Now that a quarter of the 2013-14 season is in the books, it’s time to dissect the array of moves that Phoenix’s new general manager Ryan McDonough concocted during his brief tenure with the Suns.
1. Trade with Pacers: (Luis Scola for Gerald Green, Miles Plumlee and 2014 1st rounder)
This trade has ended up being one of the better ones I can remember. It’s certainly the best one in Suns history in recent memory.
This trade was a win-win for both teams, but in different ways. For the Pacers, it makes sense because they needed a veteran to bolster their bench so they received Luis Scola. They also didn’t have any room for Miles Plumlee (because of Roy Hibbert) or Gerald Green (because of Paul George and Lance Stevenson). Additionally, the Pacers don’t care about the first round draft pick, because they will be vying for a championship, so any pick of theirs will be low. Even if they kept the pick they wouldn’t have any playing time for that rookie to grow.
For the Suns they “did right” by Scola by trading him to a contender. They also got younger and more athletic. They received another first rounder they can use, or package for an elite player. This is all in addition to receiving a quality starting center in Plumlee and a high-level role player in Green. Both of these players thrive in an up-tempo system like Phoenix instead of in the more defense-based, plodding Indiana system.
A fantastic, A+ transaction for the Suns.
2.Trade with Clippers (Jared Dudley for Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler)
This trade was pivotal because it showed an enterprising quality about McDonough and his staff and showed the fans a different way to be a GM. Instead of picking up other team’s leftovers, the Suns inserted themselves into the fray and beat other teams to the punch to get Bledsoe, who was coveted by many teams. The Clippers did it because they didn’t want to give Bledsoe a big contract as a back-up to Chris Paul, they also wanted to dump the salary of Caron Butler. Phoenix got Bledsoe as a foundation for the future of the Suns’ franchise. This was actually a three-way trade where J.J. Riddick went to the Clippers and Phoenix gave the Milwaukee Bucks a couple second-round picks. This trade was also good because Dudley got to live near his hometown and bets to okay for a contender.
Overall a great trade, especially when McDonough had more in store.
3. Drafting Len and Goodwin in 2013
McDonough had two picks going into the 2013 draft and went super young with 20-year-old Alex Len and now 19-year-old Archie Goodwin. This was a “potential play”. With both guys so young, their potential is almost limitless. It is looking like Len is farther away from really contributing than Goodwin, and not just because of Len’s ankle injury. Len seems more raw on both sides of the court. Goodwin has shown flashes of excitement on the court and bursts of speed and elite athleticism that gives hope to the fans.
A couple great pickups for the future of the franchise.
4. Trade with Wizards (Marcin Gortat, Shannon Brown, Kendall Marshall, Malcolm Lee for Emeka Okafor and their 2014 1st rounder)
This was more of a player dump. With Goodwin, Bledsoe and Green there was no room for Shannon Brown or Kendall Marshall in the guard rotation. It was basically Gortat for the 1st rounder, seeing as Brown, Marshall and Lee were all released soon after. Okafor is still injured, and it seems like he might not ever play for the Suns.
This trade was great because the Suns reduced the guard logjam, got younger and received a draft pick.
5. Trade with Bucks (Caron Butler for Ish Smith and Slava Kravtsov)
The Suns didn’t want to be on the hook for Butler’s huge contract, so they traded him near his hometown in Milwaukee for Smith and Kravtsov as roster filler, to “open in case of blow out”.
This was a good trade to clear up cap space for future transactions.
We’ll see what McDonough can cook up next.
Topics: Alex Len, Archie Goodwin, Basketball, Caron Butler, Emeka Okafor, Eric Bledsoe, Gerald Green, Ish Smith, Jared Dudley, Luis Scola, Marcin Gortat, Miles Plumlee, NBA, Offseason, Phoenix Suns, Ryan Mcdonough, Shannon Brown. Kendall Marshall, Slava Kravtsov