Suns Go For A Rebuild … Again

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HANG TIME WEST – It’s official: this part of the transition away from the Steve Nash-Grant Hill years in Phoenix is devoted to cleaning up the last transition.

The new general manager just acquired the new point guard of the future, 53 weeks after the previous general manager acquired the previous point guard of the future. Which came after the mangled coaching change that had to be corrected. Which came after investing $18 million over three years, not all guaranteed, to get free agent Michael Beasley, although snagging snag him away from whom has never been entirely clear around a league often not pining for Beasley (at even less money).

Change happens and change really happens when a franchise ends a long chapter by trying to find life after Nash and Hill, but the move to get Eric Bledsoe from the Clippers in the three-team deal that also delivered Caron Butler is noteworthy. What had been apparent in the days before the Draft has become a certainty early in free agency.

Ryan McDonough, hired as general manager on May 7, gave Michael Carter-Williams the long look of a second in-person workout for the No. 5 pick. He didn’t care that the Suns a year earlier, under Lance Blanks, invested a lottery choice on another point guard, Kendall Marshall. And McDonough certainly didn’t care about the roster in place when he selected center Alex Len despite the presence of veteran Marcin Gortat.

Then came news of Bledsoe and Butler to Phoenix, J.J. Redick from the Bucks in a sign-and-trade and Jared Dudley from the Suns to the Clippers, and a pair of second-round picks to Milwaukee, and it was official. McDonough had worked hard to get a new point guard, either to replace or play with Goran Dragic, but either it was someone instead of Marshall.

The Draft-night call was intriguing enough. Take Ben McLemore, arguably the best talent in the Draft, for the team that was 28th in the league in 3-point shooting and 23rd in overall field-goal percentage? Take Nerlens Noel, ditto, for the team that finished 26th in scoring defense and 25th in shooting defense? Get Len, the best true center on the board, as an overall value? Go with one of the several point  guards, including Carter-Williams, who would have been reasonable choices in that range?

There was no wrong call, especially among the McLemore-Noel-Len grouping. Gortat averaged 11.1 ppg and 8.5 rpg in 30.8 minutes and was one season removed from a double-double, but it was easy to justify Len as one of the five best prospects of the Draft. It was also easy to see the chance to trade Gortat into additional assets once Len shows himself capable of the starting job. Plus, Gortat turns 30 at midseason.

Things broke right for Phoenix when, after passing on McLemore, a potential starter at shooting guard was still available at 29. Archie Goodwin was the first to say he should have gone back to Kentucky for a sophomore season, and even say it while stating he wasn’t close to NBA-ready, but remains a legit prospect. He was eight months removed from being considered a lottery possibility, before an inconsistent season that could have been simply been life as a freshman or not living  up to the considerable hype of his arrival in Lexington. Goodwin still has something.

The underrated Dudley, another positive character guy for the Clippers locker room, is a loss. But Bledsoe-Dragic-Goodwin is a real future in the backcourt, with returnee Shannon Brown and whatever Marshall contributes on the court or in trade. Len is a bigger part of the long term in Phoenix than Gortat. Butler is 33, but also heading into the final season on his contract and, oh, yeah, he’s not Beasley.

The Suns are moving forward again, making a transition while trying to erase the previous transition.

27 Comments

  1. loco says:

    I think it really makes sense to send gortat to the pelicans for gordon. The little fellah wants to play in arizona, while NO already acquired evans, who is way better at the two than the three. NOLA needs a big and i think gortat will be a very good fit. The Suns hope they drafted their future center, so why not give him playing time right away. And in gordon they get a shooter with superstar potential.
    maybe there will be some other players or picks involved and probably another team, but i definately see this deal

    • Tyrone says:

      However, there is a huge risk with Gordon. Yea he is capable of being an all-star when he is healthy, but again he has been injury prone ever since he came to New Orleans. So the trade of Gortat for Gordon may end up being a bad one if Gordon gets injured like he did in NOLA. But if he stays healthy then it should be a fair deal cuz Gortat needs a great PG to feed him the ball which is evident by the numbers he had without Nash, if he gets sent to NOLA, then he would have an All-Star PG in Jrue Holiday to feed him the ball to allow him to go abck to the numbers he averaged for 2012. So it’s a tough gamble for the Suns if they pull off the deal.

