Here is my idea to usher in the new generation of the Phoenix Suns as it is plainly obvious that the Nash era is over.
According to the ESPN trade machine the trade works salary wise as PHX would be sending out 17.2m in salary and getting back 17.5. Here is why the trade also works out basketball wise for both teams and will lead to fantastic things for the Suns in less than 2 years.
1. Orlando -- this trade is probably the most that the Magic can do to convince Dwight Howard to stay past this season. Nash is the only superstar that they can get with the limited assets on their team outside of Howard due to Nash's age. At the very least getting another star player in Nash will convince Howard to opt in to the last season of his contract and make $19.2m next season (ala Chris Paul with the Clippers) while he waits and sees if the Magic can get back to the finals. If they can't after 2 tries, he can leave as an UFA after the 12/13 season and Nash can retire.
Additionally, this trade would give the Magic a potent starting 5 of Nash, J Rich, Turk, Frye/ Big Baby and Howard. Moreover, most of these guys have played with each other before so chemistry should not be an issue. Further, Turk can take the pressure off Nash in the 4th quarter/ crunch time when Nash tends to commit a lot turnovers because he does not play with any other playmakers on the Suns. Finally, the trade would only cost the magic once major piece in Ryan Anderson as Redick and Nelson are both role players with hefty contracts that they would love move for salary relief in any trade.
2. Phoenix -- the gem in deal for the Suns would obviously be Anderson who is having a career year with 17 PPG, 7 RPG, 1 SPG, and over 3 three's per game on 42% shooting from distance. He is obviously not a superstar and will likely never be one but at the age of 23 he has great upside and will like have career numbers like those above if he was the number one or two option on a team. He would also be a great pairing with Gortat as he plays out of the paint and won't get into his way. I see the suns matching any offers he gets in the summer as a RFA and keeping him for roughly the contract that Gallo got from Denver (4 years 42m) which I think is fair.
Next is Redick, who is a solid role player but is likely overpaid for his production. He is signed through next season at 6m per year. In 27 MPG he is putting up decent numbers, 12 PPG, 2 RPG, 2 APG, on 38% shooting from distance but they are not number worth $6m per year. So if he starts for the Suns and plays 30 to 35 min his numbers should go up across the board. He would be a great plan B for the starting SG spot if the Suns strike out on getting Eric Gordon this summer. I like him starting at the SG over Dudley and Brown. If he pans out past next season, I see him getting extended (3 yrs $15m) which is also fair.
Finally Nelson, who is the most tricky to analyze. The Suns will have 2 options with Nelson should they choose to make this trade. Option 1 is to keep Nelson for this and next year (he makes $7.8m in the last year of his contract), sign a quality RFA in the summer and push for the playoffs next year as this year is out of the question if they trade Nash.
Option 2 is to move Nelson immediately after the trade to the Lakers for their trade exception (Lamar Odom deal) and Dallas's 2012 1st round pick. The Lakers will do that deal in a heartbeat due to their point guard needs. Option 2 will ensure that the Suns finish with a terrible record in 2012 and will likely have a top 3 to 7 pick in this years loaded draft. They will also have Dallas's pick unprotected pick and Dallas has a good chance to miss the playoffs as they would current get the 13th pick. The worst case scenario, according to nbadraft.net the current # 7 pick would be Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Dallas/LA's # 13 pick would be Washington's Terrance Ross. Both of those guys are great college players and either can turn into a superstar in the NBA.
If i have my pick I would go with option 2 and head into the 2012/2013 season with the following starting 5 which smells of very bright future.
1. PG Aaron Brooks (3 years $15m to resign) as he is better than any alternative I can think of in next summers free agent class.
2. SG Eric Gordon (Max contract) would be the only way to get him away from the Hornets. Plan B - Redick and Terrance Ross in shared duties.
3. SF Nicholas Batum (4 years 40m ala Galo) if Gordon is not available. Plan B -- Kidd-Gilchrist. Plan C - Dudley and Lamar Odom (2 years $10m).
4. PF Ryan Anderson (4 years 40m ala Galo). Plan B Markieff Morris to start with Warrick as back up.
5. C Gortat/ Lopez.
Would love to hear your thoughts on this one!