Phoenix Suns 104, Sacramento Kings 99 — A good win to close


Disappointment lingered heading into the Phoenix Suns’ last game of the season, but Archie Goodwin made the smiles from the bench reappear one last time. Jeff Hornacek’s team beat the Sacramento Kings 104-99 to finish the year with a 48-34 record, locking this Phoenix team in as one of the best non-playoff teams in NBA history.

Goodwin, the rookie who had only three double-digit scoring games on the year, made the most of Hornacek’s generous playing time allowance on Wednesday in Sacramento. The Kentucky product bested his career-high of 16 by pouring in 29 points on 11-for-13 shooting from the floor. He hit just his fourth three-pointer of the year but scored the majority of his points as you’d expect.

Goodwin picked off steals, one time loading up a double-clutch, reverse dunk in front of the Suns bench. In the second half, Markieff Morris found Goodwin cutting to the hoop and from the post tossed a lob pass to the rookie, who finished with one hand before crashing into the backstop.

The Suns got 15 points, five boards and four assists from Morris, and 22 more points from brother Marcus.

Goran Dragic sat out the Suns’ 82nd game of the year but watched from the bench as a starting group of Eric Bledsoe, Gerald Green, P.J. Tucker, Channing Frye and Miles Plumlee played limited minutes. Among that group, Green led the way with 12 points, and perhaps the most significant part of their contributions was Frye’s start.

He started all 82 games of the season and finished as a double-digit scorer despite missing the entire 2012-13 campaign with a heart ailment.

Sacramento had enough reason to roll with its own young players, especially with center DeMarcus Cousins suspended for the season finale. Ben McLemore, once a favorite draft target of Suns fans, one-upped Phoenix’s eventual perimeter pick from the 2013 draft. He finished with 31 points.

Yet, Phoenix scrapped together solid defensive efforts down the stretch with a lineup of Ish Smith, the Morris twins, Goodwin and center Shavlik Randolph.

Smith, who has an unguaranteed contract next year, for the last time showed his value, producing a team-best plus-18 plus-minus by scoring eight and adding eight assists.

So the year is over, and Phoenix immediately heads into a time of reflection — though the starters were already there after the Monday loss to Memphis.

Bledsoe’s value moving forward must be decided up, as will Tucker’s. Frye is seeking a contract extension and has expressed the desire to stick around Phoenix beyond 2014-15, when he has a player option worth $6.8 million. On Monday, Frye called the year the most enjoyable of his eight-year NBA career.

For Goran Dragic, the simple next step is finding a couch and allowing his beaten-down body to heal.

The draft and free agency will come about, but in the next few weeks it’ll be about reflection. Taking the next step might come naturally for a team that took major leaps forward this year, but the hardest part of getting out of the doldrums is over.

How were Jeff Sanders’ pregame questions answered?

How do the rookies end things?

While Goodwin had a career day, fellow rookie Alex Len struggled to stay on the court. He and Randolph added 16 minutes each, but the fourth overall pick from 2013 went 0-for-4 from the floor. He did add four rebounds and a block as well.

No Cousins, no problem?

The Kings didn’t have DeMarcus Cousins, who was out due to suspension because of breaking the 16-technical limit, but his team still outrebounded the Suns 54-40. But Derrick Williams gave just seven points and three boards in 31 minutes while replacing Cousins in the starting lineup.

Who seems to “care” more?

Both teams made it clear that this was going to feel more like an exhibition game than any regular season outing from the last several months, but the Suns seemed more pressed in making sure they finished their year off with a win. Sacramento led 67-60 with four minutes left in the third, but Phoenix closed out the game by holding the Kings to 33 percent shooting and itself shooting 70 percent in the final 12 minutes.

  • Raffi AKA Anonymous

    Oh in the last game of the year we find out that Archie Goodwin is the next coming of Jordan.

  • foreveris2long

    Len looked ok defensively with decent lateral foot speed but needs a ton of work offensively. He needs to work on getting early good positioning in the low post on offense. The good think is he has good form on his perimeter shot. I think he will be fine.

    Goodwin on the other hand is going to be really something special. He has heart, hops, quickness offensively and defensively and is fearless. He will get quality minutes next season. I hate saying this but he may make PJ expendable if G. Green can improve defensively and move to the three spot. McD’s head has to swimming with all of the decisions he has to make this summer.

