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In the past few days, the Suns have traded away their best (only) Tim Duncan defender, and their fans have learned that maybe all those crazy conspiracy theories surrounding the Suns-Spurs series weren't so crazy after all. Between this double-whammy and the one in May where the Suns lost out on a lottery pick just days after losing out on the playoffs, this is turning out to be one nightmare of a summer for Suns fans. For what it's worth, Bob Young of the Arizona Republic feels that the work of Eddie Rush was far more damaging in Game 3 than anything Tim Donaghy did. As for me, I'm afraid that after two months, my memory of that game isn't reliable enough to make a judgment one way or the other. However, I will say this: Even if I knew for sure that Donaghy changed the outcome of Game 3, my biggest beef with that series would still be that the rules of basketball weren't applied as stringently as the "off the bench" rule was applied to Amare and Boris Diaw. In my opinion, while that game might indeed be, as Bill Simmons described it, "the most atrociously officiated game of the playoffs", the entire series was called in a way that encouraged "dirty" play, while the league stood by and did nothing until the inevitable happened. Perhaps that's merely the biased opinion of a fan whose team came out on the losing side, but that's how I saw it at the time and still do. In other words, if I'm going to blame the Suns' playoff loss on anything other than the Suns themselves, then it would be David Stern and Stu Jackson incurring the brunt of my wrath for not cleaning up that mess before it got out of hand. But that doesn't mean I'm not horrified to learn that a referee may have violated the trust of the league and the fans in such an egregious fashion. And you can be sure the next time someone in my family complains about how their team (the Mavericks) was robbed of a championship in 2006, I won't be so quick to break out the eye roll.

But there's no way to change what happened in the playoffs, and there's no way to take back the Kurt Thomas trade either. Those things happened, it's done, and we move on. With the Suns now down to just Amare and Shawn Marks at the center position, they clearly need to fill that last roster spot with someone who can man the middle. Some names tossed around by the local media include P.J. Brown, Brian Skinner, Michael Ruffin, and Melvin Ely. A couple of our members here have offered up suggestions as well, with srp hoping for a Pike-Petro exchange with Seattle, and scout4blue looking at Scot Pollard. Anderson Varejao is another name I've heard mentioned, but it's hard to imagine him being available at a price the Suns could afford (plus he's restricted). So, time to play GM. Who would you like to see the Suns go get in a trade or sign via free agency? Remember, whatever roster the Suns end up with will probably have to be under or just barely above the luxury tax threshold, so try to stay within those guidelines if you want to keep it realistic.

Poll

If it has to be a free agent, who's your pick?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    P.J. Brown
    (4 votes)
  • 3%
    Michael Ruffin
    (1 vote)
  • 17%
    Brian Skinner
    (5 votes)
  • 10%
    Melvin Ely
    (3 votes)
  • 10%
    Scot Pollard
    (3 votes)
  • 25%
    Anderson Varejao
    (7 votes)
  • 17%
    Somebody else
    (5 votes)
28 votes total Vote Now