NBA / Apr 7, 2009 / 5:10 pm

Suns Back To The Drawing Board

Phoenix Suns

As the Suns sit one defeat or one Dallas victory from elimination, I bet Steve Kerr is rethinking driving Mike D’Antoni out of Phoenix last year. Whether or not they were making it the NBA Finals, they were at least making the playoffs.

Back in the lottery after four years where they won between 54 and 62 game, the Suns (42-35) have a lot to think about this offseason:

1. What is the status of Steve Nash?
Nash has been the consumate professional this season, but let me be the first to tell you, as soon as he can, he’s gone. First he lost his coach, then they traded away all his friends, and now it looks like the two-time MVP will never get his shot to win a ring.

2. Where does Shaq fit in?
The Big Cactus has made it clear that he wants to keep adding miles to his tank, but despite a great season for the Suns this year, Shaq does not fit into their long term plans. In reality, with Shaq’s shelf life approaching its expiration date, he doesn’t fit into any team’s long term plans. If they can trade him for young talent or picks to a contender, everyone wins.

3. Can the Suns play defense?
Even if Kerr brought in Chuck Daly, the Suns as they are today are not going to play defense. As the season winds down, they are about to become the first team in 51 years to lead the NBA in scoring and field-goal percentage and not make the playoffs.

What would you do to fix the Phoenix Suns?

Source: The Arizona Republic

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  • T$

    I say reset the roster, rebuild, trade for youth, find an identity, change the culture, etc. etc. So…Nash to Portland! Think about it:


    now if only they could afford it…

  • that’s whats up

    time machine

  • http://dimemag.com Dime Magazine

    Haha. I agree.


  • karizmatic

    That’s a tough question….if it were me I’d go into immediate rebuilding mode. I’d trade Nash probably to New York for Wilson Chandler and whatever makes the deal work. I’d shop Shaq definitely. Although I don’t know who’s interested in him. I’d even be open to shopping Amare, if I can get a blue chip big man such as Chris Bosh or somebody like that in return. I would also definitely be looking to get rid of Barbosa in the hopes I could attract a good young point guard, in a trade for him and maybe Grant Hill and Matt Barnes. In other words I be looking to ship off as many pieces as I could and just start over with a whole new team attitude. I’d also hire Avery Johnson and give him a shot at running my team with a fresh start. Even after all that I wouldn’t expect to really win for another four years.

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    1. Build a time machine.
    2. Go back in time and keep Coach D’Antoni.
    3. Go back in time and keep Rajon Rondo.
    4. Go back in time and keep Marion thus passing on Shaq.
    5. Go back in time and keep Bell and Diaw.

    In other words there’s nothing you can do to fix what has happened. The only option left is to dump and rebuild. Trade Shaq, let Nash walk and try to stock pile young talent with draft picks to prepare for the the future.

  • alimoe

    this is so disappointing, Kerr single handidly destroyed the most exciting contender in the NBA. i understand Marion had to go and Shaq has played well, but the Porter hire was just awful. sarver took Mike D for granted, say what you want about him the Suns almost took down the Spurs and would have easily dispatched that sorry Cavs team for a chip. i cant believe it has come to this now they cant even make the playoffs. the Bell/Diaw trade was a mistake too, diaw would have been huge without Amare. what a waste we need a firestevekerr.com up asap

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    @that’s what’s up

    You’re too quick. It took me so long to write my damn comment you beat me to the punch.

  • parinaz suns

    fire steve kerr and get robert sarver to sell the team to someone who knows what the hell they are doing.

    of course the one year we aren’t playing the spurs in the playoffs ginobilis out. awesome.

  • wiz

    If they would have kept alot of there picks from the past they wouldnt have this problem…. I would package shaq wit nash or shaq wit someone and see what i could get i think the best bet would be to talk to toronto….Altough I still believe the suns could hold there own look at the team on paper, they just really need to commit on defense and most of that falls in the lap of the past and present coachs.

  • Celts Fan

    Kerr’s only doing what his boss – Sarver – tells him to. As long as Sarver cares more about the box office than the box score, they got no shot.

    @spliff – you forgot one; keep luol dang

  • Kermit The Washington

    Kerr came in with a commitment to defense. Turns out, he’s the only one with such a commitment. If you’re blaming him for forcing D’Antoni out, then blame the players for not being able to play d. Like, didn’t D’Antoni ship HIMSELF out because of the defensive focus? How is Kerr at fault for any of this? He’s apparently the ONLY Suns member who cares about D. Ok fine, him, shaq, and GHill.

  • K Dizzle

    Time machine really is the best answer, but go further back.