    Glad to hear Dragic is leaning or has decided not to play this summer due to having a banged up body. He has to be hurting from head to toe.

  • bill_thomas

    Len is a Five Year Project. At least we got Archie in that draft.

    Should have picked up Hawes, the 76ers practically put him out on waivers.

    Or even the Cave Man.

  • bill_thomas

    Always glad to see a Mark Cuban-owned team go down. They will be history in record time with San Antonio.

  • bill_thomas

    LOL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ellensburgbballfan

    Clearly, Goodwin needs to play quality minutes next year, and you have to develop Len, unless a better prospect magically appears at center

    i like the fact he only committed one foul and had a block and 4 rebounds in 16 minutes

    he may not have had the kind of game Goodwin had, but Len still showed enough to me this year that he is worth developing

    Goodwin and Len need 25 minutes a game next year

    we started Plumlee all by 3 games, and we didnt make the playoffs

    Plumlee is a great backup, but Len, or a prospect better than him, has to come along for the Suns to make serious noise as a team

    we had no interior scoring this year we could rely on

    Plumlees game is basically a dunk, Frye started 82 games of three pointers and almost nothing else

    we got crushed on the boards, despite Cousins not playing, and yet we won because basically Goodwin had the game of his life

    the training wheels gotta come off next year for both of them, they are too talented to just sit on the bench and get 8 minutes a game or whatever

    this is not a team that was going on a deep playoff run this year, unless a miracle happened, so play them

    play them alot

  • Luka

    Archie Goodwin could be a starter on this Suns. Aside from the incredible athleticism, you see a high basketball IQ. That’s something this Suns team is sorely lacking. Hornacek should have given Archie a bigger role. Bringing Barbosa in was a waste of time.

    The big question is whether or not Bledsoe is part of the plan moving forward. My gut tells me that Bledsoe will be asking for 13-14 million a year which Sarver won’t sign off on. In which case he’ll be involved in a sign and trade.

  • Luka

    I also agree about Spencer Hawes. I stated back in February shortly after Bledsoe went down that if they didn’t make a move by the deadline they wouldn’t make the playoffs.

    Frye and a pick for Hawes would’ve gotten the Suns into the playoffs this year. Wouldn’t have affected the Suns’ cap situation either. Hawes is a center the Suns should definitely consider going after in free agency.

    But I’m not going to sit here and say it was a mistake by McDonough. Clearly he must have bigger goals in mind then risking the future to scrap into the playoffs now. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. This offseason might be as entertaining as this season was.

  • VK

    Hawes is the center of the future? Ignite the future with Hawes…sorry I don’t agree. This guy plays ZERO defense, of course means he would fit in perfectly with the Suns :)

    I like Plumlee and why can’t he develop into something special, yes Len has all the potential in the world, but he looks so fragile out there. If Plumlee had better help from the 4 position, then we would think differently about him.

    The Suns as a franchise have always been run and gun and fun to watch, the only time they weren’t was under Porter when they put ME to sleep.

    Great season, I got my $200 worth from NBA League Pass watching from Germany!!! Looking forward to the off season and seeing what McGuiness will come up with.

  • Luka

    @VK

    I don’t really think Plumlee fits what the Suns are doing. He doesn’t establish position downlow and moves his feet way too much. He doesn’t know how to find his teammates. He should just work on his shooting and abandon the crappy hook shots he forces up.

    The Suns do need to acquire another center IMO. Hawes would be a cheap enough option. He is a real floor spacer and a pretty good passer for a big.

  • VK

    @Luka

    I like Hawes game, but we can’t have 5 guys standing around the perimeter shooting 3s. How much is going Hawes go to ask for this off season? 8,9, 10 Mil? I’d rather improve the PF for that money and continue developing our two bigs.

    If Nash was running the pick and role with Plumlee, he would have some great numbers. Bledsoe did a good job w/ Plum, but sadly Goran his horrible at the pick and role. For some reason Goran seems to go the wrong way or does not use the pick to his advantage. Damn we were spoiled with Nash.

