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Could the former Phoenix Suns in 2016 playoffs second round beat the current team?

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Former Suns like Goran Dragic, Joe Johnson, Boris Diaw and Channing Frye all have appeared in the second round of these playoffs. Could they beat a healthy Suns roster that's under contract today?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns are in the second round of the playoff after all.

Well, at least a complete roster of recent, former Suns is currently playing in the second round of the NBA playoffs. No less than 11 recent Phoenix Suns reside on active rosters of the league's top 8 teams. Only two of our former Suns start for their playoffs teams (Goran Dragic, Joe Johnson) and none are All-Stars. But the collection is large enough to make up an entire rotation.

Let's put together a Suns 2016 playoff rotation and see if this team could beat the one we've got in the valley right now.

Point guard

Starting at point guard for virtual Suns is the Dragon, Goran Dragic, who played for the Suns from 2008-2011 and 2012-2015.

Dragic starts for the Miami Heat, who have a 5-4 record against the Hornets and Raptors so far. After a slow start, Dragic has scored 20+ points in three straight games. He had a beautiful 25 points in Miami's game seven clincher, then 26 to open the second round and 20 in their last game. With Dwyane Wade doing a lot of ball handling for the Heat, Dragic is averaging 4 assists per game in the playoffs.

I'm very happy for Goran that he's finally getting on the big stage for the first time since 2010. A recent NBA tweet asked whether Goran's 25 against the Hornets in Game 7 last week was better than his 4th-quarter outburst against the Spurs in 2010. I still say no. it's not.

Join me in wishing Goran a Happy 30th Birthday! He turned 30 on the day Lon Babby officially retired from the Suns. You might remember Babby as the guy who watched Goran leave the Suns not once, but twice, in his six short years with the team.

Shooting Guard

Starting at shooting guard is the Heat's Gerald Green, who played for the Suns from 2013-2015. Most Suns fans remember Gerald as the Dragon's best partner on the court during his second stint with the Suns.

But since that wonderful 2013-14 season, Green has been a hot mess. He made only 32% of his threes this year for the Heat and lost his regular rotation spot by season's end. In these playoffs, he's largely been out of the Heat's rotation. Besides the 16 points he scored in mop up duty last week when Miami was up 30 all second half, he's scored 12 points in the other 60 minutes over 8 games.

But for our virtual playoff Suns, Gerald gets back his old job of being Goran's sidekick. He might only make 35-40% of his shots, but he'll take as many as Goran feeds him!

Backing up Gerald is the Brazilian Blur, Leandro Barbosa, who at 33 isn't much of a blur anymore but is still effective. LB played for the Suns from 2002-2010, in the end asking to leave because he was losing his rotation spot to young Goran Dragic. LB was traded for Hedo Turkoglu. Barbosa scores 6 points per game for the World Champions in these playoffs in 13 minutes per game.

Small Forward

Starting at small forward is the Miami Heat's Joe Johnson, who played for the Suns from 2003-2005. This one's the biggest reach among all the "former Suns" but I'd venture to guess every person reading this article still sees Joe as the one that got away.

Johnson is starting in the playoffs for his fourth NBA team, including his ninth straight trip to the postseason and 11th overall. The 34-year old JJ is averaging 12 points, just under 5 rebounds and 3 assists for the Heat this postseason (9 games). He's put up 16 and 17 points in the first two games of the second round.

Gerald Green could play spot minutes at small forward, as could LB in a three-guard rotation to spread the floor against their playoff competitors.

Power Forward

The big man rotation, however, is a poo-poo platter for these virtual playoff Suns.

Starting at power forward would have to be Boris Diaw, who came back in that JJ trade and played for the Suns from 2005-2009. We all remember Diaw's jaw-dropping 13/6/6 year in 20015-06 and how important he was to the Suns until Terry Porter took over and Diaw talked himself out of town. Coming back in the Diaw trade was Jason Richardson, a pretty good player as well.

Diaw's late-career resume includes being a big cog, albeit a smaller role, for the Spurs until they acquired LaMarcus Aldridge and David West last offseason. Now, Diaw mainly gets spot minutes. He recently quipped that coach Pop sometimes gives him extended minutes to work off any excess weight he's gained.

The French pastry is averaging 5 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists in these playoffs for the Spurs.

Luis Scola, who played in Phoenix during the 2012-13 season, is a backup power forward on this team. Scola was seen as approaching the end of his career then, but is still a viable player to this day even at 35 years old. He's out of the Raps rotation though, scoring only 8 total points for them over 4 appearances.

Amare Stoudemire from the Heat is a backup power forward too. STAT has had a wonderful career, but he's barely hanging out on an NBA roster these days. He's scoring 4 points per game for the Heat in the playoffs this year and really doesn't have anything left besides some smooth scoring moves when given the ball with an open drive to the hoop.


Starting at center is one of Goran's favorite targets, Channing Frye, who played for the Suns from 2009-2014. Frye can still defend (a little) in the post, and can still pour in threes from the perimeter. Just last night, Frye dropped 27 huge points in the Cavs someback win over the Hawks on 10-of-13 shooting, including 5-9 threes.

Overall, Frye has not gotten regular playing time in the NBA since leaving the Suns after the 2013-14 season. He was a bust in Orlando (or, Jacques Vaughan and Scott Skiles didn't know how to use him), and has largely been an afterthought in Cleveland. After hardly playing in Cleveland's first round sweep, Frye is now putting up 15 points per game against Atlanta.

Kris Humphries played only handful of games for this year's Suns, and he's out of the Hawks' rotation in these playoffs, but he's the backup center for these virtual playoff Suns. Humphries posted a double-double in his Suns debut and could run around for a few minutes per game for our Suns team while we mix and match STAT, Scola and Boris the rest of the time.

Still, my only memory of Humphries is thinking how the Suns orange uni did him no favors, making him look woefully out of shape when he took the court, which actually wasn't the case. I digress.

Virtual Playoff Rotation (with projected numbers)

Point guard: Goran Dragic (20/6/4)

Shooting guard: Gerald Green (13/1), Leandro Barbosa (6/1)

Small forward: Joe Johnson (16/5/5)

Power Forward: Boris Diaw (10/4/5), Luis Scola (6/2), Amare (4/2)

Center: Channing Frye (15/5), Humphries (8/8)

Suns Current Roster (healthy)

Point guard: Eric Bledsoe (20/6/4), Brandon Knight (16/4/4)

Shooting guard: Devin Booker (16/3), Knight

Small forward: P.J. Tucker (8/6), T.J. Warren (10/2)

Power forward: Alex Len (10/9), Mirza Teletovic (11/3), Jon Leuer (5/4)

Center: Tyson Chandler (8/8), Len

Final question

Would this virtual Suns playoff team beat our current Suns team, if it were healthy? Or even the bare-bones roster that finished the season?