Well, long time reader but first time poster. Hi from Australia!
During my exams (Yep, College student), I have become disillusioned with motivating myself to study, so here goes my sidetracking first ever fanpost, hopefully something that is realistic and makes other Phoenix fans ponder the possibilities that exist over the course of our off-season and pre-season. I see it as exciting times ahead, who doesn't love a team purge of all the rubbish and potential-less players that is currently the Phoenix Suns (Ok bit harsh, There are about 5 pieces that are actually handy) and rebuild, fresh faces and a chance to build a long time competitive side and regain a club identity. Luckily I think McD and Horny are guys better suited to develop a side rather then flog a dead horse so to speak like Hunter and the previous regime under Lance Blanks.
I won't go into ridiculous predictions, I'm sure everyone is frankly quite tired of them by know (thanks idiots who suggest that McLemore who will be a slightly disappointing will fall to us, or that signing CP3 and D12 are realistic). I honestly think that while there are currently no realistic superstars available through free agency or the draft there are a multitude of building blocks available right throughout the league without over paying or an overall high expenditure to acquire them.
An example of sides building through what little they have would be the Orlando Magic. I'm very jealous of that club at the moment. After losing another quality big man they again seemed destined for the scrap heap. Who would have thought that their odds and ends players they had and draft picks they acquired would result in the nice young pieces they currently own, whilst unluckily dropping out of first overall pick they still look to have a positive future. At the start of the season, they looked like a squad who would rely on big baby Davis to garner any kind of positive result. In other words they were up a proverbial creek without a paddle (this might be an Australian only saying, basically they were in deep). But by evaluating talents and prospects well they drafted Mo Harkless, a high energy, do every-thing (except shoot), athletic wing, with insane upside and length. Nikola Vucevic is now a double-double machine with great size, rebounding (22 rebounds!), and face-up touch that will just continue to grow. Tobias Harris was acquired after a spluttering start to his Bucks career, a player with ordinary athleticism, high IQ, but a player who finds a way to succeed, in finding efficient shots, rebound well and play at either forward position, and a player that will really continue to develop nicely with increased responsibility. These three players (plus others ie. Nicholson) show how talent can be found in different places and how they can flourish when given the right situation and chance.
Now to our own club, the Suns! And just a quick mention, I am a fan of quiet a few young players who are already in the league but are currently way undervalued by their current sides, players whom could really use a fresh scenario, and the right style of basketball to bring out their best.
1. Important to draft in the right players. McD has my full trust, but here is my take anyway. With our first pick in the draft, I eally hope that Oladipo does fall to us. He is a player with elite athleticism, character, drive and motor, defence and above average 3-point stroke and basket-balling IQ, great offensive efficiency (becoming one of the most important parts of a successful basketballer in the modern game) and rebounding (the most important of a good defensive side is to gather the rebound after forcing bad shot). He is the player that helps determine the future of this club and really could end up as a poor mans D-Wade (poor recent performances aside, and hopefully not to many short memories, this guy can play and we would be lucky to have Oladipo go anywhere near his level of play). With pick no. 30, Mike Muscala would be the best pick for us. In the NBA I feel he projects to be a 4 rather then 5 but able to play either still. He is a player that has dominated at his college level (as the saying goes, you can only beat those in front of you), he is an outstanding rebounder, a senior, but a year younger (only just 21 at the start of the season), he has above average attacking basketball IQ, taking efficient shots, can excel with his back to the basket and facing the basket especially with some more upper body strength added. He is not the best defender but is a player who would not be a weakness defensively in a side, his athleticism isn't the best, nor his length but overall he is a player who could potentially fill the starting forward postion scoring efficiently alongside another big man for the future. With the second round pick, especially so late in the draft, possibly the best upside is to go with a wing player with upside, possibly an athletic player with a broken shot or a foreign player that might still be on the board. Something that can be judged at the time.
2. Trade, Trade, Trade! The advantage of other poor teams is that they are mainly younger with a handful of players with 10yrs in the league and continued growth. We don't. I haven't given up on Kendall Marshall, I believe his upside is still promising and Horny might be the man to develop his jump shot but apart from him and Dragic (with Tucker and Johnson being potentially serviceable role players) there aren't many other players I would consider as players with a future with the club (get outta town twins). I would consider trading and packaging the other players in the hopes of acquiring future starters and Andrew Wiggins. For this reason i think that John Henson is a great target. A long Defensive minded presence with great inside in the interior. In limited opportunities he really did take his chances, rebounding, finishing, hustling, swatting and generally impressing as a potential defensive stalwart in the vein of the man that is currently holding him out of the line-up in Milwaukee, Larry Sanders. He is a player who could potentially be acquired without giving up too much but id be more then willing to package Gortat or Dudley to take on bad contracts, pics and whatever else was needed to acquire the big man. Other packages need to be made to ship disease like players such as Beas and Brown out of phoenix taking whatever is possible in return for them (Whoever it is will be an upgrade. These guys suck). Guys like Scola, Dudley, Gortat and the twins do have trade value and should also both be sent off in the search of picks. While this year doesn't provide phoenix with the potential superstar to lead the team (they come next year in the hopefully boom draft class), it does provide the club with building blocks that se the organisation in the right direction and allow for flexibility and growth. I'm sure by know you've heard enough but I do think the suns can re-build successfully within the next five years be competing again (to be realistic). I think its important to stress there are many options already in the league who can develop and help this side along for amny years. I hope this fan post isn't to vague or poor. But everyone has to start somewhere! Nice to be a part of the community. Any help for the future would be welcome! Go Phoenix!