    At the beginning of the year, everyone wanted to trade Goran and build around Bled, I’m wonder how much that has changed :)

    Moving forward…I’m really proud of Markief improving is mid-range shot and gave us some inside presents down low, he still needs to work on finish strong at the rim. I would love to see someone like Anderson Varejão, who can greatly impact a game without touching the ball.

    Go SUNS!

  • Mike

    A “good win”. Hahahaha

  • Luka

    Frye and a late first rounder for Thaddeus Young.

  • EBJM

    Dave Dulberg reported on his other site that McD wants Frye to pick up his option and return to Phoenix next season. McD even went as far to say he would try and re-sign Frye if he declined his option.

    Why would Frye decline $6.8 million? Ryan Anderson, IMO an improved version of Frye has two years remaining at $8.5 million each.

    I doubt Frye could get more money outside of his option

    Perhaps McD finds value in Frye’s expiring contract?

    A sign and trade with Detroit for Monroe?

  • EBJM

    Play Hawes a the “4″. The Suns would have their version of 7′-1″ twin towers when paired with Len.

  • Porto Suns

    The Suns’ season is as good as over. It was a great and entertaining season. We all heard everything about how they surpassed expectations and they were supposed to win 25 games and almost doubled that total. However, I do believe it is time for the NBA to address three issues that this year Suns’ career fully exposed.
    1 – With 25 wins, the Suns would probably have pick #3 or # 4! With close to 50 wins, the Suns will have pick #14! And this while spending #28 in the wages’ league table. At the same time, the Lakers will pick #5 while spending 20m more than the Suns. It sure must feel great for the franchise owner this year, but what sort of reward will he (and the fans) get for this season. Next season he’ll be stuck with pick #14 even if he was better and more efficient than other teams. Just like you have teams like Portland (and I am not even go down the Rockets bizarre way) spending 10m less than the Celtics and being rewarded with pick #24, while Boston gets #6. OK, I am sure we are all too familiar with the concept of levelling the field play and spreading the talent! But you need to reward teams that are doing things right! You can’t go on rewarding tanking teams like the Bucks or the Sixers and penalising teams that fight for the play-off. Eventually, we’ll end up with teams just dropping the fight for the playoffs (less than 50 wins will never get you a championship after all – Rockets exception – so why bother? It is better to accumulated draft picks!). Even if I do not believe tanking is a good strategy, it is not something straightforward. I really think, and even more in times where the draft picks are becoming increasingly more important, that this is something the NBA should address and start considering different alternatives, for example, introducing team payrolls and protecting the teams from tanking. For instance, sub 25 winning teams would go up 15 wins in the draft order (because they are detrimental to the league) or make an unconditional lottery with each non-playoff team having 1/14 possibilities of getting #1 (thus limiting the interest in tanking).
    2 – By February, in hindsight, and from the draft picks stand, it would have been better for the Suns to stay close with the Twolves. Perhaps getting more minutes to Len and Goodwin, resting Bledsoe for the season, not “injuring” Dragic ankle! With this, the Suns would guarantee a #13 pick and ensure a #14 (the Twolves would get #14 and thus outside the Top-14 protected). This is awkward. This conditional draft picks bring nothing to the league: either you trade the pick or you don’t. In a league where everybody competes with everybody, there will always be a chance where your loss can impact a direct contender! This Twolves and Suns situation eventually worked out ok for the league, but it wouldn’t be farfetched if they would be eliminated, 2 weeks before the end of the season and both trying to lose games (both trying to avoid the #14 pick…)! Makes no sense!
    3 – This is the last issue and one that has been spoken for years. It is just so unfair the different level between conferences and one that has going on for several seasons. It doesn’t really matter who is the NBA champion, the important thing is that all western conference teams improve their record when playing eastern opposition, while only 2 eastern teams accomplish the reverse. This is an issue that is spreading all around. Combine this with the draft picks pursuit and the tanking, and as I said before, fighting for the playoff is just not worth it…better fight for draft picks…

