This is the time of year when we should be looking forward to the mad free agency rush that starts on July 1. Instead, we are all waiting for the lock out hammer to fall which will send NBA free agency away like the snowbirds fleeing Phoenix in June. Most likely, the lock out will run it's course and at some point, depending on when a settlement is reached, there will be a very brief and mad dash to sign the guys who are available.
When that moment comes, we need to prepared like good boy and girl scouts so here's a quick version of the detailed summary of I put together that covers the Suns salary situation, position needs and free agent options:
Salary: All said and done, with Grant Hill coming back and Brooks on the roster making something around his $2.9m qualifying offer the Suns salary will be about $60 million. It's impossible to say, but given last year's salary cap was $58 million you can assume that number is pretty darn close to what it will be (assuming there is such a thing as a salary cap in the new CBA).
Once the NBA releases the new salary cap number, the Suns can do some tweaking to get under or over it depending on which is best. If there's an MLE in the new CBA, they will want to be over. It's almost inconceivable that the total payroll for next season will be over $70m so there's some room to play but not much.
Roster Needs: You'll have to click through to see the full break-down but the most glaring hole is backing up Steve Nash. After that come dynamic perimeter scoring. After that comes low post scoring.
Free Agent List: There's not a ton of great stuff on the market this year but there's a lot of depth at one position - power forward. There's very little on the point guard shelf which will likely drive up the market for Aaron Brooks making it less likely he comes back IMHO.
Conclusion: Given the Suns biggest need is at point guard and they are likely wanting to move Robin Lopez, and there's depth at PF in the free agent market, and Frye can play the five and the four -- the obvious conclusion is to trade Lopez for Jonny Flynn or Ramon Sessions and then bring in a free agent power forward to help fill in on the front line while Morris develops and Frye eats some minutes at five.
NBA Free Agency: Phoenix Suns Stifled By Lockout But Have Options - SB Nation Arizona
Guys like Craig Smith, Dante Cunningham, Joey Dorsey, and Josh Powell are all at the lower end. Moving up the ladder a bit you see names like Josh McRoberts, Chuck Hayes, Luc Mbah a Moute, Reggie Evans and then a little higher you get Carl Landry, Glen Davis, and Kris Humphries.
At the top are David West and Kenyon Martin and Jeff Green (restricted) but I don't see the Suns wanting to pay those guys too much. This is definitely a position where there's some value depth to be had. Power forward is by far the deepest position in the 2011 NBA Free Agent pool.
What say you fine folk?