The Suns made me look bad by failing to reach the playoffs. I’ve
had their backs all season, writing multiple times that not only will
they reach the postseason, but they’ll also be a dangerous
underdog once they get there. Good thing I’m not paid by my
accuracy rate. At least I hope not.
There are many reasons the Suns are taking an early vacation, too
many for me to get into. But I’m not a ‘focus on the problem’ kind
of guy. I like solutions.
It starts by thanking Steve Nash for all the memories over the last
eight years and moving on. This isn’t an easy decision, but it’s the
right one – for both sides.
Nash wants to make another deep playoff run or two before
retiring, and the Suns aren’t headed in that direction. Now that I
mention it, it’s hard to tell which direction the Suns are heading.
They have a ton of cap space this offseason, but so do several other
teams. Besides, who do the Suns have now that would attract a big
name free agent?
I think they’re better off taking their chances in the draft, and
signing their potential point guard of the future. Goran Dragic is an
unrestricted free agent who’ll be looking for a starting gig
somewhere. I’m also a big fan of Jazz shooting guard C.J. Miles,
whom I believe could thrive here. It would also be a good idea to
put in an offer on Blazers restricted free agent forward Nicolas
Batum. That should still leave enough space to target Utah center Al
Jefferson or power forward Paul Millsap; both will be free agents
Offering Michael Redd a three-year deal (with a team option) would
benefit both parties. The Suns could use his scoring off the bench
and positive influence on the younger players. Redd knows he’d be
in good hands with the training staff here.
Shannon Brown won’t have any trouble finding a place to land, nor
should Sebastian Telfair. Those two guys deserve a ton of credit for
the second halves they had, but are little more than stop-gaps for a
franchise in need of rebuilding. It’s time to look forward. Dragic
proved with the Rockets this season he’s ready to be a floor general
for the foreseeable future. Miles is only 25 and still has a ton of
potential. Those two alone would be a good start.
The Suns could also stand to upgrade their front court. Marcin
Gortat is under contract for two more seasons, and although he
faded down the stretch, he’s still serviceable. How about going
after Kris Humphries? Before you start booing me like you probably
did him this season, Humphries averages 11 rebounds (4th in the
league), to go along with 14 points per game. Don’t tell me the
Suns couldn’t use those boards. Plus, he’s only 27. What might
make it tough to sign Humphries is how much money he’ll probably
want. He’s making eight million dollars this season and may
command at least 10 million-a-year this summer. If that’s too
expensive, Jordan Hill (I’m trying to make some friends in Arizona)
would be a low-risk, high-reward option.
It may also be a good idea to gauge other team’s interest in
Channing Frye and Jared Dudley. A package deal could net the Suns
an extra draft pick or cap space. Either is fine.
On a personal note…Nash has made watching Suns basketball
entertaining for me since I arrived in the Valley (with no fanfare)
four years ago. The last two years, he even put them in a position
to go somewhere they had no business even sniffing (playoffs).
Steve, do yourself a favor and go somewhere where you can still be
playing in May and June. You deserve it.