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@4everis2long I was at least half joking because, as you put it, Cousins is not very bright. But both Scola and Markieff have played the 5 at times so swapping who plays the 4 and 5 spot on at least alternate possessions could be a plus on the offensive end. Just seeing Cousins frustrated - even for a little while - could be the high point of this game. :)
A zone D is probably their best option for this game, and the rest of the season with Gortat out, but they haven't played a zone much this year for some reason. A bad zone D isn't any better than a bad man-on-man D so perhaps there is a reason we haven't seen a lot of zone D from the Suns so far.
3 months, 1 week ago on Preview: Phoenix Suns (21-40) at Sacramento Kings (21-42)
The only chance the Suns have to win this game (and I'm aware that not everyone want them to really try to win because of the draft situation) is to start Dragic, Tucker, Scola and the Morris twins. Everyone expects Scola to play the 5 tonight but he and Markieff should swap off playing the 4 and 5 spots - at least on offense - randomly throughout the game. That could at least keep Cousins confused as to who he should guard on defense during the game... plus having Marcus on the court at the same time as Markieff could confuse him even more. The Suns have no one who can physically defend Cousins so why not do everything they can to frustrate and confuse him while he's playing defense? It probably won't work but I doubt it could really hurt to try.
@DBreezy @mileHighfan Hunter has the advantage of - at least seemingly - being open to trying new things. Since the Suns probably won't be much better next season, I'm starting to believe that he has a good chance of returning as the head coach next year. He will need some strong assistants that know the X's and O's as you point out, DBreezy.
3 months, 1 week ago on Suns’ effort to maximize youth killing Brown’s career year, trade value
Brown is and always has been a loose cannon and a black hole whenever he gets the ball in his hands. The person who has hurt his career most is him. For all we know, the Suns DID shop him around before the trade deadline and just found no interest. Brown is very athletic and has some great nights occasionally but he's just not a real team player. But after saying all that, I'm still surprised that he's gotten zero playing time lately. It makes me wonder if there is something that we just don't know about that got him into Hunter's doghouse.
@BoomShakaLuka Signing someone like Monta Ellis would be a big mistake. It would be another big contract for a scorer that might bring the Suns back to an 8th seed in the playoffs but little else. GS traded him because they knew he wasn't a player that could take them far into the playoffs. If the Suns could get him cheap then I'd be for it but that won't happen.
There just are NO free agents or restricted free agents this off-season that are worth the Suns going after with big contract offers. The Suns should just gut out the rest of this season, hope for the best in the draft and make the best off-season trades that they can.
3 months, 1 week ago on Toronto Raptors 98, Phoenix Suns 71 – Crashing down
@SkyBill40 But you MUST look at those "sold off picks" in context with the team the Suns had at the time. As I've already pointed out, Nash was a two time MVP when the Suns drafted and then traded Rondo as the 21st pick. EVERY team has made dumb moves in hindsight. Sarver sold off picks because he didn't need/want the players he could get at the time. In hindsight some of those moves seem dumb. At the time, no one screamed about us giving up Rondo. No one cared a bout it until Rondo proved his value years later. Now somehow it's become a big deal to somehow prove that the Suns can't judge talent in the draft.
@IowaPhXfan @SkyBill40 Yep, if the Suns had given Joe Johnson the contract that he wanted then there would have been no way to give Amare a max contract AND keep Steve Nash or anyone else worth keeping. I hated loosing Amare but after all the injuries he had that kept him sidelined in his last two years in Phoenix, I could understand why the Suns refused to offer him a fully guaranteed contract and I think that his time with the Knicks has proved that decision to be correct. The Suns offered him basically the same amount of money but wouldn't guarantee the full contract. The Knicks did and that's why Amare went to NY The Suns' choices to try and replace him sucked, not the decision to let him go.
