Thursday, March 06, 2008

Still not finished

Okay, tons of thanks to Lewis for leading into this post: why would Portland do this? Won't this hinder the growth of the team together? What will Nash have in the tank in a few years?

Before I try to answer those questions, I need to fix one thing from the post yesterday. I left off a really important piece of the Suns roster in Grant Hill. I don't know how I did that. There are a few other guys on the roster too, but I think he was the only really important one I left off my made up two-deep depth chart. I was thinking that maybe Hill gets included in the deal, perhaps with Martell Webster coming over from Portland.

I don't know if that makes it more likely for Phoenix to do the deal, but I think it might because my whole idea is that they'd be blowing things up and trying to get younger and build from the ground up. Okay, whether or not that helps, here are the answers to those other questions.

  1. Why does Portland do this?

  2. Portland has the youngest team in the league right now. There was talk that Atlanta was younger after the trade for Bibby, but I think I saw somewhere else that this isn't true. Portland would be trading away three young players. One of whom is finally showing how much he can grow into his potential. One of whom was great as a rookie, but has been a little disappointing since then. And one of whom I love, but just isn't getting his chance with Portland and still needs more time to make mistakes and grow up. The other guy Portland would be trading is one of their few veterans, even though he isn't really that old. Portland would be willing to give up these guys because they'd be making a huge upgrade at the one position that's really a gigantic question still. Right now Blake is one of the main guys who brings veteran leadership, and Nash would do that to a far greater extent.

  3. Won't this hinder the growth of the team together?

  4. I think this would actually help the growth of the team. One of the problems with the inconsistency at point has been that we can't develop the team the way we want. This is supposed to become a great running team, but Jarrett Jack has trouble running the break, McMillan doesn't trust Sergio Rodriguez very much, and Blake, while good, still isn't as good as what we hope Sergio will be. The team is still built around Roy, Aldridge, and Oden, who will all be less than 24 next year. That's still young and still plenty of room to grow. In addition, we have another PG of the future stashed in Finland. Petteri Koponen has a ton of potential, much like Rodriguez, but would need a lot of time to develop. Having Nash on the team to help him develop in practice would be huge, and since Sergio is still just a great prospect, it makes sense to me to take the risk on another great prospect, especially if he could learn from Nash.

    Also, this gives Jarrett Jack more job security as the back up point guard, which is good because many consider him the soul of this team to Brandon Roy's heart. This also frees up room for McRoberts to get a chance, Joel Freeland to come over – perhaps – and get his chance, and pairs down the rotation a little better. Again, even though this would make the team a lot older, we'd really only have two old guys: Nash and Raef LaFrentz. We'd have two seasoned veterans: Joel Przybilla and James Jones. The rest of the guys on the team would still be either young studs/role players (Roy, Aldridge, Oden, Fernandez, and Jack) or prospects with huge upside (Koponen, McRoberts, and Freeland). I left out Darius Miles, but who knows what that guy might do.

  5. How much will Nash have left in the tank in a few years?

  6. I actually don't think it really matters how much he'd have left for a few years, because his main role would be to run the team next season and as much of the one after as he could, and then he can hand the reigns to Koponen, who will have hopefully already stepped into the role of PG and team leader. Maybe Nash has three good years left, maybe he only has two, at the worst maybe he has just one. But bringing him over would help everyone else develop and would give Koponen a chance to become the sort of point guard who could run a championship team.

Again, I don;'t think the Suns would ever make this deal. I also don't know if Pritchard would do it. But, as much as I'd like to see this team grow into a dynasty as-is, I think this sort of move – and specifically this move – could be the thing that helps us make the jump from up-and-comer to championship contender in only one off season.

I think there's probably more to figure out, but that's as much as I've gotten so far.

One last thing: Nash's salary is so reasonable that this would hardly have an effect on our upcoming cap space, if we still felt the need to find the last piece at small forward.

1 comment:

Lewis said...

Have you listened to the B.S. Report with Ric Bucher from Friday (3/8/08)? The SG said that he actually thinks that the Suns made the deal because they knew they had to run at a slower tempo to win. The reason he believes they needed to slow it down was due to Nash's poor play and possibly "breaking down" at this point in his career. If the Suns think that (and Bucher admitted something was bothering Nash but wasn't quite willing to concede the SG his point yet), they may want to make this trade after all.