June 2009 - Posts
The Phoenix Suns have traded Shaquille O'Neal to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic. ESPN is breaking the news right now, as Yahoo Sports probably reported first (?). No Tweets from Shaq or Amare (yet)... Shaq has tweeted quite a bit tonight, but nothing on the trade.
This move is "mostly" salary related, since it really won't make the Suns any better. Not sure it makes Cleveland any better to be honest... Realize this is a business and the Suns can't over-pay for a non-playoff team.
The move signals confidence in both Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire, although much more could still happen tomorrow during the draft (or even before the season starts. Ben Wallace will probably be bought out and/or waived pretty quickly. The Suns have no intention of playing him and he's been leaning towards retiring anyway. Pavlovic adds a shooter, but the Suns have real depth problems in the frontcourt now. I would expect another trade or see them draft a Center or Power Forward. Amare will be a target next year if they can't find a big man to support him.
Suns Draft Party
I will be attending the Suns Draft Party, so expect some cool stuff that night or the following day. Hoping to get some good pics & perhaps some interviews if some of the players are warm to it.
While some teams appear to have their 2009 NBA Draft plans in stone already (think LA-Griffin), the Phoenix Suns and other teams after the 1st pick are a little less clear. Starting with the 2nd pick, the NBA Draft looks to be one of the most dynamic in recent history. Not only is there no clear selection of players, but many teams are lining up for the 2010 free agent season when LeBron James and others will be available. Many franchises will be unwilling to take on huge salaries right now with so much at stake next season.
The questions for the Phoenix Suns are numerous...
- Which of the big 3 gets traded for salary room? Nash, Shaq or Stoudemire.
- Does Phoenix even keep their 14th pick? They've taken cash more often recently.
- Do they take a big man to compliment/relieve Shaq/Stoudemire or a guard to relieve Nash?
Phoenix is no different than the other teams in that they are looking forward to the 2010 season, but they have a more difficult task ahead of them. The signing of Shaq has not proven to be successful, while fan favorite Steve Nash is facing free agency soon and it is unclear if the Suns are interested in paying him top-level at his age. Top that off w/ "Sun Tzu" (Amare Stoudemire) and his on/off behavior recently and you don't really envy GM Steve Kerr right now. He is either going to piss off the fan-base to start rebuilding or he's going to make a move that "might" put them in the playoffs next year... notice I didn't say "championship". The Suns had 46 wins and couldn't get the 8th seed... sorry, but I don't expect much more out of them w/out a shake-up in the roster.
There is no clear direction for the Suns so we all wait, holding our breath, to see what the future has in store.
Suns' 2-Time MVP Steve Nash has been a special correspondent on the David Letterman Show the past few games of the NBA Finals. The premise is simple - Nash tries to be goofy and/or entertainint - and he does a pretty good job at it.
The interviews and interaction w/ the fans is quite hilarious, but there is a stink being made about Nash's comments at the end of the segment, when Letterman implies that Steve should be in playing for the NY Knicks. Nash didn't play it off or say he was happy in Phoenix, but his answer was playful & somewhat jokingly at the same time. While I have no doubt that Nash would love to play for D'Antoni in New York, I think he's happy here and will remain a Suns player.
Do you think Nash is on his way out or was he just kidding?