@SkyBill40 @IowaPhXfan To keep bringing up Rondo is just silly. He was drafted with the 21st pick after the season that Steve Nash won his second MVP. The Suns did not need him at that time nor was there any reason to think that he would develop into the player he is today. If there was, he wouldn't have slipped all the way back to the 21st pick in the 1st round. Don't you think that the Bulls are still kicking themselves in the ass over trading LaMarcus Aldridge (whom they picked 2nd in the very same draft that Phoenix picked Rondo at 21) to Portland? Or that Minnesota regretted selecting Brandon Roy with the #6 pick in 2006 and then traded him to Portland before he ever put on a T-wolves uni? And that was also the year that Paul Millsap was taken by the Jazz at the 47th pick in the second round. How many teams could we call stupid for passing up on him until then? A LOT. In fact, PJ Tucker was selected by Toronto with the 35th pick that year before Millsap. I do love PJ but taking him before Millsap? It's all easy to judge in hindsight. Same thing about Rondo.
@SkyBill40 @IowaPhXfan Telfair has peaked. He has little or no upside left. Marshall and Garrett still have potential. Getting a 2nd round pick and Haddadi for him was a good deal.
Haddadi certainly isn't part of the Suns' future but considering the FO knew that JO was going to miss several games when his daughter had heart surgery, he was a fairly good pickup to hopefully at least give Gortat some rest while JO was out. Now with Gortat out for who knows how long, Haddadi is still a good pickup because, well, what other 7 footer is available that is really much better than him? But, with that being said, the Suns will still probably wind up playing a lot of small-ball lineups with Haddadi coming of the bench occasionally until JO returns.
And sure no free agents "of any merit" don't want to come to Phoenix. They didn't last year either. The don't want to go to ANY team that isn't already winning. The want to form "super teams" like Miami did and stack the deck to win. And the best way for Phoenix (and any other sub-500 team) to begin looking attractive to top free agents is to bring in some good talent through the draft. Yeah, the Suns' FO isn't the same as OKC's FO but to get an impact player outside of the top ten picks is mostly luck and, as IowaPhxfan pointed out, the Suns have only had one top ten pick in the last 10 years. Could they have made a better pick than taking Marshall last year? Yeah, but not much better. Could they have done better than taking Morris in 2011? Yeah, but not much better. No one pick after either of them has turned out to be anything near an all star player and a few players taken before either of them have yet to make more of an impact than either of them. When the Suns get a top 5 draft pick and blow it THEN you and everyone else will have some real ammo to back up the claim that the Suns have no idea how to draft.
Whatever the outcome of this game I'll be okay with it. If the Suns loose, then their chances of getting a higher draft pick increases. If they win, then it seems like the changes that Hunter has made are working and this team has more talent then people have thought it had.
I'm glad that Johnson is playing so well but perhaps spending most of the year on the bench was what he needed to motivate himself. I figured that the Morris twins should both play better together since they've been playing together their entire lives... they have a ready made chemistry.
Regardless of the final draft order, I love the fact that the Suns are playing hard and to win. At the same time I doubt they are going to not wind up with at least a top 10 draft pick this year and a fairly good shot at getting one of the top 3 picks in the lottery.
3 months, 2 weeks ago on Preview: Toronto Raptors (23-38) at Phoenix Suns (21-39)
@ojai1980 The ESPN website has activated it's Lottery Mock Draft ap again. I've tried it a few times and mostly they seem to think that the Suns will take Victor Oladipo although Noel is an option depending on how the lottery works out. And McLemore may be an option too even if the Suns don't get the 1st pick. One thing I think they are correct about is that there is no one that is the sure #1 pick this year. McLemore is most often taken as the #1 pick but, depending which team wins the lottery, Smart and Noel are also projected as #1 picks. I'd be happy with Oladipo even though he's not my #1 choice.
3 months, 2 weeks ago on Phoenix Suns 105, San Antonio Spurs 101 (OT) — O'Neal takes over
@IowaPhXfan @john manhole That's what I was talking about when I said good but not great. Add any player that can create his own shots and average around 20 ppg (my definition of a go-to guy) and this team would be hovering around .500 this season and maybe better because all of the Suns' role players could stick to their roles which is what they do best.
It's just one win but it's the kind of win that determine the entire team's mindset for the rest of the season. This team is just not as bad as their record suggests. As last night's game showed, they are one go-to scorer away from being a good team. Not a great team, but a good team. This team has plenty of solid role players but without a go-to scorer, the role players are often forced out of their roles which hurts their games and the team.
