The December 15th date has passed and thus far zero trades have been made in the NBA. Why is the December 15th deadline so significant you ask? Well most free agent players that were signed over the summer who signed contracts without bird-rights are eligible to be traded for 3 months or until December 15th whichever day is the latest(January 15th for those contracts that are included with bird-rights); long story short, after December 15th there are more trading options.
So who could be on the move? Well, in all honestly I believe every player on the Suns faces a possibility of being traded before the February deadline, that doesn’t mean all them would, it’s just a mere possibility. The Suns are struggling through the first 24 games of the season having an unimpressive 9-15 record. So let’s take a look at some of the most likely players to be traded:
To be honest I’m half shocked that he’s still on the roster(half not-shocked because the Suns front office seem to run by cavemen), I thought that not trading Gortat during the draft last June to accumulate draft picks(or move up) in what was one of the deepest drafts in recent memory was a huge mistake.
Gortat’s production on his contract is what makes him so valuable. Good centers in the NBA are a diamond dozen, and at the same time they are as expensive as a dozen of diamonds, but Mr. Gortat here is set to be paid about 14 million in the next 2-years which is like trading a shiny penny for the Heart of the Ocean. Gortat is without a doubt the Suns most valuable trading piece and what they’d get for him could make a big difference in the future.
The rumors of late has been teams like Portland, Milwaukee, Boston, and Oklahoma City have had Gortat in their sight as a possible trade target but at this point Oklahoma City is on a 10-game winning streak and it’s unlike Sam Presti to fix what’s not broken. Nonetheless Gortat could be a great fit with all the other three teams since all three teams are in need of a good center.
Another possible option here could be Golden State since they recently lost center Andrew Bogut indefinitely due to a microscopic knee injury, and since Golden State is actually in the playoff picture at this point, sitting in the 5th spot in the west with a 16-8 record; adding Gortat to the mix could really solidify this young Warriors team for the next couple of seasons, not saying they’ll win the Larry O’Brien Trophy but they’ll be pretty damn good.
Conclusively speaking the two teams that could most realistically hash out a deal with the Suns for Gortat is Boston and Milwaukee. Both teams are set for a playoff run and the addition of Gortat would just make them that much better. Especially Boston who may be making it’s final run at the NBA title and with Gortat to help Kevin Garnett solidify that defense it gives them a far better chance come playoff time.
Scola is having a terrific season, in fact Scola is posting his second best career PER(Player Efficiency Rating). Scola was amnestied by Houston this past summer and the Suns are pretty much getting him a budget deal for 13 million over the next 3 seasons; a player of his caliber could just about earn that annually. Scola could reel in a decent chunk of assets for the Suns given his talent level and his contract situation.
Scola is aging, without a ring, the Suns are rebuilding, trading Scola at this point would seem to be best for both parties. Subjectively speaking I dislike the idea of trading Scola because this guy is such a hard worker and such a professional, as fan, I love having this guy on the team. However in reality if you don’t count Goran Dragic, he’s the second most valuable trading piece on the Suns.
The trade talk regarding Scola has been rather quiet however Scola would be a good fit for any team, and I mean any team. However a couple teams that could really use Scola is Minnesota and Indiana. Minnesota is a young team that lacks true veteran leadership, however they’re a very talented young squad whose starting to put it together but at the end of the day veteran leadership doesn’t grow out of thin air. Minnesota is a very ideal trading partner for the Suns as they’re able to package together a nice deal for Scola while Scola can heavily benefit Minnesota whether he’s starting or coming off the bench.
Indiana on the other hand simply could just use someone like Scola. David West’s contract expires after this season, and the team is currently underachieving partly due to the shocking struggles of Roy Hibbert. The Pacers doesn’t have much firepower off the bench with their 6th man arguably being Tyler Hansbrough and with West’s contract expiring after the season, Scola could prove to be a good insurance policy. This makes a lot of sense of Indiana both in the sense of short term and long term.
*I’ve actually discovered that Scola can’t be traded this season given he’s an amnesty auction, evidently many people such as myself have made the assumption that the amnesty clause in this CBA is similar to the one of the last CBA which it turns out it’s not so I apologize for my error.
