The bell for NBA free agency was rung Monday.
Dwight Howard, Monta Ellis, Andre Iguodala, Josh Smith, Tyreke Evans, and more, there are some good players on the free agent market, and my advice for the Phoenix Suns is to stay away from all of them.
I know brand new GM Ryan McDonough can’t wait to put his stamp on this roster. He’s a kid being let out onto the playground for the first time in his life, but he needs to stay off the swing, keep away from the sandbox, and avoid talking to other kids (especially J.R. Smith). As hard as it may be for him, McDonough needs to wait, be patient, perhaps going inside to distract himself with some Sudoku, or a Deadliest Catch marathon, or perhaps he could take up kayaking. The Suns have $8 million of cap space to play with, but their only concern this offseason should be ‘how do we avoid getting better.’
Welcome to the Summer of Nothing.
If a person’s dream is to retire at age 50 on the French Riviera, and they’re not ever going to be the richest kid on the block, they have to be smart and save. They can’t spend their hard-earned money on whim purchases like a dune buggy, or his and hers diamond ankle bracelets, or a multi-year contract for J.R. Smith. They must instead build up the nest egg, clear out unwanted expenses and maneuver their assets without adding to their debt.
Same thing with an NBA franchise. Every professional sports team should have one goal and one goal only — a championship. The Suns’ dream home on the French Riviera is hoisting that gold trophy and being fitted for rings. And the only way to get there is with superstar players on the roster. The Suns don’t even have an All-Star on the current roster. So, how does one go about acquiring such championship assets?
Two things: Lottery picks and cap space.
The Suns currently have five players signed through the 2014-15 season: Michael Beasley, Channing Frye, Goran Dragic, Jared Dudley, and Luis Scola. Between now and July 2014, the organization’s goal should be get rid of all of them, and then live with being stuck with one or two.
That’s right, time to bottom out. Get another lottery pick and try to acquire a second or third by dangling Marcin Gortat or Goran Dragic before the trading deadline.
Three lottery picks over two seasons and the rest cap space. Now, you’re talking the stuff NBA champions are made of. Just ask the Miami Heat.
In MLB, the goal is to make the playoffs because we’ve seen that anything can happen in October. The NFL, Wild Card teams have been making a habit of raising of the Lombardi Trophy. But in the NBA, lower seeds don’t win titles, which means making the playoffs can never be the goal. It must always be about championships.
So, get ready Suns fans. NBA free agency is underway! And if everything goes right, the team will do nothing.