"I think about Free Agency Everyday. Should I Stay in Phoenix or should I leave? This the question of the Summer. What do you guys think?"
- Amare Stoudemire via Twitter
It seems that the future of the Suns is very bright. The Suns have promising prospects such as Goran Dragic, Robin Lopez and Earl Clark. However, it's not the future yet. It is the summer of LeBron, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and Amare Stoudemire. The Suns can go out there fierce, trying to make the team better right now, or they can get more young prospects so we have an ever brighter future. This, gives the Suns an option, contend, or rebuild.
The Barbosa Situation
Leandro Barbosa is getting paid $7 million a year, to be a 9th man on the Suns. When Barbosa signed his 5 year, $34 million contract he was only in his third season and was coming off a 13.1 ppg season, so his contract seemed reasonable. The next year he won 6th Man of the Year award and averaged 18.1 ppg, the contract now looked even better. In the 2009-10 season, Barbosa suffered a wrist injury and a sprained left ankle and missed 38 games. With such a deep roster, and younger players such as Dudley and Dragic, there are not many minutes for him in the rotation, and shouldn't be paid $7 million a year to be a 9th man. Barbosa might will be traded. Where to? Here are some suggestions
Barbosa to Minnesota for the #16 Pick, and Kevin Love
Why Phoenix does this? If Amare leaves we would need a PF, Love has a lot of skills, he can dribble well, shoot, defend, and rebound. We also have to first round draft picks, so the #16th pick would be nice.
Why Minnesota does this? Minnesota found out that Jefferson/Love doesn't work, and are shopping both Love and Jefferson. Plus, Minnesota is a low scoring team, and Barbosa will help stop that scoring drought.
Barbosa to OKC for #21 Pick and Cash Considerations
Why Phoenix does this? Gives the Suns cap space, cash and a first round draft which we do not have.
Why OKC does this? OKC could also use another scorer, I see OKC's current starting SG Thabo Sefolosha taking on a role like Jared Dudley, making Barbosa the starting SG in OKC.
Barbosa to New York in a sign and trade for David Lee
Why Phoenix does this? Just in case Amare leaves, then we would need a PF. David Lee is a free agent this year and said he won't wait for NYK to make their offer. David Lee is only in his 4th year and is already an allstar.
Why New York does this? Mike D'Antoni loves Barbosa, plus New York runs a system similar to the Suns, he would fit in great with NY.
Barbosa + Filler to Houston for the #11 Pick and Shane Battier
Why Phoenix does this? As stated above, we would like to have a first round draft pick, and it would be even better if we get a lottery pick. Getting Shane Battier also improves our defense, which is welcome.
Why Houston does this? The Suns almost pulled the trigger on a Tracy McGrady and Carl Landry to Phoenix for Amare and Barbosa trade last offseason. This trade was offered by Houston, so they must have some interest in Barbosa. Barbosa would be a great 6th man for Houston, plus if we add a 2nd rounder or a filler, it makes the deal even sweeter.
The Lou/Frye/Clark situation
Most likely Lou will be gone next season so Earl Clark can be fit into the rotation, and, even more likely, Channing Frye will not pick up his player option, thinking he is worth more. This poses the question, Lou or Channing? Who is more valuable to the team? We are looking at a rotation of this right now (if Barbosa leaves)
PF - Amare Stoudemire, Lou Amundson
SF - Grant Hill, Jared Dudley, Earl Clark
SG - Jason Richardson,
PG - Steve Nash, Goran Dragic
Let's see how it looks with a few adjustments
C - Robin Lopez(29min), Channing Frye(25min), Jarron Collins, Dwayne Jones
PF - Amare Stoudemire(33min), Lou Amundson(14min)
SF - Grant Hill(26min), Jared Dudley, Earl Clark(18min)
SG - Jason Richardson(31min), Jared Dudley(16min)
PG - Steve Nash(30min), Goran Dragic(18min)
Does this mean that if Dudley switches to the SG position, then Clark can be in the Rotation? Yes. With these projected minutes it allocates up to 240 minutes, which is all you can allocate. That seems like a pretty reasonable rotation to me.
The Hill situation
Whether or not we'd like to admit it Grant Hill (38) is ancient in basketball years. Hill will retire soon and I don't think Clark is ready to be a starter in 2011-2012. Should we sign a slasher SF or trade for one? I think so. If Frye leaves we should start taking a look at
Tracy McGrady (Aaron Nelson is a god)
Rudy Gay (If Amare doesn't come back)
The Amare situation
Here we go. Amare doesn't know what to do with his future, so he turns to twitter for help. Sign and trade with Amare? Sure Amare would go for that, since he would be getting more money and years on his contract since we are his current contract holder. Now let's take a look at who will want Amare.
We heard this one before, QRich and Beasley for Amare, or Jermaine O'Neal, and Udonis Haslem for Amare. No, I hate all of these, and with Pat Riley saying he prefers Bosh over Amare and is still deciding between Boozer or Amare, it seems less likely for him to go to Miami. Yes, he was born in Florida. Yes, he lives in Miami, but it's Pat Riley's decision, not only his.
Probably the most likely destination at this point. New Jersey has a lot of young pieces that we could use.
Courtney Lee, Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons for Amare? This sounds better than Miami's offers. Devin Harris and Courtney Lee for Amare? I would do this, and then trade Devin Harris for a PF or SF. I think if we are looking for a Sign and Trade, New Jersey, err, I mean Brooklyn is our best bet.
We can make improvements but the best improvement would be for our young guys to develop and maintain the good chemistry. Amare, if your saying is really "I wanna win a championship" then you will realize Phoenix is one of your best bet.