Suns or Lakers: Nash is purple

Feb 10, 2012, 7:48 PM | Updated: 9:28 pm

Where is your frustration level with the Suns?

You listen to the games on Arizona Sports 620 when they’re
on the road and they win. You buy a ticket to a home game
to see your Suns and they lose.

As soon as you’re ready to give up on the Suns, they win.
As soon as you’re ready to believe in the Suns, they lose.

Whenever the Suns are losing, the topic of trading Steve
Nash comes up. Whenever the Suns are winning or you hear
Nash talk to the media, you realize how blessed we are to
have Nash as a Sun. We all re-declare our devotion to the
altar of the assist and go on our way.

I went to Thursday night’s game. I wish I hadn’t. The
decision by Alvin Gentry to play the starters almost the
entire 2nd half cost the Suns the game. If I was the
coach of the Suns, I would have done the exact same thing.

It’s easy to sit at a press table and say the bench should
get another chance in the second half. A coach is paid to
win and Gentry must have thought he’d lose if he played
the bench again.

Does it matter if a game is lost in the 3rd quarter or the
4th quarter? I’m sure Gentry assumed going to his bench
would guarantee a loss, so he was hoping to escape with
his starters playing heavy minutes knowing the risk would
be a late meltdown. The meltdown happened with 6
turnovers in the last 5 minutes against Houston.

So here we are again, to trade Nash or not to trade Nash?
Shakespeare couldn’t answer the question. It’s easy to
give an uneducated reason to trade Nash or to keep him,
yet studying makes the decision much tougher since any
Nash trade has to match salaries.

Categorize every NBA team into these columns:

1) TRUE CONTENDER: Right now you could win a
championship.

2) MAKE A RUN BUT FALL SHORT: You might get lucky and go
deep but there are true holes or you’re just not ready to
win it all.

3) ONE & DONE: You’ll get in the playoffs but won’t do
anything when you get there.

4) LOTTERY UP: Will be a lottery team but are headed in
the right direction (Minnesota).

5) LOTTERY DOWN: You’re in the lottery but you’ve won too
many games to really win the lottery and you have too many
veterans to be going up (Suns).

6) BOTTOM FEEDERS: You live for the lottery and watch
every Kentucky basketball game.

BOTTOM FEEDERS aren’t going to give up draft picks and the
team is bad so you have no players the Suns want. LOTTERY
DOWN teams would never want to improve as they approach
the lottery; would never want to trade draft picks; the
Suns don’t want their players anyway. LOTTERY UP teams
wouldn’t trade picks in case they get lucky in the lottery
and they won’t trade the young players they have complete
control over. Most of the ONE & DONE teams just got a
promotion from the LOTTERY UP category and they still
control their young players. Although they’ll be picking
in the middle of the first round of the draft, that pick
might be the one choice that bolsters their bench so
they’re ready for a run to a championship.

The only teams that would be interested in Nash are in the
first two categories. Of course, the teams that fall into
TRUE CONTENDER or MAKE A RUN BUT FALL SHORT already have a
point guard and don’t need Nash.

The only teams I could see that need Steve Nash are
Oklahoma City, the Lakers, Portland, New York, Memphis and
Miami.

1) OKLAHOMA CITY: Would have to give up Westbrook or
Harden to make
the salaries match; won’t happen.

2) LOS ANGELES LAKERS: Would give only cast-offs to make
the deal work
so you’d have to rake them over the coals with future
draft picks; Suns fans would never buy tickets again.

3) PORTLAND: This could actually work but you’d have to
get
Batum to agree to an extention and Portland would need to
give up a 1st and a 2nd round pick which they wouldn’t do;
needed to be done a month ago.

4) NEW YORK: Everything they have to trade is gone in the
Melo
deal; to make the salaries work the Knicks would have to
include Melo or Amare—won’t happen.

5) MEMPHIS: Very doable from a Suns standpoint but Nash
alone wouldn’t vault the Grizz to championship caliber, so
I think it’s too risky for them.

6) MIAMI: You’d get very little back unless MIA is
actually
willing to trade Bosh. Suns would only get high-priced
bench players in return. I would only do this as a Sun if
I get 3 1st round picks.

As you look at the 6 possibilities, it leaves you with
only one team left. Can you, as a Suns fan handle seeing
Steve Nash help the Lakers win a title? I can’t.

Next week: FIXING THE SUNS

Penguin Air

Doug Franz

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