Here we are folks, one of the most exciting days of the NBA season. The NBA Trade Deadline is today at 3 p.m. ET (1 p.m. local) and the Phoenix Suns are not a likely mover. All signs points to a quiet day but that doesn't mean we won't be surprised by a move from Robert Sarver's front office. Again.
As I wrote a few days ago, what the Suns have that other teams might want is wings. Yummy, juicy, good-shooting wings. The Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls both would desperately love to get their hands on guys like Mickael Pietrus or Jared Dudley and even Grant Hill (as if!), so it's not surprising their names have come up.
The Boston Herald reported the other day the Celtics were poking around and trying to get a nice spicy wing to help their championship run but they have next to nothing to offer unless they are willing to take on Josh Childress' contract which they don't seem to want to do. The Suns would do a deal with the Celtics for Pietrus or perhaps even Dudley if it included Glenn Davis but the C's don't want to move him.
Nate Robinson and a late first round pick is what they are reportedly offering. That's not going to get anything done. At least it better not. The Bulls have even less to offer now that they moved James Johnson to the Raptors for Miami's draft pick (also worth little this year).
Chicago does has space under the cap (about $3m) so in theory they can take on Childress (mostly) but I am not sure why they would and the Suns certainly shouldn't be desperate enough to bribe a team with cap space to take him like the Clippers did when they swapped Baron Davis for Mo Williams and threw in what will be a lottery pick to entice the Cavs to take on an extra $12m in salary (Davis vs Williams).
For the record, I think Josh Childress is a good player and will end up helping the Suns. He's stuck right now because of the log jam which isn't his fault. It would be a mistake to sell low on him. He's working hard on his outside shooting and should be a factor in years to come.
The only thing to pass as rumor today is this tweet from Andrian Wojnarowski from Yahoo! that teams like Dudley. To which I respond, duh.
Twitter / @Adrian Wojnarowski: Dudley is a popular player ...
Dudley is a popular player in Phoenix, beloved by organization. Several GM's are dubious Suns would part with him. Need an excellent offer.
So that's where things stand. A few dogs are sniffing around the couple of assets that would be appealing to teams trying to make a run at a ring but the Suns price will be high and the buyers don't have much to offer. That all should lead to a quiet day.
On the Vince Carter front there is zero whisper of news and that's not surprising.
The Suns don't want to take on long term deal which would be the price of moving him. Remember, he's owed either $18m next year or a $4m buy out before the CBA expires. For a team to want that kind of expiring contract means they have to have contracts to move to match the salary which means the Suns are taking back contracts which they don't want to do. Again, that all leads to nothing happening.
Now, several Suns fans have suggested the Suns SHOULD do something. Should they?
Gerald Wallace is reportedly on the blocks from Charlotte who wants to move the $10.5m he's owed next year with a player option for 2012-13 for the same amount. The Bobcats likely want an expiring contract plus some kind of kicker like picks or a young player on a rookie deal. The Suns don't have anything to match that.
The best Phoenix could do would be to offer Carter's expiring (w/ $4m buy out) for Wallace and also take on DeSagana Diop who is out for a year with an Achilles injury. He's owed $6.9m next year and a player option for $7.3m in 2012-13. Do the Suns really want to take on $14.2m in Diop salary for the right to try and figure out how to play with Gerald Wallace...another wing? Not likely. And no, the Bobcats aren't taking back Warrick or Childress in return. Why would they?
A couple of power forwards have moved and we all know the Suns want one of those. In fact, Alvin Gentry himself said the other day the only thing on his wish list is a low post player who they can throw the ball to that demands a double team. Guess how many of those are out there? But first, guess how many of those the Suns have? Same answer.
(btw, don't think Gortat's inability to score against smaller players in the post off switches won't go unnoticed around the league. Teams, especially late in games, will switch those pick and rolls and force Nash to hit tough shots or throw the ball to Gortat who they don't trust. That's why Frye's ability to post up guards is so important...it won the game last night.)
Troy Murphy and Carl Landry are two interesting power forwards who have already moved. Did the Suns miss out?
No, the price for both was too high for guys who are both on expiring contracts. The Warriors gave up a young prospect in Brandon Wright for Murphy and the Hornets gave up dynamic young scoring guard, Marcus Thorton who the Kings now control with restricted free agency moving forward.
The only guy the Suns possibly could have offered of comparable quality would have been Pietrus. Is renting Landry or Murphy worth the price of Pietrus who has a player option for next year and said he wants to come back?
Not sure about that...not to mention Murphy's salary is $12m so it also took a matching expiring contract of considerable size to get that done and the Suns don't have that.
So, hang on to your shorts and watch the fireworks but don't expect the Suns to make a move.
Not surprisingly, there is zero indication that Nash is going anywhere. Move along.
For all your NBA trade deadline updates for the rest of the league, be sure to open a browser tab for this stream.
[Note by Seth Pollack, 02/24/11 11:35 AM MST ]
This comes as absolutely no surprise...
Suns’ Dudley won’t be dealt « NBA.com | Hang Time Blog
A team source tells TNT’s David Aldridge that the Phoenix Suns will not trade forward Jared Dudley before today’s deadline. Several teams gave been trying to get Dudley, including the Celtics and Rockets.
These are two fun reads that aren't about trades (I know, right!)
Vince Carter, the Suns and the Cost of Adjustment - NYTimes.com
The most prudent solution for Gentry and his team may be to do nothing. Perhaps it’s a bit fatalistic to simply accept Carter in his lesser form, but the Suns lack any clearly superior options. Good coaches alter their schemes to fit their personnel, but better ones can correctly identify which players are worthy of that kind of investment. Carter was once talented enough to make his team adjust to his game, but the Suns have little motivation to accommodate a fading star on his way out.
It's not perfect, but 'Melo, Amar'e still can make it work | NBA.com
In a way, the Knicks' offense was pretty ugly. The Knicks scored more points per possession on Wednesday than they averaged before the trade. And they did it against a top-five defensive team without having practiced together, and with their point guard not really knowing the plays. That's pretty scary when you think about it. "I think it's pretty obvious," D'Antoni said afterward, "that we're going to be pretty potent offensively."