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A nostalgic look at the summer of 2009 on the Bright Side...

Things are slow…it’s late September, and we are searching for basketball news.  This morning, I decided to delve into the archives to see where we were last summer – coming off of a disappointing season, the Shaq and Porter experiments at an end, Amar’e injured, Nash and Hill unsigned, Goran and Robin were busts, and Sarver was cheap.  Oh, boy, the Suns are doooooooomed…

 

      I’m going to start on June 25, 2009, right after the Shaq trade.  Optimism was, shall we say, not high.  I’ve decided not to include the authors of some of these comments – most of them aren’t regulars this year, and I’m not out to embarrass anyone, so most of them will be un-attributed.  Some of the more prescient ones, especially from our intrepid BSOTS staff, will be given full credit.  

 

Dammmmm….Who is going to play center…..Slopez is no starter.  He will be instant foul trouble.  I am interested in seeing shaq and lebron together…could be good”

 

 

"just to improve his chances of winning" ????

That’s why the Suns traded Shaq? Gee, that was nice of them to think of some other franchise and build up some good karma….

Obviously it was all about the almighty dollar! It’s got to suck to be a die-hard Suns fan right now and see what Sarver is doing with the franchise. He’s obviously in major cost-cutting mode, not even Kerr will deny it.”

 

"Maybe

we could give Atlanta Dragic for their 2010 first round pick…."

 

"don't care. Kerr just broke up the most efficient offense *ever*

what pisses me off most is Kerr saying that they weren’t going to make moves for financial reasons. Actually, I don’t blame Kerr, that much. Sarver is doing to him what he did to Mike D.

The front office should just trade Nash now and be done with it."

 

And this one…

 

"This isn't as bad as we think...

I’ll be the first to come out and say it, these guys may have actually done something right. On paper, it looks like we got the short end of the stick simply because we gave up an All-Star for what amounts to almost nothing. In all reality, if you look at the current roster (pre-draft) you see that by removing O’neal and simply replacing him in the starting line-up with Amare we are a MUCH, MUCH faster team with. Nash stands to have a career year with finishers like Richardson and Stoudamire on the break with no true bigs to slow them down. What we need from this draft (via draft, trade, whatever…) is a rebounder that can pull defenders away from the key on offense. Another Marion type. This could very well work out a lot better than some of us have thought…"

 

 

Also, on June 25, draft/trade day…trade rumors swirl – Amar’e to Memphis,  Amar’e to the Warriors, Amar’e to – pick a place.

Seth posted a Ben Wallace for Tyson Chandler trade post on June 25– it got 20 comments.  It’s hard to imagine that happening this year.

 

“Amare to Warriors is the best thing for us. And I would trade Nash to Boston. That’s a win/win for us, for Nash, and for Boston. Just sucks we have to trade our own goods for our own draft pick.”

AMARE TO GOLDEN STATE DONE

You heard it here first.

God Bless Everyone.

says the source

we’ll see guys but sounds like he’s gone”

 

Think of the small ball.

Nash
Curry
Barbosa
Hill
Biedrens”

 

seriously i can't believe we're probably going to trade earl clark(according to paul coro)

he’s a beast :(“

 

any ideas on the Steve Nash sweepstakes?

Who wants him in a sign-and-trade? He’s totally gone.”

 

“After being rumored all day, it seem virtually confirmed that Amare Stoudemire will go to the Warriors for Steph Curry, Andres Biedrins and some combo of Kelenna Azubuike, Brandon Wright and/or Marco Belinelli. This can't be announced until Wednesday July 1st b/c Beans is a base year contract guy which basically means this can't be announced until Wednesday”

 

These are all excerpts from June 25.

It’s good to know that some things never change, isn’t it?

 

July 6, 2009 “So, Shaq is gone, Steve Nash is having dinner with Steve Kerr but flirting with the mustachioed Italian at the next table, and Grant Hill is talking to other teams.”

At this point, the consensus seems to be that the rebuild is on – Nash and Hill, as well as Amar’e are gone.  We won’t be contenders for 3-5 years.  There is chatter that we will bring back Marion at the MLE, probably to replace Hill.  In the poll, 88% love it.

By July 10th, things are getting close to reality – Grant Hill re-signs, Nash is close to an extension, and the buzz is about Channing Frye.

Here’s a sample comment: 

Don't get me wrong, I love Nash, but his best days are behind him.

The sad thing is, nobody in the organization has the balls to tell him.”

