In the SAC loss Casspi, Landry, Cousins and Thompson hauled in a combined 36 rebounds, one-third on the offensive glass. It’s safe to assume a healthy POR, HOU, SA and LAL will outrebound PHX this year. Now consider SAC w/Dalembert and the LAC w/Blake Griffin next to Kaman. I am not worried over the meaningless preseason blowouts. But when once-bottom-dweller division teams can exploit a real weakness?
Hedo will rarely scrap and sacrifice his body for rebounds, he has a set of different responsibilities. But an undersized Turkoglu at PF means Lopez will likely experience frustration on the defensive end. Lopez is expected to corral rebounds even though he’ll frequently have to provide weak side help (i.e. when Hedo gets beat off the dribble). The result: Robin may struggle w/foul trouble once more, he needs help. Maybe Dampier provides it, but there are other options.
We can swap Channing Frye for Marcin Gortat.
Gortat is excellent insurance in case Howard goes down to injury. But if ORL wants to gamble closer to the trade deadline (Channing cannot be moved until Dec.), the acquisition of Frye would provide the Magic w/another excellent shooter. At 6-11Frye is a bit longer than Anderson and Bass, he can match up against the PFs out East. If slotted to play alongside Howard, Frye would benefit from uncontested looks. Channing also draws defenders like Garnett, Bosh and Boozer out to the baseline, giving Howard more space in the post.
If ORL expressed reservations about having no real backup center and didn’t want to do this deal straight-up, PHX could involve a third team: Jared Dudley to SAC-Jason Thompson to ORL. I don’t like the thought of losing Frye AND Dudley but Gortat is only 26—he and Lopez would be around for a while.
Gortat provides solid interior defense. Any additional scoring is a bonus and he could post something like 13/10 as a starter. Lopez would relax in and around the paint knowing another big can alter/block shots. Gortat’s per 36 stand out (see the link below), he runs the pick-n-roll nicely and wouldn’t slow down the offense like Dampier. The loss of Frye hurts a bit in terms of spacing but the Suns have other 3-point shooters to spread the floor.
For the Suns to land an impact player like Josh Smith or Kevin Love this organization would have to get incredibly lucky. While PHX should hold out hope, a trade for Gortat seems more realistic and also allows the team to retain JRich.