Brown’s success in Phoenix hasn’t gone unnoticed. Most people believed Brown to be a product of the triangle offense in L.A but Brown’s proven to be just as good as he as he was in L.A. Brown has shown a lot of improvement this season attacking the basket however he still settles for too many jumpers which is what’s killing his shooting numbers but nonetheless, you can do a lot worse than having Shannon Brown as your 6th man or perhaps even as a starter.
Brown has a decent market when it comes to trades, high flying guards who can shoot typically do. Three teams that could really use Brown’s services are Minnesota, Memphis, and Houston. Brown is a decent trade piece but the Suns won’t get more than a 1st round draft pick for him in terms of asset value.
Let’s start off with Minnesota once again, Minnesota is trying to make a playoff run this season obviously they’ll try to win the title but let’s call a kettle black here, the best they’re going to do is get past the 1st round. Minnesota is in need of a shooting guard, they just got Ricky Rubio back which is huge but they still don’t have a solid 2-guard coming off the bench. Alexey Sheved was recently put into the starting role and he’s been pretty good but Minnesota needs to get a guy like Brown as an insurance for Brandon Roy. Not to dismiss Sheved’s game(In fact I got him on my fantasy team) but if Minnesota is going to on a playoff run they can’t put all their chips on an undrafted rookie.
Memphis is also in need of 2-guard off the bench. With O.J Mayo out of town Memphis has lacked that scorer off the bench, they were hoping to replace Mayo’s firepower with Wayne Ellington and Jerryd Bayless but both has disappointed; Memphis’ leading scorer off the bench is Quincy Pondexter with 6.4 points per game. Memphis clearly needs help at the 2-guard spot as they’re making a run at the title this season, and with a defensive stopper like Tony Allen in the starting line-up, Memphis hardly getting much scoring from the shooting guard spot. Brown would fix that immediately.
Houston is need of a shooting guard who can score as well. Houston has already acquired a big time shooting guard in James Harden before the season began but Harden has just about been their entire offense and at this point Harden needs some help. Adding Brown to that Houston rotation would be heavily ideal since Jeremy Lin and Harden love those pick and rolls and Brown is a terrific spot up shooter and an athletic finisher. The Rockets also don’t have much firepower from their guards off the bench as Toney Douglas and Carlos Delfino has been their top backcourt guys off the bench. Again Brown would heavily benefit this team going forward both production wise and taking pressure off of Harden.
The market for Telfair is as good as any, he’s one of the best back-up point guards in the league as of right now and just about any team could benefit from his services. Telfair came to Phoenix with hopes of giving his NBA career a CPR and he’s done just that and then some. Telfair recorded a career high PER last season, this season has been a little down but that’s mostly due to that awful slow start.
I’m not going to get into the teams that could possibly be potential destinations for Telfair because again, just about any team could go after him. Telfair won’t get the Suns must in terms of assets given that he’s on the final year of his contract and any team that would be trading for him would merely just want him as a 1-year rental so odds are the Suns won’t get more than one, at most two second round picks for Telfair. Keep in mind though those second round picks could become valuable IF the Suns make the right decisions come draft time, do you know who was a second round pick back in 2008? Goran Dragic.
To sum up, the Suns would pretty much make trades right now to position themselves for a better future. I can’t reiterate this point enough, holding onto Gortat is pointless! This guy wants out of Phoenix which he showed that when he declined a contract extension in October, and what the Suns get in return for him could potentially be what saves this franchise.
Gortat has a lot of value and he’ll reel in a lot of valuable assets for the Suns. Regarding Scola, if you ask me the Suns should trade him also, much like Steve Nash I feel bad that he’s playing out his 30s on a rebuilding team and a player like him deserves a shot at the title.
The Suns has a lot of big decisions to make this season and it’ll without a doubt impact the future. Suns fans are accustomed to seeing winning teams, so if you’re not winning now you might as well try to salvage the future and hopefully get the winning started up again next season. Great thing is, the future is now in the hands of the Suns management, now, doesn’t that just gives all of us a big jolt of confidence!(Sarcasm)