34 games into the 2012-2013 NBA season and it seems to me it’s time the Suns stop fooling themselves by chasing after the fools gold idea of “Being Competitive” And instead they should just suck it up, give young players more playing time, and play for draft position; in other words, tanking. The concept of tanking isn’t popular among fans, because at the end of the day no one likes the idea of losing.
But let’s take a look at the facts here, the Suns currently has 12-22 record, a better record than only four teams in the NBA, the New Orleans Hornets, Washington Wizards, Charlotte Bobcats and the Cleveland Cavaliers; keep in mind aside from Charlotte, the other three teams have been plagued by injury all season long.
The Suns has a 5-12 record since December, they’re 6 games behind the 8th seed playoff team in the west, and according to John Hollinger’s NBA playoff odds system, the Suns has a 0.1 chance of making the playoffs.
Okay just for fun let’s look at the Suns current position with some optimism. Let’s assume these guys miraculously rights the ship the next 3 months and some how finishes with a near .500 record. News flash, the Suns play in the western conference, unless you a win good 44-45 games in a 82 game season, you’re not making the playoffs in the western conference; western conference simply has too many good teams.
So what that ultimately means is, once again come June, the Suns end up with a draft pick around the 10-14 range. Can you find a cornerstone caliber play with picks in that range? Off course you can, you can find a cornerstone level player with any pick but is it likely? Just as about as likely as you striking oil in your front yard.
What’s the most logical move for the organization at this point?
First and foremost make some trades, trade away guys like Shannon Brown, Sebastian Telfair and Marcin Gortat whose contracts expire within the next couple of seasons anyways. Gortat’s already made it clear he’s going to walk, Telfair’s contract expires at the end of this season, and Brown is a decent player but he’s zip codes away from being an all-star level player.
Now, what you get in return when you trade those guys away, you get ASSETS! Assets which can come in the form of draft picks, or even other young talents! By trading those guys away it also opens up more playing time for guys like Kendall Marshall, Wesley Johnson, and even Markieff Morris(who I believe needs more playing time) which will give those young guys a chance to improve their game; you learn better on the fly than you do being a Luke Walton.
What’s the end result of all this? It results in tremendous draft freedom come June, which will allow the Suns to have a good chance of drafting their future cornerstone player. Is this upcoming draft super loaded with talent? No. However, the 2013 NBA draft are loaded with highly talented shooting guards, and centers; two positions that the Suns don’t have stabilized.
Please don’t try to convince me or yourself that Marcin Gortat is the center of the future, Gortat is turning 29 next month, and he’s averaging 11.5 points and 8.6 rebounds this season and I doubt he’ll undergo a transformation this off-season and comeback next season going on 30 looking like the second coming of Hakeem Olajuwon. As far as Shannon Brown goes he’s been decent but he has yet to post a average PER(Player efficiency rating) of 15.
The Suns are still in search of a cornerstone level player since Steve Nash departed this past summer and Suns fans, if you want to see the Suns contend within the next 5 seasons, the Suns need to disconnect the life support on what was a borderline dead season to begin with.
Even head coach Alvin Gentry is likely to pack up his office in a box at the season’s end. Gentry is on the final year of his contract and the Suns front office has shown little interest in hashing out an extension with him.
In professional sports you’re either on the top or on the bottom, no team wants to be in the middle because you end up going absolutely nowhere. It’s where the Suns have been since they reached the western conference finals in 2010 and look at the Suns progress since, in an attempt to try remain “Competitive” They’ve lost their cornerstone in Steve Nash, they’ve failed to reach the playoffs the last 2 seasons(on the verge of a 3rd), and most importantly they have yet to find that player to build around.
It gets to a point where no one wants to accept it but we’re cognizant of it, the season is no longer worth salvaging, the team has no cornerstone, and it’s time to pull the plug on the life support machine. The Suns need to begin looking towards the future as opposed to sitting on the idea and the concept of being competitive, it’s fools gold and if the last 2 seasons has taught the Suns anything, it ultimately grants no reward.
It’s time to yank that plug Mr. Sarver, it’s time…