I don't think O'Neal wants to leave the Suns. The warlocks really seem to work magic, have the best reputation in the NBA for reviving older players and they've done a great job with O'Neal this season.
Not only are bad contracts going to be more difficult to dump, I think we're going to see fewer bad contracts given now too. Even proven NBA role players are going to have to settle for 1-2 year contracts, probably for good money but without the long-term commitments that we used to see. It will be interesting to see what kind of contract offers Josh Smith will get during the off season. I'm sure someone will be willing to make him a max offer but I doubt it will come from a contender unless they are somehow getting rid of a lot of other salary.
The new CBA might actually eventually help balance out the talent levels between the big and small market teams but it will take a while for everyone to figure out how to work with it.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Goran Dragic needs help; Suns' lack of deals an NBA trend
@4everis2long I'm not big on Bennet either. He's good but the Suns' most pressing need is at the 2 and they could get a good one if they don't fall out of the top 5-6 picks in this year's draft.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Boston Celtics 113, Phoenix Suns 88 -- Another blowout
All that's left to do is ride out this season and look forward to the draft and off season trades. Hopefully Hunter gives plenty of playing time to the younger players but most of all to anyone on the team that still plays with some PRIDE... the guys who will still play hard even when the team is down 20 points. Anyone who doesn't do that is expendable after the season.
BTW, does anyone else think that - depending on where the Suns 1st pick in the draft falls - Marcus Smart might be a good choice? I know that he's a point guard but he's a sturdy (225 lbs), athletic 6'4" PG that scores. I'd love to see him and Dragic paired in the Suns' back court. I'd love to get McLemore, Oladipo or Muhammad but I think that the Suns shouldn't overlook Smart just because he's a PG.
If O'Neal is happy enough with what the Suns' warlocks are doing for him, I certainly wouldn't mind keeping him around next season. If the Suns can bring in some young talent at the 5 while moving Gortat in the off-season, having him as the vet leader of the team certainly wouldn't be a bad thing.
As for tonight's game, I'm really hoping more for a close, hard fought loss than a win. That would keep the game interesting but not hurt the Suns' chances at a high draft pick.
And in this off-season I think we are going to see even more of the impact of the new CBA. Very few role players are going to be offered multi-year contracts. Legit stars are still going to get the max deals but everyone else is going to be lucky to get more than a 2-3 year contract.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Preview: Boston Celtics (28-26) at Phoenix Suns (18-37)
@4everis2long Yeah, Johnson should continue to get more time. I would suspect that he's probably very motivated to at least prove his worth since he's on an expiring contract. Since Gortat has another year on his contract, I'm not sure how motivated he is this season. The fact that he has a limited offensive skill set doesn't help much either.
I still think that both the Morris twins will develop into solid rotation/backup players but that's about it. Marshall I'm just not sure about at all but if he continues to underwhelm when he's on the court then Hunter should give Garrett a shot. To be fair, maybe Hunter should use Marshall as the backup PG in the 1st half and Garrett as the backup in the 2nd half. Doing that might be the best way to compare the two.
In the context of acquiring younger trade assets with some upside potential, picking up Morris makes some sense. I hope the FO actually figures out how to use them during the off season... but I won't be holding my breath waiting for that to happen.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Marcus Morris trade adds another future asset at low cost
On the bright side, at least the Suns didn't make any incredibly stupid trades. I think that they could have actually gotten Josh Smith if they were willing to give too much for him but thankfully they didn't go for it. That would have been a disaster for the future of the team.
I still don't see the sense in having both Morris brothers on one team unless they somehow think that they can increase the chemistry and productivity of the second unit by playing them together at the 3 & 4... or maybe at the 4 & 5 if the Suns decide to play small ball. The Suns really need another 2, not another 3/4 tweener. OKC picked up Ronnie Brewer from the Knicks for a 2nd round pick. At least he's a good defender and I would have rather seen him added to the Suns before Morris because he could have been more useful.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Sebastian Telfair traded to Raptors for Hamed Haddadi