clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Given The Choice, Which Would You Rather Have?

Just roll with me on this for a minute.

I've been struggling in my own mind lately with a notion that I can't seem to articulate very well, so maybe you can either help me out or set me straight.

I am caught up in this notion that I'd rather have a number of PGPFWEs (pretty good players from winning environment) than a single SSFLE (superstar from losing environment).

In order to avoid personal attachments clouding this issue ("but I really LIKE player A so I want him on my team regardless of what you call him!"), I am writing this post without the use of any individual player names.

(Hint: This is a case where the post is intended to instigate discussion more than anything)

Why do I even care about this? I'll tell you.

There's been a lot of comments and posts lately regarding this trade or that trade.

The most heated discussions generally arise from this basic problem.

Some of the BSotS folks would rather have a lot of interchangeable parts, a lot of PGPFWEs, so they can watch Alvin Gentry mix and match to his heart's content. The premise here is that if you have a bunch of smart players, enough difference-making plays will occur during the game that will result in a win.

Other folks would much rather hang their hat on a big name who can make the All-Star team, a guy who can command a double or triple team, a guy who can put the team on his individual shoulders and carry the Suns to the promised land.

Those folks would suggest a trade of 3-4 PGPFWE for a single SSFLE.

Having a superstar is certainly the proven way to go. Of the last 20 championships, 18 of them have been led by a league Top-5 Superstar at the time (Pistons and Celtics the exceptions).

The problem with this latter plan is that those winning superstars are almost never available via trade or free agency at the top of their game. This summer was an exception in Miami, but they haven't proven anything yet. Before that, it was Shaquille O'Neal to LA in the mid 90s, and then the HEAT in 2004. What other SSFWE has been traded or signed in free agency? Let me know if I'm missing something.

So, what kind of superstars ARE readily available via trade, at the peak of their careers? Malcontents already on a max contract. And those whose stats are inflated in a losing environment.

This last group of players I affectionately call the SSFLE (superstar from losing environment).

Lets vote. And talk about it.

(note: saying you'd rather acquire a SSFWE - superstar from winning environment - is NOT an option in this discussion)

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bright Side of the Sun Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Phoenix Suns news from Bright Side of the Sun