    1) Sign Joe Johnson
    2) What Spliff said #s:1-5 on post 5
    3) What Celts said post #10
    4) Never hire Steve Kerr in the first place

    Imagine that – Lineup of Nash, JJ, Marion, Diaw and Amare with Bell, Barbosa and Hill off the pine. That’s a 55 win squad. Amare goes out for the season, you plug in Boris. The basketball gods work their magic and the first round matchup is Spurs-Suns. No Amare; no Manu….So yeah, fire Steve Kerr

  • ianodelaleza

    why havent you pointed out nash’s continuous lack of effort and skill on the defensive end?

    they really had played better this year when nash was out


  • K Dizzle

    # post 13

    Explain how Nash leads the league in charges drawn, but somebody can post askin about his “continuous lack of effort”?
    Don’t believe the hype. Watch the games…

  • SayItAintSo

    Drawing an occasional charge doesn’t mean you’re a good defender.
    Don’t look at the numbers, or watch the game like a vegetable. Understand what’s going on…

  • Sanpitch

    agree with 15

    there ain’t no “quick” fix here. trading for jason richardson and his $13 and then $14 mil contract was DUMB!

    they need to build around amare. they have nash for next year and need to keep him. they should trade shaq and get anything. more than likely grant hill is gone.

    so if i am phoenix, try and dump shaq and j-rich’s salaries and build a half court team around amare. sure the run and gun offense is exciting and puts up some sick stats, but no one has won a ring with it. gots to go with a half court team that can fast break, not the opposite.

  • Mark

    Rebuild. What else?

    Plus during the revamping, you can tell who was a real Suns fan and who was a bandwagon fan. Fun!

  • ianodelaleza

    hey kdizzle

    for your information iv watched EVERY suns game this season, so what he takes charges…one or two a game…what about when his man gets past him 20-30 times a game…what about when he doesnt get a hand up on a shooter, or close on the shooter, how about when he lays off the effort when screens are involved.

    i play(ed) ball, i liked defending so i know how to stop guys or at least hinder them…nash just seems to have a ‘o well’ syndrome when guardin guys

  • Rizwan

    First of all, the Suns under D’Antoni recognised Steve Nash cant play defense, thats why they had Raja Bell and Shawn Marion. Now, they have no one, the one exception being Grant Hill.

    What they got to do now is blow it up. They should never have traded for Shaq, even though he has done well. Marion’s contract would be up now if he had stayed and didnt want to resign. this would have left them with some flexibility for the free agents this off season.

    You cant begin to count the mistakes the Suns management has made, but I’m gonna try. This is not in order of importance!

    1. Luol Deng
    2. Rajon Rondo
    3. Trading for Shaq
    4. Joe Johnson
    5. Rudy Fernandez
    6. Robin Lopez
    7. even letting Kurt Thomas go and not getting Marcin Gortat were mistakes!
    8. trading for J-Rich
    9. Firing D’Antoni
    10. Hiring Terry Porter
    11. trying to emulate the Spurs
    12. Steve Kerr
    13. Matt Barnes at the 4
    14. Matt Barnes in starting 5
    15. Matt Barnes on the bench
    16. see above – replace with Swift
    17. Letting Bryan Colangelo go
    18. Q-Rich
    19. Nate Robinson
    20. signed PG Marcus Banks to a five-year contract worth $21.3 million

    Please keep your pick this year. Ear Clark would fit in well, as would Stephen Curry if Nash and J-Rich go. Look at Ramon Sessions.

  • QQ

    LOL @ ‘time machine’.

    My answer would be ‘kick Shaq’s ass out of the team’. That clown ain’t funny anymore. Just fucking retire, Big Dud.

  • K Dizzle

    @ post 18

    good points

    there are about 6-7 starting points who I consider defensive minded. So not counting Kidd, Billups, DWill, Rondo, Westbrook, Lowry and maybe Baron, when he wants to, off the top of my dome, there really ain’t a lot of defensive points. Maybe Nash haters should trade his 18 and 11 for Jacque Vaughn or Jason hart and realize that the dude does more offensively than any negatives he brings to the court defensively. Tony Parker can’t guard a glass of water but the spurs cover him with a defensive anchor so maybe the suns should get dude a shotblocker so I don’t have to keep hearin how one of the best shootin/best passin points in the world can’t stop guys even tho he puttin 20 and 15 on em every other night.

  • the truth

    How to fix the Suns? Get Kerr the hell out of there. It seems that no former Bull is good at the front office.

    Paxson – can’t get new talent, messed up on Wallace signing
    Kerr – messed up a good thing
    Jordan – words can’t describe it….at least he hired Larry Brown…

    I’m probably missing someone, but chances are the majority of former Bulls are no good in the front office.

  • Mark

    Just give Sasha Vujajaja a watch… there’s your time machine.

