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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.
1 year, 5 months 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.
1 year, 5 months 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.
1 year, 5 months 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.
1 year, 5 months 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.
1 year, 5 months 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.
1 year, 5 months 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.
1 year, 5 months 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.
1 year, 5 months 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.
1 year, 6 months 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.
1 year, 6 months ago on Sebastian Telfair traded to Raptors for Hamed Haddadi
Well, so far these two trades seem pretty pointless. We gave away a 2nd round pick to acquire another Morris and then gave away Telfair to acquire another 2nd round pick in next year's draft and Haddadi. With O'Neal likely to miss some games in March when his daughter has heart surgery, perhaps Haddadi will be a little useful.
1 year, 6 months ago on Luke Zeller released by Suns to complete Marcus Morris deal
Unless there is another trade on the way, this trade doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to me. I guess we'll see as the deadline hour approaches.
1 year, 6 months ago on Suns trade rumors: Rockets' Marcus Morris traded to Phoenix
@4everis2long Perhaps it has something to do with the trade that brought Wes Johnson to Phoenix. I seem to remember something about a draft pick being part of that deal too. Maybe Minnesota had one of Memphis' picks that was sent to Phoenix in that deal. I think it might be in next year's draft though and lottery protected.
1 year, 6 months ago on Phoenix Suns 102, Portland Trail Blazers 98 -- The dying embers of the fire
@4everis2long @DBreezy I thought this might be a possible trade for the Suns a while back too although I was thinking that Johnson's expiring contract might be more attractive than Tucker. But Tucker has proven himself to be a hard-nosed player guy who will dig in, play tough defense and do whatever dirty work necessary to make it in the NBA.
I really don't like taking on Perkins' contract but if it comes along with Lamb and another 1st round pick then it could be worth it. As I said before, at least Perkins is nasty/mean on the court and the Suns could use a dose of nastiness moving forward.
Although I like Hunter's openness to trying new things, I doubt he will return as the Suns' head coach next year. Of course it is possible but I'm betting that the Suns open the job up during the off-season and only bring Hunter back if they can't find someone better willing to take on the job.
Can someone clarify just how many draft picks the Suns have accumulated? I was just watching ESPN and they mentioned that the Suns also have Memphis' 1st round pick IF Memphis makes the playoffs. I've also read here that the Suns only have the Laker's 1st round pick if they do NOT make the playoffs and in that case the Suns get Miami's 1st round pick instead?!? Since this season is basically over for the Suns and we're all mostly looking toward the future, I'd love it if someone could spell out all the draft picks that the Suns have accumulated in this year and in future drafts.
Lol... I meant Telfair when I was writing about the2nd round pick for a backup PG.
1 year, 6 months ago on 4-on-4: Discussing the Phoenix Suns trade rumors
As I've said before, the only trades I want to see the Suns make are for draft picks and/or younger players with future potential. Smith would only be worth trading for if he wasn't expecting a max contract. He'll get it somewhere but hopefully not in Phoenix. Someone in need of a solid backup PG for the rest of the season might send the Suns a 2nd round pick for him and a playoff bound team looking for a good backup 5 might make the Suns an offer for O'Neal but I don't expect much more to happen between now and the deadline.
Even at 32, since Scola's game doesn't rely on athleticism, he should be a valuable for several more years. But that doesn't mean that the Suns should keep him though. There are too many unknowns right now to say whether the Suns should be eager to trade him this summer. If the right deal comes along, sure. But any other trades the Suns make between now and then and which players the Suns get in the draft this year will make a difference too.
1 year, 6 months ago on To trade or not to trade: Luis Scola
I like Bassy but I think it's time for Phoenix to clean house and start over again with as many young players as they can get. And if they can find one really good young player to start to build around then I think they have a good future. They have no one on the team now that fits that description. Perhaps they can get someone like that in the draft or through a trade. And I'm completely willing to see the Suns get worse this season if it has even a little potential for them to get better in the future.
1 year, 6 months ago on To trade or not to trade: Sebastian Telfair
The problem with trading Gortat is finding the right team, one that has both interest in him AND is willing to part with assets that can help the Suns. As I was looking over potential trade partners, many of them have bad contracts that they are already trying to get rid of or would only want Gortat if they didn't have to give up too much in return. Gortat has probably reached his peak as far as ability so I doubt many rebuilding teams would be interested in him.