  2. CHINA MAN says:

    Suns should get luke walton and white mamba to win championship

  3. Banananana says:

    Poorly written article indeed.

    Proofread.

  4. John smart says:

    Suns roster is on the improve but it doesn’t say playoffs to me.
    They still lack good shooting and their big men whilst being solid aren’t game changers.
    Bledsoe butler Beasley Morris gortat is how they will start games with dragic Len and Scola coming off the bench.
    30 wins? That’s about it

  5. Yeh Buddy says:

    the suns need to reset their franchise…the impossible being said they need to make smart moves. they just keep making moves which literally make no sense. Bledsoe is good but doesn’t that trade make the drafting/development of Kendall redundant. it seems as if they are trying to quickly gain back fans by obtaining players which seem to be flourishing in a different environment to which the suns have. Im still not sure why they got scola if they had a free season to develop markieff whilst Frye was out. its almost as they saw an available good player and said we must have him without addressing how he will fit in after in after him acting as an insurance to policy expires. AND SOMEONE MAKE B-EASY PLAY BETTER!!!

  6. Shawn says:

    Also, “Shawn K” did you say Eric Gordon is “Way Better” than Gortat…this coming from someone who said “Wes Johnson” is a “Solid SG/SF”…again, Eric Gordon was good…you obviously have not seen him play either this last year…while he had his moments…it is also obvious that he is still hobbled and half the player he was! Plus…can you really compare a Guard with Center and make that blanket statement? Gordon is not going to block shots like Gortat, he’s not going to rebound like Gortat, he won’t have as good of a field goal percentage as Gortat…in other words it’s all about what you need not simply a blanket statement that “He’s way better….”

  7. KNICKSALLDAY says:

    The suns should trade haddadi for lebron…

  8. KNICKSALLDAY says:

    The suns should trade haddadi for lebron

  9. qdqdqq says:

    is beasley still under contract with suns? or can they cut him if they want?

  10. Dave says:

    That is a poorly written article. How many times you gunna repeat yourself? That’s not alliteration, it’s poor writing. Also the second paragraph makes zero sense.

  11. JG says:

    I think the Suns definitely got away with high way robery. Bledsoe is amazing quick great handles and can shoot.
    I think he is to small for a Shooting guard. My line up without any hesitation would be

    PG Bledsoe /Dragic – Sixth Man/ Marshall
    SG Wesley Johnson/ Caron Butler/Goodwin
    F Marcus Morris / Michael Beasley/
    PF Markeif Morris/ Channing Frye/ Oriahki
    C Alex Len/Gortat/Scola

    The Morris twins play great together. The chemistry is auto matic

  12. J says:

    they can be great again
    maybe trade gortat and scola for a D playing PF like say ibaka or depth

  13. Polak from Poland says:

    Milwaukee for that moment have problem with finding new SG, if Gortat will be traded there are only few directions for him,exemple: Portland, Boston, Dallas, Atlanta,Toronto this are teams wchich desperately needs C and have cup room…

  14. Dauntless says:

    hello
    July 3, 2013 at 11:18 pm
    good moves by Phoenix so far…. NEXT they should trade Gortat to Millwakee for one or two of them PF’s (that they have an abundance of)…. Id take Henson and Ilyasova (for Gortat and Brown)!!

    That will be an exciting YOUNG team to go watch…

    C- Len / Ilyasova
    PF- Henson / Morris Brothers
    SF- Beasly / Butler
    SG- Bledsoe / Goodwin
    PG- Dragic / Marshal

    Notice: among some other names (I left out Scola)… Whom I think they also should trade

    once Dwight Howard sign— alot of these teams with a bunch of sallary remaining will be scattering for talent (in order to compete) and I bet countless will call the Suns for Scola

    this team could be good.. they are deffinitly putting themself in a position to compete…

    Let me say on behalf of the entire bucks organization, and its fans, we do not want your trash in gortat and brown for henson and llyasova. you sound like a laker or celtic fan with that proposal.

