Are the Phoenix Suns going to trade away another draft pick?
The Phoenix Suns have been known for their draft day blunders throughout the last few years. Some picks the team have given up are Rudy Fernandez of the Portland Trailblazers, Rajon Rondo of the Championship winning Boston Celtics, Luol Deng of the Bull or Andre Iguodala who was also available with Deng’s pick, and Marcin Gortat just to name a few. They are known for trading their draft picks for cash which has led the franchise to where it is today. The previous coach and General Manager Mike D’Antoni had no interest in playing rookies or draft picks and this has ultimately hurt the franchise in the long run without ever rewarding them with a championship. They are now stuck with one foot in and one foot out of the rebuilding door with virtually little young talent to build off and only large contract tradable assets.
With the Suns history over the past few years and all the disheartened fans would you ever think that they would trade this year’s 14th pick away? This is the newest rumor circulating around the Suns that most NBA insiders claim is not fading away.
The Suns are rumored to be in discussion with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Now before you get too excited and think the Suns are looking for one of their young studs or their top draft pick think again. This move actually would give the Thunder the Suns 14th pick in this years draft in exchange for their 25th overall pick and return the Suns their unprotected draft pick for next season. There are many people who did not even realize that the Suns gave up next years unprotected first round pick to the then Seattle Supersonics as virtually a throw in to shed themselves of Kurt Thomas’s contract. Another bad decision solely based on financial restrictions.
On the surface this deal could upset many fans in leading them to believe they are throwing away another draft pick. However, with a deeper look the signs that this deal would lead to could ultimately give Suns fans what they have been asking for all summer.
The Suns have stated they are not completely in love with any of the players that would more than likely be available to them with the 14th selection. Some of these rumored players that the Suns are interested in include Earl Clark, Austin Daye, James Johnson, and even Brandon Jennings. But the real studs they like probably would not be around at 14. They have expressed interest in some other players though that could be available later in the draft that could turn out to be as good or better then anyone selected at 14. This draft is so deep with players after the first few picks that it is very difficult to gage who could be a star and who could be a bust. If the Suns could get someone at 25 that they feel has as much potential to be a star as a player at 14 they might take that deal, provided that some great player does not miraculously slip down the draft to them.
The other great part of this deal is that by returning the unprotected draft pick for next year that they foolishly gave up could help prevent any worries of beginning to rebuild this team and not making the playoffs again next year. Could you imagine if the team started to rebuild this season or kept the same team and performed even worse next year? The only benefit to a lousy season in the potential lottery pick you can receive. If the Suns had a sub par season and didn’t get to benefit from the draft pick it could be devastating to the fans well as the franchise. The good part about making this deal is it allows the team to stop putting off the inevitable in fear of giving up a lottery pick for next season.
If the Suns do pull of this deal don’t expect it to happen until they confirm that one of the players they like doesn’t slip down to the 14th selection. If nobody is there don’t be surprised to see it happen. The other good sign to this trade to most Suns fans is the fact that the owner might finally be acknowledging the team needs to be rebuilt. If they retain their pick there would be nothing to hold them back. They could make all the moves they wanted to this season with out fear of giving up that first unprotected pick next year.
The only real way this move makes sense for the Suns is if they are now ready to make trades for some of their larger assets. Amare Stoudemire, Shaquille O’Neal, Jason Richardson, and Steve Nash have all been considered potential trade assets the Suns can use to rebuild with. Steve Kerr has expressed his interest in holding onto Steve Nash and even extending his contract. This would not make sense with the Suns in rebuild mode and Steve Nash does not want to play for a team in that position. This would be a great opportunity for the Suns to make moves now and put themselves in a position to compete with the better teams of the future.
With the Spurs acquiring Richard Jefferson yesterday and still keeping there big 3, as well as the Lakers, Nuggets, and Rockets being as good as they are the Suns are nowhere near ready to compete with these teams. There is no reason to put off the inevitable anymore when you can become proactive in rebuilding your team. Otherwise they will be stuck with the possibility of having another bad year and a team of veterans that are one more year older. The only benefit to letting any of those players fall off the books would be getting someone in free agency but you can’t be sure that you could actually lure a big name player to the valley. Why take that chance if you can use those pieces now to substantially improve your franchise for the future? Most fans have been begging for the Suns to make this decision and if they do decide to make a draft day trade with Thunder it could start this process without fear for the team.
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