Suns will have money to spend, but no star will take it

Nov 30, 2011, 9:18 PM | Updated: 10:35 pm

The Phoenix Suns had it all planned out.

The contracts of Steve Nash, Mickael Pietrus and Vince
Carter would all be off the books, with their respective
departures leaving the team with roughly $29 million in contracts on the books.

With players like Chris Paul, Deron Williams,
Boris Diaw and Dwight Howard set to hit
the free agent market, Summer 2012 would be known as the
Summer of the Suns, where the team would reverse its
fortunes and become a contender, much like it did back in

The Arizona Republic’s Dan Bickley says
this season will be the team’s chance to impress that
group, and Arizona Sports 620’s John
tweeted that the Suns could be the only team
with enough cap space to sign two marquee free agents next

Sounds great, but I’ve got three words for you: Not.
Gonna. Happen.

Dreaming is free and it sure is nice to imagine Howard
sporting a Suns jersey while throwing down lobs from one
of the game’s best young point guards, however Jared
Dudley is more likely to win the NBA’s slam dunk contest
than the Suns are to sign a young superstar.

It’s not that Phoenix would not be willing to pay, because
it’s unfathomable to think the team would have made a run
at the game’s elite with lowball offer. The Suns may be
cheap, but they’re not dumb. Or is it that the Suns may be
dumb, but they’re not cheap? Hard to remember, but I

While money does indeed talk, a player will look at other
factors when choosing between similar offers, and today’s
stars are more likely to choose the Knicks, Nets,
Clippers, Lakers, Bulls or Heat long before the Suns.

These are not your father’s Phoenix Suns, who once had an
owner who was so well regarded that players would take
less money to play for Jerry Colangelo’s team.

Danny Manning, Wayman Tisdale and A.C. Green all took less
than market value in order to wear purple and orange, and
they helped make the Suns a championship contender. More
recently players like Tim Thomas, Jalen Rose and Grant
Hill all chose Phoenix because of the chance to
rehabilitate their careers and, maybe more importantly,

The former isn’t really a concern for any player the team
would be targeting as a franchise-changing talent, and the
latter isn’t even really a possibility right now.

As ESPN’s John
Hollinger points out
, the new CBA did little to help
the Suns, who are in bad shape if the goal is to contend
in the immediate future.

No CBA can undo the damage Sarver has done to the team in
the past few years. In an attempt to save money, he gutted
one of the most exciting teams in the league and is left
with a roster of middling, overpaid players and Steve
Nash. Nash is leaving sooner or later and the Suns will
have to seriously consider moving him now if they want
anything back.

Hollinger goes on to say that it’s going to be a
frustrating few years for Suns fans, and he’s right. Quite
frankly, there isn’t much going for the team at the
moment, and there will be no quick fix via 2012 free

While it’s true that many big-time players will be
changing addresses in the near future, the majority will
be sent packing via trades, an option the Suns did not use
with Amare Stoudemire (and rightfully so, they did
go to the Western Conference Finals) and thus far refuse
to even consider with Steve Nash.

Throughout their history, the Phoenix Suns have done a
great job of staying competitive, often times by adding
solid free agents to an already impressive roster. The
closest they’ve come to adding a top talent was when they
signed Steve Nash in 2004, but even then it wasn’t a
maximum contract and most thought the team overpaid for
the player. The Suns were bidding against only the
Mavericks, and simply offered the future MVP more money.
Great move, but not at all comparable to what the team is
hoping to do in 2012.

Next summer the Suns would be competing against multiple
teams for the services of great young players, each of
whom would instantly turn a franchise’s fortunes around.
However, today’s stars are fond of joining forces and
forming “super teams,” a strategy that lends itself to an
unbalanced league that, unfortunately, will not lead elite
players to the desert.

Adam Green

Arizona Diamondbacks starter Zack Greinke adjusts his cap between pitches against the Colorado Rock...
Adam Green

Concerned about Zack Greinke? Yes, I am

It's early, yes, but Zack Greinke's struggles this season are unexpected and concerning.
7 years ago
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones, who was acquired in a trade with the New England Patri...
Adam Green

Chandler Jones is the most exciting addition in Arizona Cardinals history

The Cardinals added Chandler Jones not to make them good, but to get them to the Super Bowl.
7 years ago
Arizona Diamondbacks pitchers Zack Greinke and Patrick Corbin (46) prepare to hit during a spring t...
Adam Green

Money, expectations change the game for Diamondbacks

If the Diamondbacks are concerned about big heads due to being "offseason winners," they need look no further than to a division rival as a cautionary tale.
7 years ago
Phoenix Suns' P.J. Tucker (17) and Devin Booker (1) react to a foul call during the second half of ...
Adam Green

Who knew the Suns bottoming out could feel so terrible?

While the Phoenix Suns being bad may actually be a very good thing, the way they have hit the bottom is difficult to stomach.
7 years ago
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians watches during the second half of an NFL football game ag...
Adam Green

Trust leads to Arians’ aggressive approach with Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals had just coughed up a 14-point fourth quarter lead and had the ball at their own 16 with just 58 seconds left in a tied game.
7 years ago
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, left, greets Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palm...
Adam Green

Cardinals show road to NFC West title goes through Glendale

Prior to the game there was plenty of talk about how the Cardinals had yet to beat a winning team and were not nearly as good as their record may have indicated.
7 years ago
Suns will have money to spend, but no star will take it