  15. mark says:

    The suns have not been drafting well they drafted the wrong lopez maybe they had no choice at the time they get k.marshall after they sign dragic and give a under sized yet electric 2 gaurd in shanon brown a big contract but then try to get e. gordon from the then hornets then drafting a morris brother then trading for the other bot to mention the drafting of morris almond did I spell that right drafting earl clark trading him along with J rich I can keep going lol hopefully len is the long term center for the and bledsoe takes the pg job by the horns and maybe beasley will or wes johson will make a good 2 and 3 but all the trades and maybes won’t get them anywhere fast without a system and a coach and players that fit thank you

  16. Alex says:

    I just don’t see Bledsoe panning out. I think Marshall has a higher ceiling. Same with Len. He could be a solid 12, 8 guy maybe. But star centre? No.

  17. underdog says:

    Suns need to trade Gortat for the Pelicans’ Gordon. Gordon wants to play for the Suns and Lopez is getting traded to the Blazers.. Gortat would be perfect for the Pelicans who needs a big needed at the center spot since their full of ball dominant guards already (Holiday, Vasquez, Gordon, Rivers)

    • Shawn K says:

      GOOD LUCK TRADING GORTAT AND GETTING ERIC GORDON IN RETURN!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gordon is WAY better than Gortat, plus the Pelicans(I think) plan to have Holiday, Gordon, Evans, Davis and probably Lopez as their line-up. Gordon for Gortat is insane!!!

  18. hello says:

    good moves by Phoenix so far…. NEXT they should trade Gortat to Millwakee for one or two of them PF’s (that they have an abundance of)…. Id take Henson and Ilyasova (for Gortat and Brown)!!

    That will be an exciting YOUNG team to go watch…

    C- Len / Ilyasova
    PF- Henson / Morris Brothers
    SF- Beasly / Butler
    SG- Bledsoe / Goodwin
    PG- Dragic / Marshal

    Notice: among some other names (I left out Scola)… Whom I think they also should trade

    once Dwight Howard sign— alot of these teams with a bunch of sallary remaining will be scattering for talent (in order to compete) and I bet countless will call the Suns for Scola

    this team could be good.. they are deffinitly putting themself in a position to compete….

    • 1. Ilyasova isn’t even a Center hes a power forward…so if you’ll trade for him they’ll have 4 or 5 guys on the PF position…and even if they won’t trade Gortat, it’ll be fine…Gortat can slide down to the PF spot cuz hes not a banger…and they still have Hamed Haddadi at the center spot

      2. Bledsoe is not really that effective at the SG position hes most suited at the PG position…so I think this is a bad move for Phoenix considering they have the up and coming Dragic who is slowly improving his game…with bledsoe it will hinder his improvement

      3. Overall….I think those were bad moves for Phoenix…still confused what they’re trying to do

    • Shawn K says:

      Nice opinions. I think you brought up some great ideas/points. I think Gortat and brown for Henderson and Ilyasova would be a good deal for the suns. they’d probably have to give up a draft pick(whether it be 1st or 2nd round, I don’t know.) to get those guys, but if they did, the Suns line-up (in my opinion) should be:

      Center: Alex Len
      Power-Forward: Marcus-Markieff Morris (or Ilyasova if they make the trade. I think they should trade Scola as well)
      Small-Forward: Butler(Beasley has a less than clean past, I think is he cleans up his act and decisions, he can be a star)
      Shooting-Guard: Wesley Johnson( or Archie Goodwin)
      Point-Guard: Eric Bledsoe

      I think this will be the starting line-up(if the trade DOES happen for Ilyasova) because Goran Dragic was a disappointment(in Managements opinion(stated in a previous article)) I think Wes Johnson is a solid SG/SF that could start. I think Butler over Beasley at SF because Beasley is a bit of a liability due to his past(but as I said, if he cleans up his act, he can be a star). I think one of the Morris brothers will start at PF because there is no trade talk for the suns to acquire a better PF(I still think they should trade Scola!!!!!) and Alex Len at center. Give the rook instant minutes and a starting role to build his confidence and help him reach his potential!! Now I’m not really a Suns fan by any means, but I think the post-Steve Nash era hasn’t turned out good for the Suns yet. But I’d like to see them do ok as a team.