Collectively, they have not meshed.
Individually, they are attractive assets.
The Suns as we know them now may not look the same in one week’s time. The NBA trade deadline is next Thursday, February 21 at 1:00 Arizona time.
The general manager, however, is already on record saying he expects everyone to remain on the roster through the deadline.
Lance Blanks told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug & Wolf Monday, “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 status quo and then sure enough a deal gets done and someone gets moved.”
Blanks left himself an out with that last comment. And with the Suns (17-36) owning the worst record in the Western Conference, it’s hard not to see a move or moves being made in the next seven days.
With the one exception of Luis Scola, who as an amnesty waiver claim last offseason cannot be traded until the summer, every Suns player should be considered trade bait.
There are players with expiring contracts (Wesley Johnson, Jermaine O’Neal, Sebastian Telfair). There are players with good contracts (Shannon Brown, Markieff Morris). There are even players with good contracts (Jared Dudley, Marcin Gortat) who can produce, whether that’s enhancing a team’s playoff position or strengthening its championship aspirations.
Dudley, owed 4.25 million dollars in each of the next two seasons with a player option for the same amount in 2015-16, and Gortat, one year left on a contract that will pay him 7.7 million dollars in 2013-14, have already had their names prominently bandied about in trade rumors.
“It’s a compliment,” said Dudley. “It’s something that I’ve worked hard on, my game, to be able to have my name involved with those players and those teams.”
Added Gortat, “If someone will trade (for) me then I guess they’re trading (for) me because they want me. They believe in me. They see me as a I guy who can help the team. I will take that as an honor, as another extra boost to work hard every day.”
Dudley and Gortat both have been traded before and understand the business that is the NBA. But, if you believe they prefer to take their business elsewhere, think again.
“I love Phoenix,” Dudley said. “They gave me an opportunity for you guys to even know who I was. I love being here so when I’m out here I try to play 100 percent, play the right way.”
“I don’t feel like running away from the sinking boat,” Gortat said. “I just don’t feel comfortable doing it. Obviously, I would like to finish here. I would like to first of all, play better and help this team as much as possible. But if management decides to trade me, that’s fine. That’s part of the deal, part of being an NBA player. I would understand.”