two explosives guards in Bledsoe and Dragic. Dragic will continue to carry the team offensively but the lack of experience will keep the team from being much better this season.

Eric- I think Phoenix will end up being the 6th seed. The lowest they will be is 7th because they will finish better than Dallas (as Monta Ellis will not continue to overachieve). They will continue to do better than experts ever thought they would, but without Bledsoe’s contributions, they won’t nab the 4th seed in the Western Conference as they could with him. I’d say they’ll finish about 45-37.

3. Will Dragic make the All-Star team? Why or Why not? 

Troy- While Dragic certainly deserves to be in the ASG, the fact is he won’t be on the team. The West is too full of guards just as good as him that have more popularity and superstar credentials than him. After the ASG, I think as he continues to put up great stats, people will say he should’ve been there. If he continues to play like this, whether in Phoenix or anywhere else, for another year, I think more and more people will start to realize that he is an All-Star caliber point guard.

Lorenzo- I would love to say that he will make the All-Star team but because of the talent and exposure of some other guards in the west, Dragic will not get the support needed to get in. If the system were setup so that only the writers and coaches voted; Dragic most likely would be voted in. But since that is not the case I don’t see him getting the votes to go to the All-Star game this year.

Eric- It would be fantastic if Dragic could make the All-Star team, he has certainly earned it. He is the best playmaker on the team, can create his own shot, and makes the whole offense work. He gets the most defensive attention from opposing teams and still is the highest scorer on the team. However, he won’t because the West is so stacked.

Stephen Curry and Kobe Bryant (James Harden due to Kobe’s injury) should be the starting backcourt. The reserves are picked by the coach at the reigns of the winningest squad in the conference. Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook also shouldn’t make it due to injury, while other vote-getters Jeremy Lin, Ricky Rubio, Klay Thompson haven’t played well enough to garner a spot.

That leaves Damian Lillard, Mike Conley, Tony Parker and of course Goran Dragic.  Parker and either Lillard or Conley will probably get picked as reserve guards, leaving Dragic out. But he’ll get in eventually.

Tags: Alex Len Basketball Featured Goran Dragic NBA Phoenix Suns Popular Suns

  • Sensational Guy

    I was thinking about how Dragic may be traded soon since he is unhappy and I’m starting think that trading him now is the best idea if he is gonna go anyway. I’m tired of Green and Frye being so streaky, and I think I may have thought of some trades the Suns could do to improve the team. I did a lot of research and thinking so check this out:

    1.Trade Dragic, Kravtsov, and a pick to Bobcats for Al Jefferson (throw in Gerald Green if necessary). The Bobcats have a full roster and they will have to trade an equal amount of players back top the Suns. They are over the cap limit, so this would save them some money and bring them back below it. The Suns are about 5 mil under, so they could take on a couple of the Bobcats worst players, and this would really sweeten the pot for the Bobcats and get them to agree to this trade. For example, the Suns could trade Dragic for Jefferson, Kravtsov for Jeffrey Taylor (comparable salary), and if they trade Green to them they could trade him for a player with a comparable salary, and this would be either Cody Zeller or Bismack Biyombo, who both play PF, which the Suns might actually be able to use.
    (Suns use 4.5 mil in cap space on Jefferson, bringing them to 57.74 mil, just under the 58.679 mil cap. The other salaries involved will not push them over the limit, as the Suns will save 0.7 mil trading Kravtsov for Taylor, and spend only 0.9 mil using Green acquire Zeller, or 0.2 mil to acquire Biyombo. I’m sure the cats would love to trade Zeller because he is being overpaid at 3.9 mil a year. I’m guessing this would be their choice, and they would keep Biyombo. The Suns would only use 4.7 mil of their cap same to make this happen.)

    2. Trade Frye, Goodwin and Christmas to the Kings for Jimmer Fredette and Ben McLemore. While The Kings probably believe in McLemore’s potential, I believe they would rather have Frye. Right now Frye is simply a more valuable player. They don’t want Jimmer and would also throw him in just to have Frye. He is also guaranteed to play for them next season with his contract. The Kings only have 13 players and have room for Goodwin. I would rather give them Jeffrey Taylor, but they would probably rather have Goodwin.
    (Suns save about 2.5 mil in cap space)

    3. If they still have him, trade Green to whatever team for the best draft pick possible.
    (This would be great. The Suns would save an additional 3 mil)
    Total cost : 0 – 2.2 mil. The Suns might even save a few mil.

    The new Suns:

    1. Bledsoe
    2. Barbosa*/Jimmer Fredette
    3. Tucker
    4. Plumlee
    5. Jefferson

    1. Smith
    2. Ben McLemore/Jimmer Fredette
    3. Morris
    4. Morris/Cody Zeller
    5. Len

    Reserves: Jeffrey Taylor
    Injured: Okafor

    *Play Barbosa limited minutes and bring in Jimmer pretty early.

    They may also still have the same number of draft picks as before.

    Explanation:

    Frye is too streaky and needs to be replaced. Dragic is leaving anyway. Green is also streaky. Jefferson is the perfect way to replace Frye, but if they trade Frye to the Cats they will lose him as a trading chip. Better to trade Goran for him, and use Frye for a different trade. Jefferson can shoot the 3 and play Center at the same time, as well as do a lot of things better than Plumlee can. They will be great together.

    With this lineup there will always be at least 4 players on the floor who can shoot the 3 and stretch the floor, making it easier for Bledsoe, Barbosa, and Smith to drive into the lane.

    One thing I know is that I’ve given up on Frye because he is too streaky and he will never be reliable enough for my taste. Jefferson will replace him and the extra cost of paying Jefferson will be offset by replacing Frye with two young very low-salary players that have tons of potential.

    Green being gone will also free up a little cash and could earn us a 1st round pick from a team that could use another shooter for the playoffs. He is also very streaky and he could be replaced by Ben McLemore and Jimmer Fredette once they get into rhythm. I would miss his length but not his streakiness.

    The Bobcats would probably be willing to make the trade because Goran is cheaper than Jefferson and his contract will expire only 1 year before Jefferson’s. If they want more, than maybe cave in and give it to them. Picks, Green, Christmas, and Goodwin could all be used as chips. But not Frye since he is key to get the other players needed. Even though Jefferson is a great player, he’s getting old and he’s having leg problems, so I’m sure in many ways they would love to have the young Dragic instead, but his contract expires sooner than Jefferson’s so the pot may need to be sweetened quite a bit. They’ll want Kravtsov because he can play backup center for them since they will need to move Haywood up to starting center. Also, they are over the cap limit, so this would save them a lot of money.

    The Bobcats could use the same 2 point guard strategy as the Suns have, pairing Dragic with Kemba Walker. Then they could trade away one of the extra guards they have they won’t need anymore. They have 3-4 of these guys.

    What do you think Suns fans?

    Salaries of the players involved:
    Jefferson: 13.5
    Dragic: 7.5
    Kravtsov: 1.5
    Taylor: 0.8
    Zeller: 3.8
    Biyombo: 3.2
    Frye: 6.4
    Goodwin: 1.1
    Fredette: 2.4
    McLemore: 2.9
    Christmas: 0.5
    Green: 3.5