Hi there, BSotS!
I'm a long time lurker out of Australia, and I thought for the reading pleasure of all of the wonderful members here I'd share my take on things.
Firstly, to trade or not to trade? That is the question. The answer? It's simple in my eyes - NO MORE TRADES. Of course, I'm not saying we should pull a NJ and refuse to trade for a superstar just because. I don't want us to trade for the sake of making a trade. We don't owe Steve or Grant anything, except the money on their contracts. As much as I love them, (which I do) they chose to play here, and they still haven't asked out. I'm convinced these two have 2 or more productive seasons left in them, and their playing value is highest right here, in the desert. Steve can't be Steve in LA or Miami, and I don't want to see a Steve Nash that isn't Steve Nash.
Secondly, Vince Carter. Half man, half whatever you want to say. I don't care. I'm a fan of the man, and I still think he's just that - a man. I was sad to see JRich go, but I'm conVINCEd (see what I did there?) that Carter can be everything JRich was and more given the time. I imagine he'll be available at a pretty cheap price next season (nobody is mad enough to accept that team option, not even Sarver) and in my opinion has the potential to be worth every last cent.
This season is reminding me a lot of the season before last. Trying to work new players in, changes in team philosophy... I don't know if we'll hit the 48-34 mark we managed that time around, but I'm sure we're going to surge through the second half of the season and make a serious playoff push. Gortat is showing why everyone was so high on him, and Robin seems to have come to life to an acceptable degree.
Clearly, this team has been missing something. Most would say a power forward, others would say a go to scorer. Others still, myself included, would bring chemistry into the fold. Fortunately, I can see us finding a solution to all of the above and getting back to the WCF next season.
The coming off season doesn't exactly make your eyes pop with big name players, but there are certainly a number of suitable candidates to fill the void at PF. Among them are usual 20-10 threat Zach Randolph, rebounding machine and 3pt shooter Troy Murphy, hustle man Carl Landry, solid defender and former freak Kenyon Martin and Shrek himself, Glen Davis. Also potentially available are Nene and David West, both of whom have early termination options. I think any of these guys would be enough in a theoretical lineup of Nash, Carter, Hill, -insert one of above here- and Gortat.
Go to scorer? I've already touched on Vince improving over time, and I think this time next season, should he still be wearing a Suns jersey, will be a reliable first option - at least as reliable as we can get. There aren't many legit first options in this league, and I think Carter's about as good as it can get for us. This theory is entirely dependent on Gortat and Lopez's continued development in the post, and a decent option at PF. I'm not saying VC can carry a team... I'm not entierly insane.
Finally, the chemistry issue is where my no more trades rule comes in - keep these guys together, and they'll find their roles.
Of course, those rich bastards in charge of it all could screw my whole masterplan over by scrapping next season altogether.
Here's hoping for the best!