As we all know, the Phoenix Suns are about to enter a season in which they are projected to accumulate the worst record in the Western Conference. This is by necessity because there is not one All-Star on the roster, so the Suns need to target the 2014 NBA Draft (in which they currently have up to 3 first round picks) for that next All-Star.
To borrow a phrase from Bright Side friend Amin Elhassan, Steve Nash (circa-2004) ain't walking through that door. Neither is 2005's Amare Stoudemire. Nor 2006's Shawn Marion. Or 1993's Charles Barkley, or 1992's Jeff Hornacek or any other former All-Star once employed by the Suns.
But what if they could?
PG: Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe - Grade B-
SG: Bledsoe/Dragic, Archie Goodwin - Grade C
SF: Marcus Morris, P.J. Tucker, Gerald Green - Grade D
PF: Markieff Morris, Marcus Morris, Channing Frye - Grade D
C: Marcin Gortat, Alex Len - Grade C
There's not a "plus" player in the lineup, or even one "plus" position. Not one guy is a sure-fire future All-Star. This lineup may be more exciting than the 25-57 group that played a year ago. They might hustle more. They might fight the better fight. But they are still woefully short of top-end talent in a league that historically demands 2 top-end talents to make the strong playoff run.
Back to the Future
But is there a single, former Phoenix Sun who could step in and turn this franchise around RIGHT NOW?
Is there a guy who could turn back the clock to the highest point of his athletic career, and just by his presence turn this team into a contender?
it would have to be a true difference-maker. A player who can pick up a young team and carry them to the promised land.
That, to me, excludes former All-Star Suns as Charles Barkley and Walter Davis, neither of whom made a huge difference when placed on an average team. Charles Barkley demanded his way out of Philadelphia, while Walter Davis just didn't have the fortitude to carry a franchise on his back.
And, if you look at the roster as currently constructed, bringing back a 28-year old Steve Nash could simply bench the only strength on this current team. Nash's presence would negate the only value on this roster - Dragic and Bledsoe. Would it be worth setting the Suns back on the rest of the roster just to bring in the maestro at his peak? There's no Amare to run the pick and roll. There's no Raja to defend the other team's best player and hit the open 3s.
This player would have to be someone who could change the fortunes of an entire team. Someone who could own the ball, create for themselves and - directly or indirectly - make life a lot easier for the rest of their teammates.
What former Suns player could pick up THIS roster and make it a contender?
Check out the Suns all-time best season leaders here.
It's your turn, Bright Siders.
Imagine a scenario where you could take any one of those guys, put them in their PRIME, and drop them on the roster.
Which one would have the greatest impact? Which one would turn the franchise's future into a hot, boiling ball of sunlight?
Pick from the list and add your reasoning below. Or, add your own player not already listed. The only rule is that it must be someone who once played for the Suns and that you must give the reason you think THAT player will make the biggest difference.