Phoenix Suns Draft 2012: It's A Buyers Market, And The Suns Should Take Advantage

It's going to take investment to get this team back to the top, Robert. Cut the check!

Lon Babby has recently said that the Suns must start to build through the draft. And with half the teams in the first round willing to trade their picks -- and some of those willing to sell them outright -- the Phoenix Suns HAVE to take the bull by the horns and buy a second draft pick.

The Suns need to get younger. The more youth they add, the better.

Trading up from 13 might not be in the cards. To move up takes more than money. The Suns don't have player assets that other teams really want right now, or that the Suns are willing to part with. And the Suns can't take on money until a week AFTER the draft.

But the Suns do have $3 million in cash burning a hole in their pocket. Each team can include up to $3 million in cash this summer in trades (total, not per transaction).

They need to use that $3 million to buy another draft pick. Why settle for Waiters (or Rivers) if you could have Waiters AND Perry Jones? Or Rivers AND John Henson? Or Jeremy Lamb AND Quincy Miller/Arnett Moultrie/Fab Melo,etc?

Let me explain how far $3 million in cash can take the Suns this June.

See this comment by cap guru Larry Coon yesterday in a chat:

"The only things that count against team salary are player salaries (and cap holds, which are there to reserve space for anticipated future player salaries). A trade of cash for a draft pick is a $0 for $0 transaction from a salary cap perspective.

I can easily see teams selling lower picks this year, but there are some competing issues. On one hand, with the looming increases in luxury tax penalties, teams might not want to commit guaranteed money to questionable players. This will encourage teams to sell picks, but maybe discourage teams from buying them. The other factor is that the cash-in-trade limit is now $3 million per year, rather than $3 million per trade. Combine all these factors, and I think we will continue to see draft picks being sold, but the prices will be lower."

Usually, teams use cash to make a trade work under the salary cap. Well, that's only necessary when both teams are over the cap. The Suns, as of July 1, are way under. So cash is immaterial. That makes the $3 million completely available for the purchase of draft picks.

Well, who's selling? Just about half the league at this point.

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Hoopsworld-rumors2_medium

Note Larry's comment again:

I can easily see teams selling lower picks this year, but there are some competing issues. On one hand, with the looming increases in luxury tax penalties, teams might not want to commit guaranteed money to questionable players. This will encourage teams to sell picks, but maybe discourage teams from buying them.

With a roster full of middle-talented, middle-aged players, the Suns WANT youth on long contracts. That makes them a buyer.

The other factor is that the cash-in-trade limit is now $3 million per year, rather than $3 million per trade. Combine all these factors, and I think we will continue to see draft picks being sold, but the prices will be lower.

Sounds to me like the Suns can easily outbid their competition, if it comes down to cash.

In the past, when teams could include $3 million per transaction, the Suns sold their mid-20s picks for $3 million each, back when Sarver wanted to spend that money on salary and lux tax.

This time, the tables can be turned.

And this draft is deep. There are few all-stars, but the depth of real NBA players is there. Talent in the early 20s is comparable to last year's teens and even this year's teens. Talent in the late teens is comparable to the 8th pick onward. There is talent to be had.

And the Suns NEED to take advantage. If the Suns don't come out of this draft with 2 new talents with upside for the price of a few greenbacks, then they will regret it.

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