I love the way the Phoenix Suns do their business. Despite trading two-time MVP Steve Nash to the Los Angeles Lakers as part of a sign-and-trade deal on Wednesday night, the Suns managed their current predicament with relative ease. While it was hard to part with Nash, the Suns knew their time was just about up and for that, their future is looking bright.
Late last night and early this morning the Suns agreed to deals with former Minnesota Timberwolf Michael Beasley on a three year contract worth an estimated $18 million and former Sun and Houston Rocket Goran Dragic on a four year, $34 million contract.
The Suns will more than likely lose starting small forward Grant Hill to free agency, so signing Beasley was a good choice for the Suns. I watched Beasley play a lot of games for my Timberwolves and everyone knows how much talent he has. Despite narrowly missing the playoffs last season, the Suns lacked a consistent scoring-threat and relied more on “team” play to win games. Beasley will bring his score-first mentality to Phoenix, but I hope he also brings a few other things with him too, like defense, consistency and a good attitude. Those were the three main things he lacked while a member of the Miami Heat and Timberwolves, and a major reason about why Minnesota didn’t pick-up his team option this off-season (his option would have cost $8 mil).
Dragic was a member of the Suns from 2008 (his rookie season) to 2011 where he played 48 games for the Suns before being traded to the Rockets for Aaron Brooks. When starting point guard Kyle Lowry went down this past season, Dragic stepped-in at the point and played a big role for a team that barely missed the playoffs. He played in all 66 games, starting 28, and averaged 11.7 points and 5.3 assists per game for the season. He is now back in the “Valley of the Sun” for the foreseeable future. It does come as a bit of a surprise though, because the Suns drafted North Carolina’s Kendall Marshall with the no. 13 pick in last week’s draft.
The Suns are also in-play for restricted free agent Eric Gordon. Gordon released a quote the other after he visited the Suns in Phoenix, “After visiting the Suns, the impression the organization made on me was incredible.” Mr. Sarver, Lon Babby, Lance Blanks, the front office staff and Coach Gentry run a first-class organization, and I strongly feel they are the right franchise for me. Phoenix is just where my heart is now.” (Click here to find quote)
Did I mention that Phoenix offered Gordon a max contract worth $58 million over four years?
My heart, too, would be in Phoenix if someone offered me that much money. Chances are, the New Orleans Hornets will match that offer, crumbling any hopes Phoenix has of trying to get the young, promising shooting guard.
The Suns might not be very good this year or next, but they are making moves and still will be competitive in a very tough Western Conference. And who knows, maybe they could snatch the no. 8 seed next season?