ESPN Insider: Suns’ FA below average

Jul 13, 2012, 11:29 PM | Updated: Jul 14, 2012, 12:54 am

It seems the Phoenix Suns can’t catch a break.

With reports that forward Grant Hill will leave the team and all signs pointing to Eric Gordon remaining in New Orleans, the Suns haven’t had a very successful free agency campaign.

And then there’s Steve Nash, the point guard maestro,
who now sports purple and gold for the city of angels, a move that has (so far) headlined this year’s NBA offseason and heralds the beginning of a rebuilding process for the Suns.

The above shifts for Planet Orange are the main reason why ESPN.com Insider Chad Ford assigned the Suns a C- grade for free agency.

According to Ford, the lone positive is the reacquisition
of Goran Dragic who “isn’t Nash, but he’s a good, young point guard who fits the Suns’ system.” Dragic agreed to a reported 4-year, $34 million deal after averaging 11.7 points and 5.3 assists per game with Houston this past season.

The other pickup, Michael Beasley entered free agency from Minnesota, averaged 11.5 points in 47 games in the 2011-12 season, but “his difficulty playing with others will be an issue,” said Ford. The small forward signed a three-year deal worth $18 million, but Ford expects the Suns will “play him out of position at the 3, which isn’t great.”

And amidst all the talk about Kendall Marshall being the next great assists-leader, Ford isn’t convinced, citing the point guard’s “lack of athleticism and defensive ability” as reasons to be hesitant to call him the Suns’ savior.

Ford concludes his below average rating of Phoenix with a stinging prediction: that the Suns are destined to struggle for the coming years with below-average players and late-lottery picks.

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