Im going to play GM for the day.
This post is going to explain what I would do if I had my say to help our beloved Suns get back to the playoffs. Granted it is a 3 year plan but it if everything goes accordingly, we will have a very young, talented roster to compete in the west. There are so many possible options and one move could determine what the next should be, so I am going to make a definitive path and follow it. Some will probably disagree but thats the beauty of it, we all have different ways.
Im going to start with this years draft and take it from there.
- Draft scoring wing at #13. Dion Waiters, Terrence Ross, Tony Wroten, Moe Harkless.
For the sake of this post, Im going to assume we draft Dion Waiters at #13.
- Sign and trade Steve and Childress to the Grizz for Rudy Gay.
(Im assuming the Grizz would trade Gay, there have been rumors)
Why the Grizz do this deal:
Nash would make Gasol a star. Gasol is very good in the PnR and can spread the floor. Grizz has all the right pieces to let Nash do what he does. they have 3 pt shooters, big men that can run and space the floor, very good perimeter defenders, and good coaching, plus they have a huge need at PG. It might be the best fit for Nash outside of PHX and maybe Dallas. And with Nash the Grizz are definately a title contender no doubt about it. Childress will give them a rebounding, defending, athletic, smart SF who fits their system pretty well and could be a starter there. And a very important point is that the Grizz are in win now mode, they have the players right now to compete for a championship, adding Nash would put them over the top. They made a big playoff push without Rudy Gay and actually played better team ball because they got the ball to their bigs more often, using them as their primary focus. So Gay looks like he could be expendable for the right price... I think the best offensive PG in the league and a guy who plays like Gay minus the shooting is pretty enticing. Hell, we will throw in our future 2nd round pick if we must.
Why we do the trade:
Nash is old, only a few years left, Chilly is on a bad contract. Time to start looking toward future.
Rudy Gay is an excellent young player. Has all star potential and can take over games. Is a legit #1 option for a team and still has room to develop. has averaged over 19 points and 6 rebounds for the past 3 seasons. He is a great building block for the future.
- Sign FA PG
With Nash gone, we will need a new PG to come in and take over. This will be accomplished through FA, and I am going to put them into 2 categories, Stop-gap and Futures. As the names suggest, the stop-gap player is going to come in to help us while we find our future answer for the position. The futures are the guys who we can sign and keep as a core player for years.
Raymond Felton: Productive passer, good vision, experience and success in the system, decent defense, overall pretty good player in the right situation.
Kirk Hinrich: Very good shooter, competitor, defender, good vision and a team first guy, has been very good and under the radar his whole career, but if you are a true basketball fan, you know this guy is underrated.
Either one could be signed on a 1 or 2 year deal for probably MLE.
Goran Dragic: We all know what he brings to the table. Decent vision, athleticism, defense, passing, learned under Nash, familiar with system, players, and coaches.. averaged 18 and 10 as a starter, looks like he can be a very good atrter when he was handed the oppertunity.
Jeremy Lin: Great vision, smart, thrived in the system, when starting he was above average, very good in the PnR.
Both would be great fits here in PHX, both are available, both cpould come at a (somewhat) decent price. I figure it would cost about 5 million a year to get Lin or Dragic. Both are worth that kind of money.
- Re-sign Grant Hill
Hill has made it perfectly clear he wants to return to PHX for at least 1 more year. He brings experience, leadership, and defense to the team. He can Mentor Gay and teach him the work ethic and mind set it takes to reach the level of success Hill reached. It is the perfect scenario and there probably wouldnt be a better guy to learn under for the budding young star.
Give Hill a 1 year Vets minimum with a team option for year 2.
- Re-sign Lopez
Lopez played well toward the end of the season when he was healthy. He showed the promise of a valuable back up for Gortat. Its important to get him back for at least one more year. I would offer him a 1 year prove it contract. It is ideal for both parties. If Lopez builds on what he did last season, he can earn himself a decent pay day the next season and many teams would love to have him as a backup, or even a defensive starter depending on how well he plays. If he stays about the same, well we can do what we want with him after his contract expires.
- Re-sign Bassy or Price
Bassy might have earned a shot to compete for a starting gig somewhere in the league, who knows. But if not, it would be important to get him back on a reasonable contract as a backup. He showed fire and competitiveness last season and was pretty successful in that role.
If we cant get him on the cheap, or he wants to take his talents to south beach (or wherever), then Price would be an ideal backup. Second year in system should help him out a little bit on the offensive side of the ball, plays good D, great team guy, wants to come back, loves the players and coaches here, cheap, and lets be honest... there are far worse options. Its not like he would be our future backup, just a guy to spell our starter until we get another young guy in here to develop.
- Re-sign Redd
A 2 year $3,500,000 contract would be about right.
He provides shooting and leadership, two things we will really need. If our rookie Dion Waiters struggles, we have a backup option behind Dudley. If Hill gets injured or misses any time, Dudley slides to SF and we still have depth at SG. This is an insurance option with upside basically.
So this is what our roster looks like entering the season
The PG position is dependant upon us landing one of Lin or Dragic in FA. If we dont, we will go with either Hinrich or Felton as stop gaps.
Option 1 (futures) @ PG:
Dragic or Lin / Bassy or Price
Option 2 (stop gap) @ PG
Hinrich or Felton / Bassy or Price
Rest of roster
SG: Dudley / Redd / Draftee (whoever we draft this year)
SF: Gay / Hill / Dudley
PF: Frye / Kieff
C: Gortat / Lopez
I think this roster with either option at PG is pretty competitive, most likely not a playoff team tho. It is probably good enough to land us a top 10 pick next year, while also giving important players like Gay, Gortat, Kieff, and Dion Waiters a years worth of experience in the system.
With expiring contracts such as Lopez and Hill and possibly the PGs depending on what option we go with we will have cap space heading into FA 2013. Even if we pickup Dragic or Lin on alongterm contract, we have our amnesty that remains unused, so we could cut cap space that way just as well.
2013 FA targets:
It would take a max contract to even attempt to pry him away from OKC. They may not have the money to pay him after re-signing Westbrook and Durant to fat contracts, and Perkins is still making 8 million a year as well. The only chance they have is to trade Westbrook, I dont think its possible without doing so. Harden is probably the most promising young player in the NBA right now and he is definately worth a max contract no IFs, ANDs, or BUTs about it. He is option number1.
If we can get him for around $8,000,000 a year Id amnesty Frye and sign Jefferson, its only adding $2,000,000 a year to our cap because Frye makes around $6,000,000 already. A Front Court of Jefferson/Gortat and Kieff as our Lamarr Odom would be almost unstoppable.
Other notable FAs:
Rashard Lewis (lol)
As you can see, 2013 FA is pretty deep with some serious talent, and even some serious back up talent. If we could add one of these talented players to the core of Gay, Gortat, Dudley, Kieff, plus Dion Waiters, and our lottery draft pick from 2013... we would be a young, good, athletic team with quality starters and a deep bench.
There are some pretty good roster combos we could put together for the 2013 season
Bassy / 2013 draft pick?
Harden / Dion Waiters
Gay / Dudley
Frye / Kieff
Gortat / Dalembert
Dragic / Bassy
Dudley / Waiters
Gay / 2013 draft pick?
Jefferson / Kieff
Gortat / Dalembert?
So on and so forth... there are endless possibilties. You can make some of your own and post them in the comments section!
Ultimately we need to get younger, faster, more talented, and more athletic. I think this plan does all that. Its hard to imagine the Suns without Nash, but its inevitable, might as well do it now and get something in return while also helping him end his career in a manner that he deserves.... contending for a championship.