  • DarthSickness

    Livin down here in Tucson, i used to respect Kerr’s J and all. He’s not so smooth in the front office. Couple that fact with the laundry list of the aforementioned missed players/opportunities, you’ve got one incredibly frustrating team to try to like. When Amare comes back, he’ll be all pissed off at how blown up the team is, we’ll be right back where we started, no fire or passion, and the expectation that “We’re too good to lose.” What a waste of talent. Shaq may have been an odd choice, but c’mon, ANY team could use the big fella, if only for jersey sales!

  • http://nbaroundtable.wordpress.com/ Dave

    The Suns need to blow it up — keep Amare and make him one of the centerpieces to the new Suns team. Then remove all contracts which stretch past 2010 (Barbosa, J-Rich), and use that free agency period to rebuild the ball club — that’s what I’d like to see the Suns do.

    I hope they don’t trade Amare. I think that would be a mistake. Too young, too good, too hard to replace.

  • Sam

    The suns have a few options:
    1. Rebuild for a championship next season around Steve Nash and Amare in run and gun style.

    To do this they would have to get rid of Shaq, Tucker, Barnes (maybe even J Rich) and replace them with more defensive minded players to fill the roles that Marion, Bell, Diaw, Thomas etc used to have. Dahntay Jones, Anthony Carter, Brian Skinner, Quinton Ross, Sheldon Williams, Jason Collins: all defensive minded players likely to go relatively cheap.

    2. Rebuild around Shaq for a championship next season in a half-court style game.

    To do this they should keep Amare, trade Nash to NY or let him walk, get rid of J Rich, Barnes, possibly Barbosa etc. Sign Antoine Walker and Jason Williams. Sign Defensive minded players listed above.

    3. Rebuild Completely

  • http://dimemag.com/ Aron Phillips


    Great post!

  • added

    how to fix phoenix?

    fire the moron responsible – steve kerr

  • everybodyisslow

    simple to point out what the suns lack.. its called playing D-fense.. score all you want and make yourselfs look like a and 1 mix tape team but bottum line is when you play teams who spend time on playing defense, all that score sh@t doesnt matter when you couldnt even hold the lady vols to under 100 points.

  • Rizwan

    Thank you Aron. Maybe Dime can give me a job now!!

  • Big V

    Kerr clearly has no idea what he’s doing, or he’s taking direction from people who have no idea what they’re doing. Either way, management is to blame for the sorry state of affairs in Phoenix.

    I agree with the guy who said that PHX would have won the chip had they gotten by SA that year that they beat CLE in the Finals. A couple of bad breaks erased that possibility, but the team was still a solid contender.

    Now, there’s no choice to but to blow up and start again. As a Knick fan, I’m hoping that we’re able to salvage some of the scraps, provided we don’t have to part with Wilson Chandler, Nate Robinson, or David Lee to make it happen (although I’m sure one or more of those guys won’t be around after next season).

  • gymrat

    Build around Stoudemire. Trade Nash and Shaq for decent/developing pieces.

  • hucklebuck

    Fire Kerr, hire a Colangelo, draft/trade for a backup point guard.

    Hire a coach and keep him all year.
    Let Shaq go.
    Give Grant Hill the SPRITE he drank this year again.
    Hire a former big man (like Sikma or Ewing) to help Lopez and Swift.

    Call Michael to hit Steve Kerr in the face again.

  • Hopefull

    I think they should trade for amazing PG like Marbury, sing Penny Hardaway, and get a stud center like Lug Longley. I could swear that I seen this combination before, I just can’t point finger where was it…

  • dagwaller

    Wow, great posts today, guys – Rizwan and KDizzle, really good points!

  • George W Kush Sr

    Steve Kerr had stated that if the Shaq trade didn’t work out then its on him. They’re about to miss the playoffs, so fire him.

    The only asset the Suns have that anyone really wants is Steve Nash, trade him and his expiring contract to a young team grooming a point guard with a lottery pick, say Memphis or Milwaukee or something.

    Barnes has a one year deal, so he’s gone anyway, Hill on the other hand would be welcomed by any contender, I can see him in Boston for Bill Walker.

    I would trade Barbosa to NY for Wilson Chandler and Chris Duhon.

    Now, for Shaq, seriously, there’s only one idiot left in the league who would take him. Since he’s dealing with a fucked up contract in Baron Davis, he’s the perfect trading partner. I could end up getting BDiddy and at least De’Andre Jordan for Shaq’s contract.


    Duhon, Walker, Lopez off the bench + 2 draft picks.

    Gotta get some defensive coordinators on board, Gentry has the players respect for now, but Avery Johnson wouldnt be a bad hire either.

    But everything has to start with firing Kerr, then trades on draft day, if Phoenix doesn’t get those 2 things done by end June they might as well hire Kevin McHale or Isaah Thomas because they aint going nowhere.