Summer Report Card: Phoenix Suns Owner Robert Sarver

As of today, the 2010 offseason is officially over. Hooray!

Wil and Seth will be interviewing players and coaches all afternoon. Real content from real players in real time!

At that point, BSotS will begin the transition from made-up crap to game previews, gamethreads and post-game reviews. Random talk about roster changes and player predictions will drop from 95% of BSotS content to about 5-10% at most. Soon enough, worries about rebounding, the PF spot, minutes, etc will actually be based on current information rather than wild speculation.

Will we look back on the summer of 2010 with nostalgia? Or heartburn?

Regardless: there's one guy who navigated the team through what could have been utter disaster.

Suns owner, interim President and GM, and all-around foam-finger-waving fan: Robert Sarver

How did he do?

(A look at the pluses and minuses after the jump)

Let's start with the minuses:

 

  • Ushered a successful front office out the door, fresh off an unexpected Western Conference Finals appearance
  • Allowed a top-10 NBA player to walk away, for nothing but a trade exception
  • Almost didn't even get the trade exception, due to lack of CBA knowledge
  • Decided to navigate the free agent waters, in the wake of Amare's tsunami, by himself - with no prior front office experience and very little CBA knowledge
  • Traded a real asset and fan favorite for a declining player the Raptors were desperate to unload
  • Used 25% of the Amare TPE on a guy with 25-50% of Amare's talent
  • Used another 30% of the TPE on yet another swingman, one who hadn't even played in the NBA since 2008
  • Finished the summer by signing nothing better than roster-fillers for 3rd-string C competition, leaving the Suns extremely light in the rebounding/power positions of PF and C

 

 

And now the pluses:

 

  • Replaced 2 front office members (Kerr and Griffin) with 3 warm bodies (well-respected agent Lon Babby, career FO person Lance Blanks and pro BBall journeyman John Treloar), effectively killing the argument that he is cheap. Maybe dumb, but not cheap.
  • Moved Todd Quinter into a new area of emphasis: scouting current NBA talent for acquisitions
  • Funded more coaching positions for player development: Nenad Trajkovic (full time) and Mercury coach Corey Gaines (training camp). 
  • Positioned the team (with Blanks and Treloar hirings) to take advantage of the new NBDL allocation rules, allowing an NBA team to "own" the rights to 3 season-long allocated players who attended training camp. This new rule seriously enhances the "minor league" potential of the NBDL, adding to the temporary up-and-down assignments of years past
  • Made a fair offer to Amare, guaranteeing only 3 of 5 "max" years with the remaining years being guaranteed if Amare played most of the first 3 (even Amare admitted it was smart and fair offer - he just wanted more guarantees)
  • Traded a player with fading rotation prospects (LB) for one with more talent who just 2 seasons ago started at F for an NBA Finals team
  • Used 2/3 of Amare's TPE to bring in viable, talented replacements
  • Kept 1/3 of Amare's TPE for future acquisitions, in case of injury or golden opportunity
  • Acquired assets, a key component in a potential many-for-one trade for "that" next superstar, when he becomes unexpectedly available (a "Gasol moment"). If Marc Gasol, Al Horford, Josh Smith or someone of that caliber become available, the Suns have the means to acquire them for the first time since 2004.
  • In addition to the assets, the Suns are well below the tax threshold - another key point of flexibility in a potential trade, allowing the Suns to make back 25% more money than they send out without paying 100% tax on it
  • Of the teams who lost star players this summer (Toronto/Bosh, Cleveland/LeBron, Utah/Boozer) or may lose one soon (Denver/Carmelo, New Orleans/Paul), the Suns did a better job at restocking than anyone besides Utah. (and Utah just might shoot themselves in the foot again if they exchange Kirilenko for Doris Meow in the Anthony trade). 
  • Faded back into the background as soon as the new front office was hired
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