Welcome to ‘Inside the Suns’, your weekly deep down analysis of the current Phoenix Suns team.
Once again, we’ll start off this edition of with a look at the current Western Conference standings and playoff probabilities.
Graphic courtesy of PlayoffStatus.com.
And now, on to the Fantable — a round table of Bright Siders who give their takes on the Suns latest issues and news.
Fantable Questions of the Week
Q1 - What are your thoughts on the two players the Suns acquired at the trade deadline and how they will fit in.
1. Torrey Craig
GuarGuar: I really like us bringing Craig back he is a much better power forward than stix. We know he fits the culture well and his rebounding skills are much needed. Hopefully his 3 ball falls at a decent clip with us and he should see consistent minutes.
Sun-Arc: Overall I’m happy because the team made a move to acquire players at positions of need.
Craig: I had hoped this would occur and happy it did. Craig played well for us last year and we know he fits in. We also know he doesn’t mess up chemistry. He’s a big 3&D wing at 6’-7”, and we know teams cannot have too many of those. Definitely more valuable to our playoff run than Stix. It would have been cool to see if he developed here, but that was not in the cards. As we’ve seen, Stix and Biz look great playing with CP3, and not great without him. Craig can play with anyone and be helpful on the court, plays defense, and hit threes with better consistency than Stix.
Alex S: Torrey - That’s honestly the main guy I wanted at the deadline and I figured Jalen was going to be the piece to do so (I believe I designed a mock trade with those two previously for BSOTS?) He’s a great option for flexibility on the bench unit. As we don’t know whether or not Ish Wainwright is going to be converted to the playoff roster, having a true small ball 5 in the absence of Dario was important. He and McGee will cause chaos when they’re on the court together and he also brings another value and that’s his contract being an expiring next season (unlike the FA to be Jalen).
Rod: What I love about getting Craig back is that he already had a productive role on the team that he should be able to slide back into easily. He knows almost everyone on the team, they know him and there won’t be any awkward period of time where everyone needs to learn how to play with each other.
2. Aaron Holiday
GuarGuar: Aaron Holiday probably will get some run if we are ever short handed at guard. I could totally see him taking all of Elfrid’s minutes. No real stance on this trade for me.
Sun-Arc: Holiday: Solid pick up. Aaron is short (6’-0”) but plays scrappy defense and is a willing passer. His shooting is a bit of a work-in-progress, yet has a career 3pt% of 37% which ain’t bad. I have to think he will be a step up over Payton, who I will be happy to not see on the court.
I remember Holiday playing well against the Suns of February 5th in that blowout. He did not give up, really worked hard to get to the rim and shot 50% there. He’s got speed and some skills.
Alex S: Aaron Holiday- This move screams regular season depth to me for three reasons:
- Cam Payne’s injury
- Chris Paul’s high minutes
- Can he be better than Elfrid?
It’s not something I except to impact the playoffs but he’s another solid get for a team that had to give up practically nothing in return.
Rod: This wasn’t a big move but was still an important one. He’s not a top-notch scorer but should get more respect from defenses - especially when he’s at the three-point line - than Elfrid Payton which is what the Suns’ offense needs to run effectively. As we saw against Milwaukee the other day, no one even respects Elf’s ability to shoot from the free throw line (62.5% career FT avg., 42.3% this season with the Suns) where Holiday’s career average is 82.7%.
Q2 - Should the Suns still be active in the buyout market and what type of player should they attempt to get?
GuarGuar: I definitely think they should be active in the buyout market. Schroder, Terrence Ross, DJ Augustin could all be possible plays.
Sun-Arc: If the Suns can acquire another piece on the buyout market that will help us win in the playoffs, they should do it. But we might be done. I imagine Nader is gone to make room for Holiday. We could waive Kaminsky to make room for someone else, I suppose. But not sure there is much available we would want.
We do NOT want Dragic, for instance. Thad Young will be kept by the Raptors. I’m not sure there is another upgrade that will be made available- unless the Rockets decide to buyout or waive Schroeder. Speaking of Houston, do they hold onto Enes? And even then, with either of those two, I worry about chemistry issues.
Alex S: Honestly? No.
Unless a truly talented player becomes available I think the Suns have the optimal depth set up at this point. Continuity is a strength and for a roster with no defined weaknesses it doesn’t motivate me to want to make any unwarranted changes at this point.
Bismack Biyombo was essentially our buyout guy in a way.
Rod: It really depends on two things... the health of Frank Kaminsky’s knee and/or whether they feel the need to keep Elf on the roster for the playoffs. To add another player through the buyout market, someone has to be waived to open up another roster spot and I’d say that Elf and Frank are the most likely suspects (Wainright is on a two-way contract so waiving him won’t actually open up another playoff eligible roster spot). If they do bring in a bought out player, at this point I don’t think the Suns will be looking at needs first though. They will likely just be looking at the best player(s) available to add even more depth to their bench.
As always, many thanks to our Fantable members - GuarGuar, Sun-Arc, SouthernSun and Alex S. - for all their extra effort every week! (SouthernSun did not participate this week.)
Interesting Suns Stuff
What Chris Paul is doing at his age is RIDICULOUS! - Zach Lowe | NBA Today
The Phoenix Suns Are EVEN BETTER Than Before...
PHOENIX SUNS: Aaron Holiday
Last Week’s Poll Results
Last week’s poll was “Does Sarver’s willingness to pay the luxury tax in the future worry you?”
74% - Yes.
26% - No.
A total of 268 votes were cast.
This week’s poll is...
What is your overall grade for the Suns’ trade deadline performance (added Craig & Holiday, subtracted Smith & Nader)?
This poll is closed