There are three options that the Suns' front office can consider to get the "Lou upgrade" the Suns need to become a contender.
First, the Suns have a $1.0 Million TPE, the $5.7MIllion TPE left over from STAT, and Earl Clark to trade.
A "Lou Upgrade" needs to be at least 6'10", at least 240lb., a good defender of Big men Outside the Paint (OTP), a decent rebounder, and someone with more offense than Lou had.
Earl Clark is just not heavy enough for the position we need him to play. If Gentry won't play him now (with J-Chil hurt), we should try to trade him to get what the Suns' need now.
Hamed is a very good center (7'2", 265+ lbs.) that the Grizzlies lack the imagination to play. The Grizzlies are $8 Million over the cap, so they might want cap relief. Hamed would plug up the paint and provide low post offense, but might leave some OTP holes in the defense.
Jason Thompson would be good, if he can adjust to the team and be a good locker room guy. Spieghts would probably make a decent Lou Upgrade.
The thing is, The Kings and Grizzlies may not be in a hurry to solve the Suns' interior defense problems. The Spieghts deal might be possible (especially since the Sixers starting SF has some injury issues), but I wonder he fast we could do the deal.
Option 2-- The Suns' Front Office uses the 1.0 Million TPE, or part of the $5.7 Million TPE, to sign a "Lou Upgrade" free agent.
Eric Dampier is slow and might cause lockerroom problems, Reggie Evans is too short and expensive, Brandon Bass is also a little short. Mikki Moore is a little slim, but is tall (7 ft), and might work if he is a good OTP Big Man defender.
Zoubek is big, but underdeveloped. Earl Barron is big and a good mid-range shooter. Steven Hill is a good defender OTP against big men, a great shot blocker, and a player with some post offense. He also probably has a higher ceiling than Dwayne Jones.
Steven Hill would be my first choice for option 2, if he wants to elevate his game, and is good for the lockerroom.
Option 3--The Suns' Front Office use the 1.0 Million TPE to sign Dwayne Jones to a 2 year, at least partially guaranteed deal, and we play Dwayne Jones as our "LOu upgrade" PF.
Dwayne Jones knows our system, and is a great lockerroom guy. He is strong at OTP defense for big Men, a good rebounder, and has more offensive potential than Lou had. He is about the Height and Length of Kendrick Perkins, but 30 lbs. lighter.
What is good about Dwayne Jones is that he is strong where Turk, Frye, and Lopez are weak.
He won't be a good center in the NBA, but he would be the type of PF the Suns' need to get Turk, Fyre, and Lopez back to playing to their strengths.
Now, the options are not mutually exclusive (the Front Office could try Option 1 & 3, or Option 2&3). The cost would be effectively nothing (since we are using TPE's or Trading Clark), and the team would improve to being a real contender. We would go to 15 players on the roster for a time, but we should, if neccessary, because it will help the Suns' win. Just leave Clark as the unprotected inactive player if we have to.
The key is to contact the Suns' Front Office, (602-379-7900) explain this out-of-the-box solution to them, and get them to start trying to implement it.
We don't have the luxury of feeling good about being "in the know" about how bad things are. We need to get the Suns' Front Office to seriously work on solving the Lou Upgrade need, so that the Suns don't lose 5-6 games that they should win, and either have a poorer playoff seed, or miss the playoffs altogether.