The Phoenix Suns are coming off the second-worst offensive performance (69 points in a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder) in franchise history, currently sit alone (17-35) at the bottom of the Western Conference standings and appear to be going nowhere fast.
Still, based on recent rumors surrounding the team’s interest in Iman Shumpert of the New York Knicks and Al Jefferson and Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz, it appears Lance Blanks and Co. may surprisingly be buyers rather than sellers before the NBA trade deadline on February 21.
Then again, rumors are just that, rumors.
When asked on Arizona Sports 620’s Doug & Wolf Monday if he anticipates everyone staying on the roster through the deadline, Blanks didn’t hesitate.
“Yeah I do,” Blanks said. “I anticipate that, but you’ve got to be careful with it. I don’t want to get on the radio and pound my chest and tell you things will stay status quo and then sure enough a deal gets done and someone gets moved.
“We understand that we’re not in a position to have this team static. Even the best teams in the league are not in that situation, but especially us, because we’re trying to raise the level of our talent everywhere.”
In addition to players like Jared Dudley and Marcin Gortat being thrown around as possible assets contending teams might by eying, the Suns fit the bill as an attractive trade partner because of their collection of picks heading in to June’s draft.
Currently, the Suns hold two lottery picks (their own and one acquired in the Steve Nash trade last summer with the Los Angeles Lakers). If the Lakers make the postseason, they would keep their pick, and the Suns would instead take the Miami Heat’s selection at the end of the first round.
Phoenix also has two second round picks in 2013.
With those future selections in their back pocket, Blanks said the best move the front office might make in the coming weeks is not pulling the trigger on a deal.
“Sometimes it’s the decision that you don’t make that’s the right decision,” said Blanks. “I think we’ve done a good job thus far of balancing risk, while not doing something silly that puts our organization in the ditch.”
Blanks’ only deadline move as general manager came back in 2011, when the Suns sent Goran Dragic and a protected first-round pick to the Houston Rockets for Aaron Brooks. Brooks averaged just 9.6 points per game in 25 appearances with Phoenix.