What's up, Bright Side? Long time no post (not that I expect many of you would recall my previous posts/comments). I've been meaning to write down some of my post-regular season thoughts, having for once developed somewhat defined opinions on a variety of matters.
Feel free to ignore me, but if you're bored (like me), then you will surely read on.
The first thing I wanted to address is the upcoming NBA draft. All I've been hearing is how terrible this draft class is, how there aren't any all stars. Bulls**t is what I say to that. When was the last time a draft failed to produce at least one All Star quality player? I've looked back through the last 20 years, and every draft has produced All Stars. Every. Single. One. There's no denying there are some nice prospects in this year's draft - they may not be ready right now, but I'm sure, like always, some will find a way to contribute at an All Star level. And honestly? I still hold hope that we can snag one of the guys that will achieve that. Why must everyone be so damn pessimistic?
Obviously, an All-Star selection isn't a great measure of a player's success - Jamal Magloire and Wally Szczerbiak are among them, after all - but the point is, there are good-to-great players to be had in every draft... I don't expect this one to be an exception.
Moving on, I've mentioned before my affection for He Who Shall Not Be Named, a.k.a. Vince Carter. I can't help but liken his current situation to that of his second cousin just 10 months ago. Like T-Mac last July, Carter's career is at a crossroads. He's facing what many would perceive to be health/fitness issues, and most wonder if he has what it takes to continue to be successful at an NBA level. Personally, I think he does -it's not uncommon for players who are thought to be "washed up" to have a renaissance year and squeeze another year or two of productivity from their bodies. Carter, being the incredible athlete that he is, is surely a candidate. Once VC is bought out, I'm sure several teams will be chasing him - contending teams among them - which I think will provide the motivation he needs to get his career back on track. He obviously didn't want to be in Phoenix this year, but put him in a good situation as the #1 wing option, and I think he does the job. A little more on this shortly...
Another thing I've been musing, in light of OKC and Chicago's recent exits, is what pieces teams need to add in order to take the next step. Chicago is an obvious one, and is a favourite of mine, so I'm going to focus on them.
Rose can't carry the offense on his own - the last time a team tried to get a PG to be ALL of the offense, the best they got was an MVP, a couple scoring titles and one Finals berth. Let's ask Philadelphia if they'd do that again. Chicago is locked in at the 1, 3, 4 and 5 (unless they can miraculously ship out Boozer for dollar value), so their obvious need is at the 2. One of the more intriguing wing options I thought of was fan favourite and former Sun Jason Richardson. He's had a down year, accepting a limited/vaguely defined role, yet somehow improving (at least statistically) defensively. It would seem to me that J-Rich is capable of being a team defender on a good defensive team (which Chicago is, and will be for years to come), and combined with his offense, is all Chicago need from the 2.
Of course, it all comes down to cost. What sort of money does J-Rich deserve? What sort of money does he think he deserves? Chicago may well go down another path, opting for someone less risky, perhaps younger, probably cheaper. They could do worse than Richardson, though. (hint: an example would be Keith Bogans)
This brings me back to Carter. Where do you all think he ends up? I could see him in a Chicago jersey, but I'm not sure I'd want to. I could also see him in Miami, pulling a Payton and riding the Heatles to a ring. New York could use an upgrade at SG, but I'm not sure VC would fit in with Melo, STAT and Chauncey offensively. The Clippers could play him at the 3, but I'm sure they'd rather bide their time and save their money developing young talent.
With all that in mind - what offseason moves should the Suns make? In my opinion, the priorities should be as follows:
1. Get a scorer - preferably low post
2. Fill the back up PG slot
3. Do everything possible to find a deal for any combination of Pietrus, Childress and Warrick. At least one of them has to go - preference is to keep Chilly.
Now then, discuss!