I bet that OKC would rather have him than Perkins but Gortat is basically a PNR scorer which might not work any better for OKC than it has for Phoenix with Westbrook as the PG. Considering that, I doubt OKC would be willing to give Phoenix enough in return to make the trade worthwhile.
I'm also sure that Boston would probably love to have him but not enough to give up significant assets to et him.
I could go on and on but one trade idea that I tried on the ESPN Trade Machine was pretty interesting. It will never happen but it would send Gortat, Telfair and Johnson to LAC for Bledsoe, Butler and Turiaf. It would improve the Clips (and their playoff chances) and wouldn't add any long term contracts to Phoenix. The upside for Phoenix would be that chance to see Bledsoe and Dragic in the same backcourt. Butler is not that great and 32 but his contract only runs through next year and is only slightly higher than Gortats (by $750,000). Turiaf's contract is under $1 mil and runs out at the end of this season.
Why would the Clippers make this deal? First, they would have the best backup center in the NBA in Gortat which would help them out a lot in a championship run this year. Second, Telfair would make a solid backup for Chris Paul even though not nearly as good as Bledsoe. Third, with Grant Hill healthy, Butler becomes expendable and Johnson's expiring contract gives them some financial flexibility to re-sign Chris Paul at the end of the season.
As I said, it will never happen but for a rebuilding Suns team I think acquiring Bledsoe could be a good first step.
1 year, 6 months ago on To trade or not to trade: Marcin Gortat
@john manhole @Sillmarillion Yeah, many years ago I was playing in a city 3-on-3 tournament. We lost our first 3 games and on the day of our 4th, all my teammates showed up hungover and in no shape to play. They gave up. I was especially pissed off because we could have won that game if they had just come to play. I know that because I was the only one to score any points for our team that day and we only lost by 3 points... and I wasn't the best player on our team. I can kind of understand why management would decide to tank a season but I have a hard time retaining any respect for players who just give up.
1 year, 6 months ago on Los Angeles Lakers 91, Phoenix Suns 85 -- Black unis fall short
@john manhole @Sillmarillion Well, the NBA is much different than the NFL in that one player - no matter how good - is going to immediately turn around and NFL team. But in the NBA, one exceptional player can sometimes make a big difference. Plus in the NFL playoffs all you need is to play one really good game per opponent instead of winning a best of 7 series against each opponent. That pushes owners, management and players in the NFL to keep fighting until the bitter end instead of tanking.
The long NBA season discourages players on bad teams because they just keep loosing over and over again. And I agree that the NBA talent pool has been watered down because of the number of teams but I think things might start to change in the next few years because of the new CBA. The new luxury tax rules are brutal and I think we've seen the last of the "super teams" formed.
@Sillmarillion No, the worst team doesn't automatically get the best pick. The lottery system was started to try to discourage teams from tanking just to get the #1 pick.
The way it works is that all the teams that miss the playoffs have a shot at getting one of the top 3 draft picks. It is literally a lottery but the worst teams still have the best chance and the team with the worst record will get at least the #4 pick. Anyway, the fist 3 picks go to the lottery winners and then everyone else picks according to their records.
@DBreezy @hawki Yeah, no matter what many people in the Valley think of Hedo, he can be a very effective 3. His real problem in Phoenix was that they tried to make him into a 4. That seems to be a reoccurring problem for the Suns. They seem to try to take players best suited for one position and put them in another position that isn't a good fit for them.
Dudley was a fairly good fit at the 2 when he was playing with Nash at the 1 and Hill at the 3 but he's obviously a much better 3 than a 2. And with Hill and Dudley at the 3, Hedo never even got a shot at playing at his natural position while in Phoenix. Offensively, Beasley plays better at the 4 but the Suns tried to make him a 3 (and he's not really good defensively at either position).
Phoenix needs to draft and/or trade for players who have a well defined position instead of trying to make players fit into what they want them to be. NO MORE TWEENERS! NO MORE "HOPE THEY WORK OUT" GAMBLE TRADES/SIGNINGS! I'd rather the Suns stand pat and try to rebuild through the draft than acquire more players that they "hope" will work out again.
Looking toward the Suns' future, I can't see any player as being untradable from the point of view of them being too valuable to the Suns to trade. Scola can't be traded until the end of the season and Frye can't be traded because he has 2 more years on his contract and it's uncertain whether he'll ever play again because of his heart condition.