  • Porto Suns

    The Suns’ season is over. It was a great and entertaining season. We all heard everything about how they surpassed expectations and they were supposed to win 25 games and almost doubled that total. However, I do believe it is time for the NBA to address three issues that this year Suns’ career fully exposed.
    1 – With 25 wins, the Suns would probably have pick #3 or # 4! With close to 50 wins, the Suns will have pick #14! And this while spending #28 in the wages’ league table. At the same time, the Lakers will pick #5 while spending 20m more than the Suns. It sure must feel great for the franchise owner this year, but what sort of reward will he (and the fans) get for this season. Next season he’ll be stuck with pick #14 even if he was better and more efficient than other teams. Just like you have teams like Portland (and I am not even go down the Rockets bizarre way) spending 10m less than the Celtics and being rewarded with pick #24, while Boston gets #6. OK, I am sure we are all too familiar with the concept of levelling the field play and spreading the talent! But you need to reward teams that are doing things right! You can’t go on rewarding tanking teams like the Bucks or the Sixers and penalising teams that fight for the play-off. Eventually, we’ll end up with teams just dropping the fight for the playoffs (less than 50 wins will never get you a championship after all – Rockets exception – so why bother? It is better to accumulated draft picks!). Even if I do not believe tanking is a good strategy, it is not something straightforward. I really think, and even more in times where the draft picks are becoming increasingly more important, that this is something the NBA should address and start considering different alternatives, for example, introducing team payrolls and protecting the teams from tanking. For instance, sub 25 winning teams would go up 15 wins in the draft order (because they are detrimental to the league) or make an unconditional lottery with each non-playoff team having 1/14 possibilities of getting #1 (thus limiting the interest in tanking).
    2 – By February, in hindsight, and from the draft picks stand, it would have been better for the Suns to stay close with the Twolves. Perhaps getting more minutes to Len and Goodwin, resting Bledsoe for the season, not “injuring” Dragic ankle! With this, the Suns would guarantee a #13 pick and ensure a #14 (the Twolves would get #14 and thus outside the Top-14 protected). This is awkward. This conditional draft picks bring nothing to the league: either you trade the pick or you don’t. In a league where everybody competes with everybody, there will always be a chance where your loss can impact a direct contender! This Twolves and Suns situation eventually worked out ok for the league, but it wouldn’t be farfetched if they would be eliminated, 2 weeks before the end of the season and both trying to lose games (both trying to avoid the #14 pick…)! Makes no sense!
    3 – This is the last issue and one that has been spoken for years. It is just so unfair the different level between conferences and one that has going on for several seasons. It doesn’t really matter who is the NBA champion, the important thing is that all western conference teams improve their record when playing eastern opposition, while only 2 eastern teams accomplish the reverse. This is an issue that is spreading all around. Combine this with the draft picks pursuit and the tanking, and as I said before, fighting for the playoff is just not worth it…better fight for draft picks…

  • EBJM

    Have you heard of paragraphs?

  • ellensburgbballfan

    If the Suns win the lotto, and get either 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, I heard that would move the Timberwolves back ? And we would get their pick? Anyone confirm that?

  • Rengaw

    As an old NBA fan, going back to the Lakers in Minneapolis, this season was one of the most enjoyable I have known. From that surprising opening season victory against Portland, these Suns were fun to be a fan of.

    It was a disappointment we didn’t make the playoffs, but the western conference was brutal this year. That 48 and 34 Sun’s record would have tied for third place in the eastern conference. And we beat some of the best teams in the league all season long.

    Horny did a remarkable job with this rag tag team, and certainly is a strong coach-of-the-year candidate along with Popovich and Toronto’s Dwayne Casey.

    It would surprise me if the Suns didn’t make major moves in the off season. They have the draft picks, they have the money, and they have tradeable players.

    I would think many of our young players like Goodwin and Len will see more playing time next season along with young players they may draft or trade for. As such, I doubt if we will win as many games next season as this year but will be a much better team in the long run. Our number one priority should be to shore up the interior defense and improve the offensive rebounding.

  • Archie!!!

    Rookie of the year!!!

