The Bright Side of the Sun has been pretty dark lately as the team has not fared well. The poor play of the team has lead many of us here to become frustrated and critical (see Friday's game thread and review if you want to see what I'm talking about). The most common way for this frustration to express itself is in and endless amount of trade proposals and comments calling for something, anything to be done. It may be true that this team as currently constructed can not get the job done. The abundance of wings and the lack of quality bigs might be as big of a problem as people think. A roster shake-up could be the answer to all of our problems.
But at this point, how do we know what shake-up to make? We do not have a set rotation right now. Who plays the majority of minutes is changing on a game-to-game basis. Do we know who we need to keep and who we can afford to trade?
Will Josh Childress eventually become the player we are hoping for? Or is he going to continue to be the odd man out? Is the finger injury the reason for his struggles? Is he having trouble adjusting to the NBA game? Do other teams see him as a quality asset? If we do try to include him in a trade, will we get enough back to make trading away his potential worth it?
Is Jared Dudley still the same player? Is he an essential piece of that bench unit for us and a guy that the team wants to keep? Or is this new, slim Dudley just another player? Was last year a career year and the most we'll see from him? Again, how much of an asset do other teams perceive him to be?
How much can we rely upon Jason Richardson? Is he the all-star guard who has lead the Suns to many of their wins this year? Or is he the guy who has failed to do anything at all in the last three games and has been benched in favor of a PG? Or is he both? If he is both, can we count on him to be our leading scorer and hope someone else will step up when he has his frigid stretches? Can we use his massive expiring contract to acquire the players that we think we need? Will we be able to re-sign him at the end of the year, preferably for a smaller contract? Or should we move him just so we don't get LeBroned?
Is Goran Dragic the PG of the future that we saw last year? Or was that magical season just an anomaly? Should we trade him while he still has value? Can we even afford to trade him, if that is indeed what we wanted to?
What about the old men? Is it time to ship Steve Nash and Grant Hill off to contenders and allow them to play for a championship? Is it time to go into full-on rebuilding mode? Do they even want to leave Phoenix?
How do we feel about Robin Lopez? When he returns and works back to game shape, will he be the piece we've been clamoring for? Will plugging him in allow everyone else to just go back to playing their games? Or will nothing change? Will we get nothing more than what we got from the big man to start the season, that is virtually nothing at all? Is he the solid center that we expected him to be after last year, a guy that we can build around? Or is he a just a mediocre player? Will he be able to overcome the injuries that have plagued his young career? Should we trade him now so we don't have to deal with the injury problems?
This team is a mess right now. There are so many questions, and it is very difficult to answer any of them the way the team has been playing. Honestly though, we have yet to see the true 2010-2011 Phoenix Suns. Robin Lopez, thought to be one of the most important pieces to this year's success, went down very early. That not only made it difficult for the team to gel and learn each others' games, it also completely threw off the rotations. This has been a challenge for this team, and not one they have dealt with very well so far.
With the way the team is now, it is hard to tell just what we have on the roster. Do you really want to see a trade simply because things are not working right now? We have a lot of questions, and if we test the trade market right now it will be difficult to make a great trade that gives us plenty of value in return. Guys are not playing well, so their stock may not be as high as it could be. We also don't know who we need to keep right now. What happens if we trade the wrong guy?
I will be all for a trade if things fail to get any better. If Robin returns and nothing changes, a trade might be all we can do. But right now the lack of success is on the players that are on the roster. Guys need to respond to adversity better than they have. They need to put in more effort, be more dedicated to doing all they can to get the win. The only ones doing that now are Steve Nash, Grant Hill, and possibly Channing Frye. The rest of the team needs to step up and earn their spots in the rotation. It is up to the individual players themselves to answer many of the questions I have posed above. So please, give them the opportunity to do so. Let the team find their identity. Let everyone get healthy, and see what happens. If the team is still a mess closer to the trade deadline, a trade may be necessary.
But not yet.