The Phoenix Suns' tone hasn't changed.
Nor have their goals or plans for how to reach them.
As the NBA's trade deadline nears, the fact that the Suns are in a playoff race has done and will do nothing to prompt them to veer off course and swing the type of deal that could help now while hurting the future.
While they may be interest in making a trade, they won't just make any trade.
"The ideal circumstance is someone who checks both boxes, someone who's going to help us now and help us into the future and be a part of what we're doing going forward," Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby told the Dan Bickley Show with Vince Marotta Thursday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. "I think we're OK with the concept of helping ourselves now if we can do it without compromising the future, so that's the challenge."
The fact that the Suns have surprised the basketball world and raced out to a 29-20 record -- good enough for seventh in the Western Conference and ninth in the NBA -- led some to speculate that they might be inclined to add a big-time veteran and "go for it" now.
But that was not necessarily the plan going into the season, and it isn't the plan now.
"If you have an opportunity to get somebody who can help you the rest of this year, help us make the playoffs, help us in a playoff series -- and do that without compromising in any aspect the future and what we're trying to build that will be sustainable going forward -- that's OK too," Babby said. "Obviously, the ideal circumstance would be to get somebody that helps us now and helps us into the future.
"But we're very, very cognizant of that calculation and we're not going to be blinded by instant gratification. We can't be."
Is such a player available now? Will one come available in the next couple of weeks? That is the question, though at least the Suns appear to be in a good position either way.
Make a deal? Great. Stand pat? That works too.
Either way, the clock is ticking.