  • john

    Good season. This season has honestly been my favorite since around ’07. That ’09-’10 team was magical as well, but I expected much from that team. This team was about 20 wins better than I expected them to be, Goran deserved to be an All-Star (and will probably make 2nd Team All-NBA), Bledsoe showed that he has the skills necessary to be a star, Tucker improved his game greatly with the same old gritty hustle he’s always had, Goodwin showed flashes that he might end up being the best player from last year’s draft, Plumlee and Green proved they belong on the floor rather than on the bench…

    It was a good year. I had a lot of fun watching these guys come together, grow, beat some good teams, fall on their face against some bad teams, learn, struggle, etc. One thing I never doubted in this team was their desire to win and get better. That’s all I could ever ask for in a team. Winning a championship would be gravy, but it’s tough to win championships. Only one team gets the title each year. Every team has the opportunity to put their best foot forward every step of the way. The Suns worked as hard as any team in the league, including the likes of SA, and I applaud them for that.

    As for last night’s game, I know it was the Kings. I know it was the last game of the season. I know no one really cared about the game. But Archie Goodwin looks real. If he had been on a bad team in the East like Oladipo or MCW, I think we’d be talking about him in the ROY race (granted, this is a terrible year for rookies). He is relentless, explosive, and heady. I’ve said it all year, and last night just strengthens my position: It doesn’t matter what Alex Len does, last year’s draft was a success because of the selection of Archie Goodwin alone.

  • vtsunrise

    Thank you for an enjoyable ride, my beloved Phoenix Suns, so much better than anyone expected.

    The season began in a very special way for me, with the first home game that I attended, after which I got to meet Smovas and Hawki over beers at Majerle’s. The game itself showed the tremendous potential of this team, with Bledsoe and Plumlee standing out in particular. The US Airways Center was only half filled on that Sunday night in early November. A low point, with nowhere for the Suns to go but to rise.

    This team is young, brimming with potential, outstanding chemistry, and with, for once, a really solid coach and GM, who have inspired great confidence. I’ll leave the detailed analysis to others.

    I am looking forward to a handful of better and better seasons with oodles of draft picks and cap space for management to work wonders with, and results within two years that lead the Suns to top-four status in the Western Conference and home court advantage well into the playoffs. I will enjoy the ride wherever it leads and no matter how high and how far.

    A class act, an exciting product, and renewed hope.

    And next year, I just bet the Suns will be playing a heck of a lot more nationally televised games. RESPECT.

    Go Suns!

  • john

    @Ellensburg

    I believe that’s true. However, don’t get your hopes up even in the slightest. While there is statistically a chance that the Suns could win a top 3 pick, the first team out of the playoffs has won the 3rd pick in the lottery only once (never the 1st or 2nd picks). It’s not going to happen.

  • Foreveris2long

    Very well said John. While I have no idea what the Suns will do at power forward this summer, a couple of relatively inexpensive upgrades would include Jordan Hill or Ed Davis. I think Hill will be 27 this summer, while Davis will be 25. hill is an unrestricted free agent.

    I think Davis is a restricted free agent. As both are really good rebounders, acquiring either one of these guys IMO would make the Suns a playoff team next season. There are no doubt more expensive options at the 4 spot but if the Suns wanted to save cap $ for next summer’s free agency class, I would take a long look at both of these alternatives.

  • Lloyd I. Cadle

    Thanks Suns for a great season. Can’t wait for next year. I’m sure that the off season will be most interesting with McDonough calling the shots.

    Now we can see how interested the Suns are in landing Kevin Love. With the Suns holding all of those picks in a deep draft, the Wolves could get more for him before the draft than waiting for the trade deadline.

  • Avi

    The League loves good story lines, and the Suns coming out of this season and then getting a top 3 pick is a great storyline…

  • DZ

    Lol, I was thinking the same thing, F2L. I doubt the Suns will make a big splash in this year’s FA market but Hill or Davis would be a reasonable (and inexpensive) upgrade at the 4. But since neither of them are 3 point threats, if you bring in either of them then it might actually make more sense to go after Hawes too since he is a 3 point threat. Kind of having a stretch 5 instead of a stretch 4. I’m not saying that the Suns should do it just that having a more traditional PF could actually make picking up Hawes a more viable option.

  • Lloyd I. Cadle

    I know it probably would not happen, but how good would Joakim Noah fit into the Suns system?

    He is a great player in a system that doesn’t even suit his style of play. Imagine him with Bledsoe and Dragic.

    Although he may be a little older than McDonough would like.

