Home > Uncategorized > NBA Preview Part 2 – The Setting Sun…

NBA Preview Part 2 – The Setting Sun…

If the offseason was decidedly good for the Heat, it was decidedly bad for some other NBA franchises. Portland Trailblazers went insane and fired GM Kevin Pritchard, they then spent 32.5 million on Wesley Matthews; New Jersey cleared 79 billion in cap space to sign Travis Outlaw and Johan Petro; and the Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers lost a couple guys who may or may not have had something to do with their recent success (and in the case of Toronto I use the term success very loosely), but from this completely biased outpost, the absolute worst offseason occurred in Arizona where Robert Sarver again showed himself to be one of the five worst owners in the NBA.

It cannot be overstated how bad of an offseason the Suns had. Since making all the right decisions in the summer of 2004, it boggles my mind how many moves the Suns have fumbled or outright botched. Every time they seem to take a step forward, they follow that up with three jumps back. Last year Steve Kerr finally settled into his role as GM, making some astute moves, and putting a team together that made a surprising run to the Western Conference playoffs. How did Robert Sarver reward him? Well, who knows. Kerr resigned and while he wont publicly say a bad word about Sarver, I think we can be fairly sure that something drove him out the door.

Without Kerr, the Suns allowed Amare Stoudemire to leave for the Knicks. That’s a hard decision. Given Amare’s problems staying healthy and his indifference to all things defensive, I can see the fear over giving him a 100 million deal. On the other hand, when you let Amare walk and replace him with 34 million on Josh Childress, 30 million of Channing Frye, 17 million of Hakim Warrick, and 44 million of Hedo Turkoglu, well that’s just obnoxious. It sort of reminds me of the team selling the draft rights to Rajon Rondo so that they could free up 20 million for Marcus Banks.

I don’t know, I just wish the Suns would trade Nash to San Antonio so that I could start cheering for a team that wasn’t so penny wise-pound foolish. As it stands, what’s the best possible outlook for this squad? Can they duplicate last year’s 54 win team when the their only big men are Frye, Warrick, and Robin Lopez? I’m a fan of Lopez and obviously Frye has his uses, but that’s hardly the front line of a championship WNBA team, let alone a championship NBA team.

On top of that, the Suns have four guys filling the small forward spot:

Grant Hill
Jared Dudley
Josh Childress

I know that they will probably play small a bunch, with Hill or Turk at the four, but really? Really? Couldn’t you have spent part of the 108 million you spent on Turk, Childress and Frye on a big man? I don’t know, maybe a guy who could average 23 points a game, play the pick and roll perfectly with Nash, and wear a funny face mask? You know, someone like your power forward from last year?

The Suns’ guard rotation remains solid, with Nash and Richardson backed up by Goran Dragic and presumably Hill and Childress will get some burn in the backcourt, but the Suns lack that one player who can get them a basket or a foul in any situation. Further, for all the shooters that they have, who is opening up the floor for them? Who’s attracting double teams? The Suns have valuable pieces, but they are poorly put together and for all the good rotation players, they are lacking that number one scoring option. Last season’s excitement seems a distant memory, lost in haze of bad contracts, and this seems like a squad that will struggle to reach the playoffs. Sigh…

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