The Way Forward

As I have mentioned before and we all have seen, the main problem for the Suns is Defense. Most of which is in the backcourt which comprises of a "D-lacking" Steve Nash and an inconsistent and slightly above average (on the defensive end) Jason Richardson. The frontcourt has its problems with an Amar'e Stoudemire who seems to either be incapable of playing defense or just isn't willing to, which leads to opponents getting a lot of "Second Chances" (through rebounds), and freedom going to the rim. Obviously, taking care of these problems thereby making us a team set for a playoffs spots, with a great chance of the Conference finals (may be the NBA finals itself).

To achieve this, we need most importantly, a very good defensive player in the backcourt which means a defensive minded SG as taking away Nash to bring in a defensive PG or anybody means killing the team. YES, i said it. Even Chris Paul in this team will not help. This SG also has to be above average on the offensive end. That said, there are only a few of those Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, Andre Iguodala (who else), and right now, Iggy is the most available to the Suns presently. He plays great D, and is also good in scoring (17 PPG).

How available is Iggy for the Suns? Just an "Amare's lenght" away. There are a couple of scenarios that could bring him home to Phoenix, and most of which involves Amar'e. I had to use "MOST", because there is a (miraculous) chance that we might get Iggy without losing Amar'e (just don’t hold your breath). A Suns team with Amar'e and Iggy would be great but most likely won't happen.

So, what are the Scenarios? I believe we all know them already

Trade Scenarios

1.       1) Two separate trades (both involving the Suns) which sends Amar'e and JRich to Miami for Beasley, Jermaine O'Neil (however his name is spelt), 2010 1st round pick (may be even include their 2012 pick as well). The Suns keep Beasley (I don’t know why reports say the suns don’t want him, I actually think they are all some misleading report) and the pick(s), and JO + Collin + Griffin traded to… wait for it… Philadelphia. O’Neil’s 21mil expiring contract is enough for the 76ers to give up anything (even their home court). With such a piece, the ball is the “US Airways Center” (Suns court), they can get as much as they want in return, as long as Kerr takes his brain to the negotiation (unlike he did with the Shaq to Cleveland deal where he got nothing much in return ). In case the Miami trade brought in some other players (besides Beasley and JO), the Suns give Philly the players along with JO  for Iggy, their 2010 1st round draft pick and Samuel Dalermbert (or the other 1st round draft pick and Speight for taking Dal’s contract).

2.      2) Amar’e and JRich to Philly for Iggy, Dal, Speight and their 2010 1st round Draft pick

3.       3) Amar’e and Leandro Barbosa for Iggy, Dal and Their 1st protected round pick (they are not the only one who can make demands as both teams have what the other needs).

Losing Amar’e?

Any of these trades will make the Suns better right away. Yes, The Suns lose Amar’e (21 PPG) and JRich (14 PPG) or LB, which means we give off some offense, but think about it; we give off at most 35 PPG, 13 RPG, and 3 APG, but get back at least 24 PPG, 17 RPGand 6 APG (39 PPG, 24 RPG and 7 APG in the case of deal 1). Besides, the team is filled with people who can score; Nash, Dragic, Frye, LB, even Lopez (21 points) and Lou (20-10 when Amar’e had foul troubles last season), they just need to know that is demanded of them.

Analysing the trade options

1.     1)  With this trade, we get everything in return, solid D, good offensive PF (in Beasley), Youth (Beasely and Speight), draft picks (Miami’s and Philly’s). We’ll have a line up looking like;


Nash/Dragic – Iggy/LB/Dudley – Hill/Dudley/Clark – Beasley/Frye/Lou – Dal/Lopez/Speight


A complete team with at least 9 players with age 27 or less, not to mention two 1st round picks this summer and little drop in salary. Come summer, we could trade Dal for cap space and then sign two draft (hopefully a guard in there) pick which brings us to 14 player (assuming Frye and Hill pick up the options, and Lou is resigned to give us D in the PF position). If Dal doesn’t get traded in the summer, we have 15 players (assuming Frye and Hill pick up the options, Lou is resigned and two draft picks also signed on) being paid about the same as we would have been paying 11 players if we kept the same team, since next season, Amar’e + JRich = 32mil, while Iggy + Dal + Beasley + Speight + 2 Draft picks 33mil (giving the team 66mil salary) but if Philly’s pick is in top 5 and Miami’s in the teens 36mil (for 69mil). And there are still the options of trading him in February 2011 or keep him till 2011 summer and save 12mil.

Any of the outcomes gotten from trade option 1 helps the Suns contend now and gives us the necessary tools to build on with Dragic and Lopez (and may be Clark to make it the future big 3) as the centre pieces and Iggy, Beasley, Speight, Dudley, LB, Frye and Lou around them. Of course, there numbers (Beasley, Iggy and Dal) would go up with Nash, and with Iggy already at 17-7 in Philly, he would get 21-8/9 in Phoenix and even Beasley would score 18 as well.

Yes, there will be problems initially, but it won’t be because there is no Amar’e, as the team played more than 20 games without him last season and just barely lost out of the playoffs, (and the entire fourth quarter of the Dallas game). But by the end of February, with LB back, we should be starting our first real win streak base on solid D and good offense (don’t forget the three 140 point games in 4 tries last season, where 2 if I am correct were without Amar’e).

The team makes top 4 or 5 for the season and at least gets to the conference finals this season. Next season will even be better.

2.       2) This trade option gives almost the same, except that we don’t get Beasley and get one less 1st round this summer. This goes if it is true the Suns don’t want Beasley or can’t seem to get trade option 1 done. We get some youth in Speight and a draft pick which we would use in building a future, and save a few bucks. For our line up;


Nash/Dragic – Iggy/LB/Dudley – Hill/Dudley/Clark – Beasley/Frye/Lou – Dal/Lopez/Speight


3.       3) Here, we get Iggy, Dal and 2010 1st round pick. We get a good draft pick for the future. Our line up;


Nash/Dragic –JRich/Dudley – Iggy/Hill/Clark – Frye/Lou – Dal/Lopez

As for the keep Amar’e talks, we don’t get beyond the first round if we have Amar’e but not Iggy or some equally good guy, which I don’t know how we can get other than getting Kerr to put a gun to the Philly GM’s head and make him accept the JRich for Iggy trade (may be even get him to sign off the 2010 pick as well). Looking at the Portland game where Amar’e scored 20 points and we still lost because we lack(ed) D.

So, what do you think? If you feel this is wrong, give your reasons and give a better solution, if not then, I am AWESOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOME!

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