 

 

But here’s Wil, to bring things back into perspective, in his customary, prescient way:

Here’s a stab at what I think they are doing:

1-Keeping a core of quality, experienced players for this season (Nash, Hill, Stoudamire, Barbosa, J-Rich). THis gives time for the youngsters with promise (Dragic, Tucker, Clark, Lopez) to get some more time to develop with limited backup limits. Guys like Dudley and Amundson are the hustle, dirt workers who don’t need to put up big numbers.

2-Not simply extending Stoudamire based on his “Top 10 NBA” status forces him to get on the court and play angry, thus the team benefits, his trade value increases, and in the case we want to extend him, he proves he’s healthy, motivated, and deserves the money.

3-Keeping a playoff contending team together makes us much more attractive to FA’s next year and beyond. If we are only a few pieces away from contending in the West, guys will be more interested (see Grant Hill 2 yrs ago).

4-A winning team increases attendance and obviously the team makes more money so they can sign better players and have a chance to compete.

5-Blowing this team up right now is suicide for Sarver and Kerr. Sarver is hemorraging from the economy, and Kerr’s career is on the line based on some of the rookie mistakes he’s made. They both need a playoff season this year.

by Wil Cantrell on Jul 10, 2009 11:25 AM MST

 

So, things are pretty well set, and the mood at BSOTS improves radically.  Pitchfork sales are down, Kerr seems safe for the time being, and people seem ready to at least see what happens.  Or are they?

“We are losing the possibility to make a great team.

The possible Nash´s new contract is mortgaging the future of the Suns

Which team is more competitive?
A)The current roster with Nash
B)another roster with Lee + Duhon instead of Nash

For me, clearly option B”

(from July 17)

 

I agree

I love Nash, but is keeping him worth 3 years and 39 milion? First he goes out and tries to become the GM, saying he won’t stay if they aren’t ‘going in the right direction’, then he hogs all of the cap space. Iam very disappointed in him.”

 

 

At the end of the summer league, we see the likes of this:

“Fropez is very frustrating. I think he has the worst basketball IQ of any player I can remember (maybe Georgi Gluchkov). I’m fairly certain that Robin thinks the idea of a basketball game is to foul as many people as possible as quickly as possible.

He has all the tools…I just don’t think he’ll ever find the key to the toolbox.”

 

 

Goran...

By now most everyone here knows of my distaste for Goran Dragic. While I do agree that he showed some improvement (not nearly enough for me to start singing his praises) when I went back and rewatched some of the games I noticed that when he tried to run the offense he would get in trouble as he would try to get to his spots. Many times he would try to get somewhere, fail and be forced to back it out and the offense would get stuck. He was best when the coaches made the adjustment and had him just push tempo agressively without worrying about running much of anything. From my viewpoint, this is due in large part to his lack of a PGs handle. I’ve said all along that he is fundamentally a poor ball handler and I didn’t see much improvement in that area or in his ability to quarterback a team. Even against summer league competition I still found myself cringing as I watched him play and I don’t see him as anything more than an 8 – 10 minute guy now or anytime in the future. As always, I hope I’m wrong but while I’ll admit he does play better as his confidence grows, he still has the same fundamental flaws in his game that caused me to start the Cut Goran Dragic blog in the first place. Sorry to be a downer at the Summer League Goran is our hero party but that’s what I saw.”

 

 

So the tendency for us to eat our own was firmly in place in the summer of 2009.  But once again, Wil brings us back – on August 13 he writes:

Here I go:

  • Suns finish second in the Pacific
  • Record: 50-32,
  • 6th Seed, Make the playoffs, out in first round
  • Break out players: J-Rich (20 ppg, 4 Ast, 5 RB, 45% 3's, Western Conference All Star, Dragic as backup PG, 10 ppg, 5 Ast, STAT comes back from injuries, plays 78 games, 23 PPG, 10 RPG, 1st team All NBA
  •  
  • Biggest Surprise: No significant injuries-Channing Frye is go to guy when STAT Sun Tzu gets into foul trouble, and feeling comfortable, has the best season of his career. Lou Amundson receives written apology from Nene, Kerr makes no (zero) bad trades, Sarver does not show up at a home game with the big foam number one finger.

    Except for the foam finger prediction, Wil was pretty much spot on.

    So here’s the wrap-up.  One thing it’s interesting to note is that there were a lot less posts last year than this year.  There were a LOT less comments last year, too – I don’t know if one followed the other, but we are much more active this summer.  Another interesting note – there were a lot of guys in the summer of 2009 who aren’t around this year.  Come back, guys.  We miss you.

        (I apologize for some of the formatting - cut and paste yields some unreliable results...)

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