When all the smoke and dust settled the Phoenix Suns opted to make the move to retain chemistry, flexibility, and the current roster that is responsible for the most surprising story in the NBA this season. In the end the Suns (32-21) did not have to make a move even though they had some cards in their hands.
The Emeka Okafor Card was a solid one to have, but in the end if there wasn't a great move to make did the team lose anything by not playing that card?
Obviously the answer is no all the while talking heads and radio hosts will have to fill time slots or airwaves with trade banter about the team that did not make a move with one if the better "assets" this season. They will question the team and float out their arm-chair GM theories that are golden and would have made the team an instant title contender, because of course they will. Why not? That is their job. Objectivity does not waste any precious moments in the world of sports.
Nearly every year the San Antonio Spurs and other wise contenders look around, ponder options, and maybe tweak things every so slightly. We saw that this year with the Nando De Colo trade that brought them back Austin Daye.
Those teams don't fret with the idea of the "big move" that steals the headlines. Rarely do those headlines pave the streets of a Championship Parade.
Over the off-season the Suns did their subtle tweaking by adding Miles Plumlee, Gerald Green, Ish Smith, and drafting Archie Goodwin. They made their splash landing Eric Bledsoe for a veteran role player and a pick. Like a thief in the night Ryan McDonough moved experience for youth and draft picks while forming one of the ten best teams in the NBA 53 games through this season. He was questioned then and proved to be ahead of us all. Again, he will be questioned, but this time for the lack of a move when he had more in his arsenal to work with this time.
This is not a video game.
NBA General Managers do not trade two 76 ratings for an 82, then trade the 82 with a pick for a 90, and then become a virtual contender off the couch.
What McDonough did was brave and in all likelihood the correct course. He sat down in the make believe fire the media created when he easily could have stood up. As a first year General Manager one of the hardest things to do is not make every move that presents itself as a potential season changing play. Look through history, even just recent history, first year or inexperienced General Managers like to swing big and often come up with nothing but air.
Sitting back with the sixth best team in the toughest conference in the NBA right now was the right decision. Especially with Eric Bledsoe potentially around the corner from a return to action.
The Thunder, Clippers, Trail Blazers, Suns, and Mavericks did nothing while the Spurs, Rockets, and Warriors made very subtle adjustments to their rotation. Who were the most active? The Bucks, 76ers, Kings, Bobcats, and Nets... There is a theme there.
Time will tell if the Suns made the right decision on sitting down and doing nothing, but I am trusting the guy that turned a 25 win roster into a playoff contender in less than a calendar year.