Words by Phlip
You know, that Steve Nash is a standup dude…
He owed the Phoenix Suns NOTHING in leaving them with a team that had just missed the playoffs with him and assuredly would be jostling for designation as the team with the most ping pong balls in the
rigged NBA Draft Lottery in June 2013. What he did, though, was to make his intentions fully known where he would like to go and his agent put the deal in the works that allowed the Suns to receive the Lakers’ hefty trade exception they got in the Lamar Odom trade last year and a couple of draft picks, which the Suns could verily use to make themselves better.
While Phoenix also saw another old man leaving town for (the other) LA in Grant Hill, they are still not quite utterly screwed, resultant of the moves they HAVE made since. In the wake of Nash, they brought back his former backup Goran Dragic who will surely start now, took on Michael Beasley, then sent away Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick to Minnesota for Wesley Johnson and more draft goodness. Not calling anything “good enough,” they took Luis Scola from the Rockets off of amnesty waiver and re-signed Shannon Brown, apparently because the Hornets had priced Eric Gordon out of their desired range.
So looking at things, here…
Goran Dragic, Shannon Brown, Michael Beasley, Luis Scola and Marcin Gortat (or Channing Frye) would be the Phoenix starting lineup. Assuming the health of everyone else in their division and the continued strength of the conference, they can place third in their division, but probably no better than 8th or 9th in the conference, a barely-in or near-miss for the playoffs. Alas, while the assemblage of players is “decent,” perhaps “okay” at best; it is worth noting that they’re mostly players who couldn’t or wouldn’t hack it in the primetime with other teams who were or are since competing for championships in their absence.
The group is not exactly “young” either, with only two players younger than 25. That may be beneficially, though, in that the oldest person on the team is (or was, as he is currently a free agent) Michael Redd, who will be 33 in less than a month. He could be retained for veteran leadership as a once all-star, but could at the same time be allowed to walk due to being redundant at shooting guard with the younger legs in the building.
Alas, things are not as bad-looking for the Suns as one might have assumed upon receipt of the news that Steve Nash was leaving but no one should assume that this rebuild is anything short of a lessening of the severity of a very necessary rebuild in the dearth of arguably the best player they have ever employed. It is a rebuild without fully becoming a horrible team, if you will. We should all see it for what it is, they are putting out a lineup that can still run the offense and put up enough points to keep the fans interested while they attempt to assemble a pseudo-competitive unit.
We can wish the Phoenix Suns the best of luck, or pray for the best if we’re fans of them. We should not, however, get ahead of ourselves and think as if they will not SORELY miss their floor general, especially considering they will be seeing him 4 times a season.
Words by Phlip