When the Phoenix Suns are the topic of discussion, it’s not long until the conversation shifts to the unorthodox three-point guard lineup head coach Jeff Hornacek can employ.
At times, having Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas on the court together has worked.
“You can’t do it for 48 minutes, but you can do it for stretches of 14 to 16 minutes, where there’s going to be a mismatch somewhere and the other team just can’t keep up with these guys,” Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com told Bickley and Marotta Tuesday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “They’re all crafty and they can all shoot and penetrate and it’s a weapon the Suns have that nobody else has.
“That being said, is it sustainable long-term?”
That seems to be the question many around the league are asking about the Suns, who are clinging to the Western Conference’s final playoff spot as the All-Star break looms.
Bledsoe signed a five-year, $70 million deal last summer which figures to keep him in Phoenix’s plans for the foreseeable future. Thomas came over in a sign-and-trade deal with the Sacramento Kings, and promptly inked a four-year, $27 million contract with the Suns.
There has been plenty of speculation about Dragic’s future in Phoenix. The veteran will be a free agent at the end of the 2014-15 season should he choose to opt out of the final year of his deal, a move that is expected. Could the Suns possibly deal the popular guard before he reaches free agency?
“When you look at Goran Dragic going into free agency, is this a guy the Suns think they’re going to be able to keep or is this a guy that who somebody is going to throw a max offer at and are going to pay more than the Suns want to pay,” Sheridan said, pointing out that possibility could lead Phoenix to explore dealing Dragic.
“If the Suns come to that conclusion, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the Suns deal Dragic for a big man at the trade deadline,” he said.
Sheridan also pointed out that with center Alex Len on the sidelines with an ankle injury, the Suns could actually fortify their front line through free agency and pointed to a mostly anonymous option as a possibility.
“I’ve got a column about a guy I wrote about who’s playing in China and his name is Eli Holman,” he said. “This guy very well could be the next Hassan Whiteside, who is putting up crazy numbers for the Miami Heat — blocking shots, scoring and rebounding.
“There’s a dozen guys over there who can make an impact and the guy I have pegged is Eli Holman. If the Suns somehow in the next week sign a guy named Eli Holman, you can remember where you heard it first — that this guy might be the next Hassan Whiteside and he might be just what the Phoenix Suns need.”
Holman, a 6-foot-10, 260-pound center, started his career at Indiana and played sparingly as a freshman. He then transferred and played three years at Detroit, where he averaged 11.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and shot 61 percent from the floor in three seasons.