  • DZ

    Noah could probably into any team’s system. He’s just that good. But I doubt Chicago would ever let him go or trade him for anyone not named “LeBron”.

  • EBJM

    Chicago is built around Joakim Noah until Derrick Rose proves otherwise.

    Bleach Report finally figured out who declared for the draft:
    14)SF Doug McDermott
    18) Jusuf Nurkic 6′-11″ & 280# center who averaged 28/14 in the Adriatic league.
    27) PG Elfrid Payton

  • Lloyd I. Cadle

    How about Plumlee, two number ones and Marcus Morris for Noah? That will still leave the Suns with four first round picks for the future.

    Alex Len will still be the Suns future center. The Suns have good cap space to pull something like that off.

  • DZ

    Other mock drafts have predicted McDermott going before 14. I suspect they are correct.

  • EBJM

    Sporting News Mock draft:
    14) Adreian Payne
    17) Jerami Grant
    28) Clint Capella

  • DZ

    If I was a Chicago fan, I would laugh at that offer for Noah. I’m not trying to be offensive but the Bulls are still hoping to bring in a big name FA to pair with Rose and Noah. Anything they get from the draft is just gravy and they aren’t looking to get more draft picks. They seem to have their sights on Melo at the moment and are much more likely to amnesty Boozer to make cap space for him than to trade away Noah.

  • Lloyd I. Cadle

    DZ –

    Chicago is known to be on the cheap side and they may not feel too confident about Rose coming back as strong as before.

    Also, I don’t see Melo buying into the Chicago “defense first” system.

    My proposed trade offer is just a discussion opener. The Suns have more assets than anyone else to increase the offer as needed, if they choose to.

  • Lloyd I. Cadle

    By the way, who would have ever thought that McDonough could have gotten Bledsoe for Dudley?

    There are some real dummy G.M.’s out there!

  • Foreveris2long

    EBJM, I admit to never seeing Capella play but I have seen his name mentioned on this board a few times. From what I read he did not perform well at the Nike Summit Hoops. This seems consistent with him going near the end of the 1st round instead of the middle thereof. Thanks for the draft summary.

    DZ what we were thinking makes a lot of sense. However with regards to Hawes, I have watched his game since he was in Sacramento and he has never impressed me defensively. I could be wrong but the Suns seem to need a banger at the 4 spot bad.

  • DZ

    Lloyd, Melo will never buy into any defense first system but Chicago is one of the few teams in the NBA that could afford to deal with Melo’s defensive shortcomings to acquire his offense. And Melo isn’t really a bad defender, he’s more of a mediocre defender… not really bad but not really good.

    Although I doubt Melo will jump to Chicago, that is what they seem to be aiming for. And if it doesn’t happen, then they will be looking at trying to entice LeBron to come to Chicago when he becomes a FA next season. If that doesn’t work out either, THEN they may be open to trading Noah. And if Rose doesn’t come back strong next season, then Chicago would probably be more willing to trade Rose than Noah.

    But if for some strange reason Chicago’s FO decided that trading Noah was in their best interest, I would love to see him in a Suns uni!

  • EBJM

    Yeah Lloyd but Gar Forman is not one of them. He has rebuilt the Bulls on the fly with Rose out. Staying under the tax threshold and avoiding the repeater tax for a non-championship but playoff team is not cheap.

    Bulls are looking to add a star player like Carmelo to take them to the next level.

    D.J. Augustin played his best 61 games of his career with Chicago.

    Taj Gibson has made Boozer expendable and they just picked up former Rocket Greg Smith to back Gibson and Noah next season.

    Tony Snell played well enough that they traded Deng.

    Jimmy Butler is their future starting SG.

    They will draft #16 & #19 this year.

    They have their own pick in 2015 which they can swap with Cleveland’s as long as it isn’t 1-14.

    They own the Kings protected 1st rd pick through 2017. Protected 1-14, then 1-10 and 1-10.

    They own the rights to former #1 pick Nikola Mirotic who is currently a star on 1st place Madrid in Europe. They are trying to bring him over this summer.

    If they are so concerned about Rose look for them to possibly burn their #19 pick on PG Elfrid Payton.

