Phoenix Suns Saturday: Steve Nash Is My Hero, Aaron Brooks NOT Coming To The Rescue

Expect to see this again next season. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

In a rare schedule quirk during a grueling season full of 6-in-8s, 4-in-5s and 3-in-3s, the Suns enjoy their third consecutive non-game-day of the season.

The team is practicing and cryo-therapying and Cellebrini-ing, getting ready to make a final playoff push without the services of Grant Hill. Yesterday, Gentry said that Shannon Brown (19 ppg in 4 starts) will start and Josh Childress will get some minutes. While I applaud the Childress minutes, I do think he'd be more effective with the starters as a "scraps" guy than with the bench. If Brown is starting in Hill's place, then we're looking at just another "who me?" guy on the second unit when the shot-clock is inevitably running out. At least Chill can post up, occasionally.

There has been a lot of angst among Suns fans over the last couple of days while national media have drooled like Big Baby Davis did a couple years ago after making a big shot in the playoffs.

Nash said, without prodding, that he wants the Suns to improve a good deal this summer before committing to return. And then he said, after a lot of prodding, that he wouldn't ignore LeBron's James' phone call.

Suns fans freaked out. "OMG Nash is gone!" "We're DooOOOOoooMMMED!"

Personally, I felt a sense of calm and contentment wash over me. My heartbeat slowed and I exhaled long and deep.

The Suns will be okay. In fact, the Suns will be better than okay. Nash will be back in orange-and-purple and the Suns will be a solid playoff team again next season.

First off, let's put Nash's comments into context.

Anyone who's been on BSotS all season knows that most Suns fans want the front office to bring in more talent. Even the most optimistic fans of the current roster would agree that the Suns would be better served with a big-time scorer in the lineup, even if it means having Duds or Frye coming off the bench.

So why the angst when Nash says the same thing?

"If you look at our team, we don't have a 20-point-a-game scorer or a go-to guy," Nash said to Paul Coro yesterday. "It'd be great if we can get that. If not, we're going to have to do it by committee and try to sign (the best) players as we can. I think that's why the club made this summer the summer that they created cap space and flexibility."

Are we, as fans, going to jump ship and root for another team just because we wish the talent on the team was better? No. So why assume Nash is jumping ship?

In fact, I think his quotes are saying the exact opposite. To me, he sounds invested in the franchise. He sounds like a guy who wants the Suns to win a lot of games again, rather than a guy who is looking to join another team. I love that!

But even if you don't agree with me, even if you read those quotes and listen to those interviews and decide that Nash is basically outta here, there is a bigger takeaway from his comments that you can stick in your back pocket and carry around with you.

Nash was unequivocal about the fact that the Suns are going to spend long-awaited cap money this summer to improve the talent on the team for the 2012-13 season.

"We're a team that is in transition, so I thought everybody knew we were waiting for the summer to improve the team."

Smile, Suns fans!

This is a guy who talks to the front office a LOT more than we do.

This is a guy who could have asked to be traded many times over the last few years, and especially over the last few months, but instead decided that he wanted to stay.

This is a guy that the Suns' front office has unrelentingly said they want to keep around.

So for Steve Nash to say "I thought everyone knew we were waiting for the summer to improve the team," even after a couple of days to re-think his initial words and soften his assumptions, then you can be sure that the Suns front office is a part of that "we" that Nash speaks of.

Those are the comments of a player who has reassurances from Babby, Blanks and Sarver that the Suns will be better next season and that this offseason will be a big one.

Exactly HOW and WHO, I have no idea.

What I do know are two things:

  • the Suns front office is ready to spend at least a good chunk of the $30 million in cap space this summer, if the opportunity presents itself.
  • the Suns are not likely to overpay. Since Babby and Blanks came aboard, the Suns have only offered smart contracts. Everyone signed or picked up since September 2010 has been a smart, safe contract.

I'll give you this quote again:

"If you look at our team, we don't have a 20-point-a-game scorer or a go-to guy," Nash said to Paul Coro yesterday. "It'd be great if we can get that. If not, we're going to have to do it by committee and try to sign (the best) players as we can. I think that's why the club made this summer the summer that they created cap space and flexibility."

Nash knows there's no all-star out there waiting to be signed. He knows it's a process. He is using "we" a lot.

And that makes me smile.

Don't expect Aaron Brooks back this season

Over on suns.com, Suns General Manager Lance Blanks wrote a blog about his visit to China to see Aaron Brooks, currently a restricted free agent for the Suns. In the blog, there is no mention of Brooks returning to the Suns in the next few days. In fact, Blanks specifically mentions the opposite.

"...[Brooks] is eager to get back home to the States, see his family and begin his off season training to prepare himself for a return to NBA."

Brooks cannot sign with any NBA team other than the Suns until this season is over. If the Suns do not sign him for the last three to four weeks of the season, then he remains a restricted free agent during the offseason. If he signs an offer from another team over the summer, the Suns have a right to match that offer to keep him.

It's just another BB in the barrel. If Nash leaves for another team, Brooks is a serviceable point guard until someone better is found. In his only full season as a starter (with Houston), he averaged more than 19 points and six assists per game and won the Most Improved Player award.

Then he asked for "starter money," got a long-term ankle injury, lost his starting job to Kyle Lowry, developed a bad attitude and got shipped to Phoenix where he barely played behind Nash.

He is little, skinny, doesn't play a lick of defense and doesn't "see the floor" particularly well.

But he was a legitimate NBA starter for 1.5 of his first two seasons in the NBA. His career record in a starting role is 68-49, and he led his team to the playoffs each year he finished as a starter. If Nash leaves this summer and the Suns strike out on Deron Williams, Brooks is a viable starting point guard.

Better to keep his rights over the summer.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Bright Side Of The Sun

You must be a member of Bright Side Of The Sun to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bright Side Of The Sun. You should read them.

Join Bright Side Of The Sun

You must be a member of Bright Side Of The Sun to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bright Side Of The Sun. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker