Suns' fireworks on the Fourth: Gambo's take
Things moved fast once they agreed to move Steve Nash to the Lakers, ending an exciting and highly-successful era in Suns basketball.
Here is a breakdown of what transpired with my thoughts on each deal:
• Nash to the Lakers in exchange for two first and two second round picks
Look, it sucks that Nash now plays for a bitter rival and will wear purple and gold. But if we are being honest and taking emotion out of it, this was the best deal the Suns could have made.
New York was an option but Steve's preferences were Los Angeles first, Toronto second. If he would have signed with Toronto, the Suns would have got nothing. Yes, he would have been gone across the border likely to never be heard from again, but Phoenix would have lost a valuable player without any compensation.
In the NBA you build through the draft, so acquiring picks is vital to success. I fully understand the Laker picks should be low in the first round, but nonetheless having those assets gives you options. The Suns could package their first and the Lakers' first and move up in the draft. They could package picks and make a trade or they could keep the picks and hopefully end up with a good player.
Plus, there is no guarantee the Lakers will be any good in 2015 when the Suns get their second first round pick. The second round picks are almost worthless, but they can allow you to take a flyer on an overseas player or again use as part of a trade.
Plain and simple, these picks help the rebuilding process and the Suns needed to start rebuilding and need to get younger. Suns brass did what was best for the organization here.
• Signing Michael Beasley to a three-year, $18 million deal
Michael Beasley is a high-maintenance risk. I am not a fan of his at all, but the Suns believe he has matured and that he is ready to turn the corner in his career. I have my doubts.
To this point in his career Beasley has been a loser, yes a loser. He is a low-character guy and a player Minnesota has tried to trade for the last two years. So think about that -- Minnesota a young, rebuilding team has no interest in keeping a 23-year old player who was the second choice in the draft a few years ago.
There is some potential here in that Beasley is highly- skilled, something the Suns were sorely lacking. He didn't cost a lot of money or a lot of years with a three-year, $18 million contract, so his salary won't handcuff the organization. I just wouldn't let him hang out with Kendall Marshall and have any influence on the rookie first round pick.
If the Suns had Amare, Nash and Hill and they added Beasley, that's one thing. But they don't, so it's another thing altogether. I understand the Suns need to take a chance and maybe Beasley will prove me wrong, but I fear disaster here.
• Goran Dragic signs a four-year contract
Goran Dragic is back and that is exciting because he really blossomed last year in Houston. He was the best free agent point guard available after Nash and Deron Williams, so this is a win-win for Phoenix.
The alternative was the fat and always out-of-shape clubhouse lawyer Raymond Felton. Dragic is much better than the 5-11 Felton, and at 6-foot-4, he can play with Marshall, which is a big plus.
Dragic comes at a respectable price of $34 million over four years. I love his work ethic and that he continues to improve year after year. I believe in Marshall and may have turned the reins over to him this year but the Suns want to gradually bring him along and Dragic allows that. Plus, if Marshall proves himself early in his career Dragic is very tradeable, Felton is not.
This was a solid move by Phoenix.