Like it or not, Dragic is probably going to be the Suns' PG for the next few years. Beasley is still too inconsistent for anyone to be interested in him. Gortat, Dudley and Telfair are probably the Suns' players that other teams are most interested in acquiring by trade before the trade deadline and I can't see any other players on this team that wouldn't be thrown in as part of a trade if the Suns thought it would be in their best interest.
My point is that while the Suns could - and should - be willing to part with a lot of their current players before that trade deadline, they have very few real assets that could bring them much back by then. Gortat, Dudley and Telfair could be valuable to contending teams but not if they have to give up too much in return.
Because of that, I can't see the Suns making a "big" trade before the trade deadline this year. The talk of trading Telfair for a 2nd round draft pick might just be it unless the FO makes some really stupid deal.
@DBreezy @hawki I wouldn't have added Hedo to that list but you have a good point. Washington especially has shown signs of being a much better team with Wall and Nene back. This Suns team does seem to have a lot of good (good but not great) players that just don't always work well together, especially on defense. The pieces of the puzzle aren't really bad, they just aren't great and don't fit together very well.
@effyewe Telfair is already well known in the NBA as a solid backup PG. If the Suns are trying to shop him around as part of a trade deal, it makes some sense to keep him on the bench (to avoid injury) and give Marshall the backup PG mins until the trade deadline.
@Sillmarillion I originally had some difficulty signing in at VOTS even after I created an account. I finally was able to sign in after changing my browser settings. That might be part of it. And IowaPHXfan is also right about some people just not wanting to have to create accounts (for various reasons) to make comments. I've been burned before by creating "accounts" and then suddenly getting tons of spam in my email. I trusted VOTS enough to not get involved with anyone that would do that to it's readers though.
1 year, 6 months ago on Al Jefferson and Gordon Hayward interest Suns, Coro reports
@BarryZiskin The last thing I read on Frye's condition is that he's definitely out the rest of the season but he's continuing treatment and is hopeful to return next season. You can read a very recent article (Feb. 7) on him at
Yes, the Suns have "limited assets" as far as trades go... unless they are willing to part with some of their 1st round picks. I wouldn't trade any of them except for those the Suns have acquire from other teams and only then if the trade is very favorable to the Suns. But I also obviously want the Suns to explore EVERY trade opportunity that comes up.
I wouldn't mind acquiring Shumpert. The Suns need a good 2. As much as I like Dudley, Shumpert is younger and has more upside potential. I don't really like the idea of throwing in a 1st round pick into the deal but if it's one of the picks that the Suns have acquired from other teams instead of their own it might not be such a bad idea, especially if it's a future pick and not one from this year's draft. I'm not sold on the idea but it has enough merit to continue looking into.
And I was just reading about the potential trade for J. Smith with Atlanta. It seems that rumor won't go away. I'm not big on that idea either but if the Suns could pull off both and bring in Shumpert and Smith for Dudley and Gortat... ? That would change the team a great deal. And even if the Suns lost Smith at the end of the season, perhaps that could lead to a sign and trade deal that would get the Suns a nice trade exception to use later on. Like I said, I'm not really for it but I can see some positives that could come out of it.
And even adding those two at the trade deadline probably wouldn't make the Suns finish the season better than 7th or 8th from the bottom of the NBA... if that high. Especially if loosing Dudley and Gortat is part of the process of bringing them in.
1 year, 6 months ago on Iman Shumpert wanted by Suns, according to NBA trade rumor
@PhxSunsFanInLA I just don't see Marshall ever becoming a 13/10 player in the style of offense that Phoenix plays. If Phoenix slows down it's offense and turns to a more deliberate half court game, maybe. Marshall isn't slow but he also isn't fast or quick.. He's just not athletic enough for a fast paced offense and he's never going to be more than an average defender for the same reasons.
1 year, 6 months ago on Preview: Phoenix Suns (17-33) at Oklahoma City Thunder (37-12)
@GregBrannan @IowaPhXfan O'Neal probably wouldn't last long playing starter's minutes for the rest of the season and as for the rest of it, it sounds like the recipe for a good run at the #1 draft pick while giving younger plays court time.
I think that the Suns will find a trade partner for Johnson's expiring contract before the deadline though as part of a multi-player deal.
1 year, 6 months ago on New Orleans Hornets 93, Phoenix Suns 84 -- Too much Mardi Gras
Lol, Sorry for that last post. For some reason the new comments system hasn't let me sign in since the site started using it. But somehow it finally started working. I have no idea why.
This livefyre is crap