    Bulls finished with the same record as the Suns but have a superior center in Noah and a superior PF in Taj Gibson. They have a a true SG in Jimmy Butler who is 6′-7″ and a defensive dynamo.

    Free-agent Kyle Lowry is also an option for them at PG.

    I’m sorry but exactly why does Gar Forman give away the probable DPOY and potentially All-NBA team Joakim Noah?

  • EBJM

    I agree with Carmelo’s defensive short-comings but IMO he is more of a lazy defender as opposed to someone (Amare) who doesn’t know how to play defense.

    With Butler on the perimeter and Noah and Gibson inside, Carmelo can get away with being lazy on defense.

    IMO PG Elfrid Payton would be a fantastic choice for the Bulls at #19. 6′-4″ with a wingspan of 6′-7″. Very quick and athletic. Beside his scoring, many scouts believes he already possesses NBA level defense.

    Bulls already rank #1 in points allowed and they certainly could allow Carmelo to take a break on defense in exchange for his much needed scoring.

  • DZ

    Yes, F2L. The Suns need a banger at the 4 badly. To me, Hawes would only be an option if the Suns decide to trade Plumlee during the off-season to a team needing a solid backup at the 5. There are better players at the 5 than Hawes but if the Suns wind up trading Plumlee then Hawes could be a fairly good stop-gap 5 that could at least provide some offense while we are waiting on Len to develop. I don’t really want the Suns to go after Hawes. I’d rather the Suns stick with Plumlee and Len but if a good trade opportunity comes up that Plumlee (or Len) were needed to be a part of, then Hawes might be a good alternative to consider.

  • Foreveris2long

    I hear you DZ. Thanks for explaining. It should be a great summer with so many options. Honestly I cannot wait to see the summer league team.

  • Lloyd I. Cadle

    DZ and EBJM -

    Like I said in my previous post, it probably won’t happen (the Suns getting Noah), but there were a lot of rumors that the Bulls were shopping him in a money saving attempt at the last trading deadline.

    McDonough probably has a stud on his radar to acquire that we would least expect.

  • EBJM

    Lloyd you are absolute correct. The Bulls thought their championship window had closed when Rose went down. It was rumored that the Bulls would clean house and tank to try and land a top three pick.

    In fact there was a rumor of a Noah to Phoenix trade. Suns would have sent Emeka Okafor, a Morris and two 1st rd picks in exchange for Noah.

    But neither Noah or coach Tom Thibodeau were on board with the plans so Noah raised the level of his play and that of his teammates and kept winning after trading Deng.

    That in combination with the Knicks losing fueled the amnesty Boozer and acquire Carmelo plan. It got to the point that Noah reportedly recruited Carmelo during All-Star weekend.

    By getting under the tax threshold the Bulls retained maximum financial flexibility. In addition to avoiding the repeater tax they share in the tax collected from other teams and they retain the cheaper mid level exception cost for teams under the tax.

    It has also been rumored that Rose is on board with recruiting Carmelo to form their own “Big Three” in Chicago.

    I apologize, apparently your thoughts were valid in January but the Bulls have shifted gears again.

  • BUTLER

    A very enjoyable season and proof that last season was indeed the low point. From the beginning I was impressed with McDonough – he dumped all the problems including Beaseley, Shannon B, Gortat, Marshall, and replaced them with scrappy, intelligent and athletic playas.

    Even if this season only meant the exit of Lance Blanks, that would have been a successful year.

    Hornacek showed that he is here to stay. Never seen a coach become legit so quickly with a team. It is prophesied that Horny’s return to PHX is destined to bring the franchise its first championship, and when that happens, Horny will eclipse Barkley as the most popular and victorious SUN of all time.

  • BUTLER

    Hardly saw Sarver’s name mentioned this season. It’s surprising that the SUNS won so few games as a result.

  • JK

    I have strayed away from TV, social media, and the internet since the Suns got knocked form the playoffs. I was so pissed that we came so close to making the playoffs, only to be the odd ones out just like the Cardinals and the Coyotes.

    After going into asylum for a couple days, I have come to terms with the Suns’ situation, and am hoping for the best in the offseason.

    Hell of a season Phoenix. The future has been ignited, and hopefully we make all the right moves going forward to lead the Suns to the promised land.