Now that the Phoenix Suns season has unfortunately come to an end, I know there are many of you who cannot wait to talk/argue and speculate about who the Phoenix Suns will possibly target this off-season. Obviously, I am one of them. The goal of this post is to satisfy those needs, to give the citizens of Planet Orange an into depth look at which top two free agents at each position, one restricted and the other unrestricted, we can expect the Front Office to lay their eyes upon on this summer.
To achieve this goal I have contacted a man of much knowledge, wisdom and understanding. A man of great integrity. A man of great principles. A man of much experience who in his life has persevered through many trials, hardships and adversities. A humble and honest man. A man who knows no fear. A man who's not afraid to tell the world how he feels. A true #1. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a longtime and good friend, a newly acquainted Brightsider and the one and only, Smittywerbanmanjenson! (Crowd Roars)
Smitty: Thank you for the introduction Beav.
Beavis: No problem. It's what all the #1's deserve (see Steve Nash last game of season). Anyway, let's get this party started (put on some music or something).
The Point Guards
Beavis: What two Point Guards will Babs and Blanks target this off-season as their #1 restricted and unrestricted options?
Smitty: Well this is the easy one.
Unrestricted: Steve Nash. I think it's safe to assume the FO is determined to bring him back. They're not ready to move on without him. As good as Dragic is I don't believe there has been enough time for the possible wounds that may have come as a result of last year's trade to heal. Put yourself in his shoes. You'd have to admit that It'd be kind of awkward to come back just a year and a half later to a team who's management and coach gave up on you, especially when it wasn't too long before the trade that they considered you their pride and joy, their future. I know that's not what the folks want to hear, especially if Nash leaves, but it's more likely Dragic signs with a team that isn't the Suns. This is the reason why the Suns aren't ready to move on. There's just no player we could go after who has that potential to be a piece we could rebuild around. More young, star talent needs to be acquired before we could get a guy like Deron Williams to sign with us.
There have been some misconceptions out there that this team is too old and not good enough to win, so they need to rebuild. The reality is, this franchise at this time is actually more built to contend than they are to rebuild. It'd be easier to take those next 2 steps into contention than it would be to rebuild. That is why they need Steve Nash. Sarver needs Steve Nash. I need Steve Nash. The Fans need Steve Nash. YOU BEAVIS, need Steve Nash.
Beavis: I don't need Steve Nash. Nash needs me.
Smitty: No Beavis, you need him.
Beavis: So what are the chances Nash comes back?
Smitty: 70%. He'll consider all his options like a wise man would, but in the end he'll know this is where he's got to be and I believe the FO will make enough roster improvements to satisfy him.
Beavis: So what about the restricted PG?
Smitty: Not much to say here.
Restricted: Aaron Brooks. We own his rights, so no surprise there. He's the backup plan if they feel Nash is going to leave. If they're confident they can improve the team enough, expect them to not match an offer.
The Shooting Guards
Beavis: Which restricted and unrestricted SG's do you think our FO will target?
Smitty: I'll start with the unrestricted.
Unrestricted: Jamal Crawford. There were reports last year that Jamal foolishly had Phoenix as his #3 option behind New Orleans and Portland on his list of possible destinations. The FO was rumored to be interested in him as well. Of course he even told Gentry he wants to be here just a while ago.
Beavis: Are you concerned about that whole debacle? I mean he did it right in front of his teammates.
Smitty: No, people make mistakes. It was nothing compared to J-Rich's troubles when he first arrived and we all know how he worked out for us in his latter days here. Not saying Crawford will become our J-Rich, but he's versatile, can play a bit of backup PG and SG. He can perform well off the bench and on the starting lineup. He should thrive next to Nash. Keep in mind that my answers here are with the assumption that our FO will try to re-sign Steve Nash and surround him with the correct players to form an Elite team. That is based on the facts that they the Management have reportedly said they aspire to be an Elite team and that they love Steve Nash (Come on, we know they do. Who doesn't?)
Beavis: fair enough.
Restricted: Eric Gordon. There are reports/rumors that the Phoenix Suns will pursue him. Is it likely they achieve? No, but they'll try. I'm sure they already know how far they're willing to go in an offer for him.
Beavis: Do you think Eric Gordon is worth overpaying?
Smitty: To a point, but I'd prefer to overpay for Harden next summer. Also, I believe the FO is capable of building a contender without him. It is not necessary that we need to sign Gordon in order to re-sign Steve Nash.
The Small Forwards
Beavis: Alright, Small Forwards now?
Unrestricted: Grant Hill. He's not done and he's coming back as long as Nash does. He's our defensive stopper. The Organization would love to have him back, we'd love to have him back. There really isn't much more to add. Grant Hill needs no defending, so I will say no more.
Player Option: Gerald Wallace. I know this goes against the topic, but there is no restricted SF out there that I know of who is worth pursuing, so I'm going with a guy who's got a player option and it's likely Wallace will opt out. I like him and I believe the FO likes him. He can play a bit of PF and SG too, so that's always a plus. He's tough. He plays defense. He's got all-around talent really. He's older than I would like, but again, we're competing for a title here. Not a bad signing.
Beavis: I like him too.
NOTICE: This interview has been interrupted for an intermission brought to you by Beavis 25.
The Power Forwards
Beavis: Now that we're back, we'll resume our lovely conversation of free agent targets. Take it away Smitty!
Smitty: I'd love too
Unrestricted: Ersan Ilyasova...
Beavis: What did you call me?
Smitty: He's a player.
Beavis: Alright, just checked. Got to make sure your not making up any players here.
Smitty: I'm better than that.
Beavis Of course you are.
Smitty: Anyway, Ilyasova is just what this Front Office desires. He can shoot, he can rebound, he's long, he blocks shots... He's just who this team would love to have starting next to Marcin Gortat. He's only 24 too. If this management is serious about adding talent, they're getting this guy. Now, he's not as bulky as many would like, but he's worth it for what he can bring to this squad. This is a guy who Nash will look at and say, "huh, he's got skills, I think I want to come back now." He is definitely a possibility and my best guess as to who our 2nd target overall will be after Eric Gordon.
Beavis: He's also from Turkey.
Restricted: Jason Thompson. The FO has been rumored to be interested in him in the past, so I won't be surprised if they target him. He's also not a bad player. He can defend and he's good in the low post. He's sort of like Amar'e in that he can slide from PF to C and back. That's really the only comparison though. I wouldn't be ecstatic if we got him, but I wouldn't be disappointed either. He's talent and this team needs it.
Beavis: It's obvious Robin Lopez is our main target for this position as he is our restricted center, so I'll just ask you, should we bring him back?
Smitty: Ideally, yes. If they sign Ersan somebody will have to go and I'd rather it be Channing due to his contract which at the moment isn't bad, but may be in a couple years. It's possible we could deal him or Morris with the 1st round pick for a nice player at another position. Although, It's just as possible that they could slide Frye to center and trade Lopez. Either way, neither of those guys will be a big loss if this team is equipped with talent. The Suns could still lose Lopez and sign a 3rd center.
That leads me to my unrestricted option, Aaron Gray. He'll be cheap and he's not a bad choice to backup Gortat. I actually have to leave right now, so I won't be able to go into depth, but we could and have done a lot worse than a guy like him.
Beavis: Alright, thank you Smitty.
Smitty: No problem.
Beavis: That'll be all folks. I hope this has satisfied your needs for the time being? Discuss!