Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE
The Phoenix Suns could make a lot of moves in the next week, but they also could stand pat. Such is the position of leverage of the Suns front office as the team eyes the NBA trade deadline.
There's no use standing pat, but there's no use giving guys away either. It takes two to tango, and the Suns must react to the market.
According to Chris Broussard, the players most interesting to other teams are Marcin Gortat, Jared Dudley and (surprise!) Markieff Morris. We have talked about Dudley's value a lot on this blog in recent days, so let's focus on Morris and Gortat today.
One such player whose name will come up many times over the next week is Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat. The Polish Hammer is one of only 5 NBA players this season who produce at least 11 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. He has to be considered one of the 10 best centers in the game, armed with a high rebound-rate and a reputation for solid defense both on the ball and helping out in rotation.
Yet he is riding a "sinking boat" with the worst team in the Western Conference and, at 28, cannot be considered a building block for contention in the coming years. His very reasonable contract ($7.25 million this season, $7.72 million next) runs only one more year before he will want his last big contract which would likely be in the eight figures.
While Gortat's name has been mentioned in the past with Boston (pupu platter) and recently with Atlanta (Josh Smith), nothing concrete has come up lately. As one Dallas owner Mark Cuban put it recently, "If you hear it in the media it's not true. We don't talk [about the real deals)."
But Marcin isn't ready to jump ship, and certainly isn't asking to be moved.
"I don't feel like running away from the sinking boat," Gortat said. "I just don't feel comfortable doing it. Obviously, I would like to finish here. I would like to first of all, play better and help this team as much as possible. But if management decides to trade me, that's fine. That's part of the deal, part of being an NBA player. I would understand."
A name no one had heard in trade rumors recently is Markieff Morris, but Broussard says he is wanted in trade talks.
Maybe it's to get the Suns to throw in a young guy in return for a bigger package (like a Smith). Teams won't want to give up a huge talent or future #1 unless they get something too.
While Suns fans deride the front office for drafting Morris, who has yet to become a full-time starter and plays a very streaky game, it does appear that people throughout the NBA have respect for Morris' potential. Morris was ranked in the top-15 two years ago at draft time and was named by NBA assistant coaches to as rookie to the Rising Stars competition on All-Star weekend (out of 9 rookies). He is still among the top-10 second-year big men in just about any statistical ranking.
No rumors yet on who wants Morris and for what, but keep your ears open. As much as the Suns like this guy, the return for Morris would have be good.
Telfair is not the only guy on Boston's radar, but he might be the best of the bunch. The question, I guess, is the second-round pick in return.
Telfair would rather not go anywhere though, according to Paul Coro of azcentral.com
"If they're a contender, and I'm going to get an opportunity to go compete in the playoffs and for the championship, then definitely, absolutely, right away," Telfair said. "But other than that, I'd rather stay with my guys that I'm with right now.... I ain't counting myself (out) as a Phoenix Sun yet."
But Bassy is #3 on a two-man depth chart, with #4 (Diante Garrett) just waiting in the wings for minutes on the worst in the West.
Expect Bassy to be gone, for everyone's sake.