Recapping the Suns season with plenty of talk about the future of Steve Nash, the decision not to extend Alvin Gentry, and some quick thoughts about the NBA Playoffs.

Hosted by Bryan Gibberman and Seth Pollack and presented by Arizona Sports 620 and SB Nation Arizona.

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May 2, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Professional wrestler Jerry Lawler performs during a timeout in the second half of game two of the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Clippers at FedEx Forum. Memphis won 105-98. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

(SB Nation Arizona) The 2012 NBA Playoff schedule rolls along and Friday night at least one series took an interesting turn. The Chicago Bulls are now trailing the Philadelphia 76ers 1-2 in their series. The Bulls suffered another injury blow when Joakim Noah went down with a turned ankle. On the flip side, Evan Turner is having a break out performance in this postseason.

On other games, the Lakers (not surprisingly) dropped a road game to the Nuggets but still lead 2-1 in that series. The Celtics had a tough time of it, but they still beat the Hawks and are also up 2-1 over Atlanta.

Saturday's NBA Playoff schedule brings us four games:

Indiana Pacers at Orlando Magic at 2:00 p.m. ET / 11:00 p.m. PT on ESPN

The Pacers will continue to roll. Watch this game if you must (or if you are related to one of the participants) but otherwise, use this time to take care of your weekend chores.

Memphis Grizzlies at Los Angeles Clippers at 4:30 p.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. PT on ESPN

This is the game to watch. A lot of people think the Grizzlies have a legitimate chance at coming out of the West. If that's true, they are going to need to do what the Thunder did and take care of business on the road. This series has also gotten chippy already so when you combine that with the talent on the floor, this could be fun.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Dallas Mavericks at 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT on TNT

The Thunder are up 3-0 in this series. I would be a bit surprised to see them close out on the road, but you never know.

San Antonio Spurs at Utah Jazz at 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. on TNT

The Spurs will (likely) lose one of their next two road games before winning this series in five games. Will it be this one or the next one? Tune in to find out. Or just read a recap somewhere, either way.

For more NBA Playoff coverage, visit SB Nation's NBA hub.

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Join the ValleyoftheSuns team as we wrap up the 2011-12 season and look ahead to the offseason. Bring questions!

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"The burden for the ring won't be on your shoulders alone, young hobbit. We shall create a Fellowship of the Ring, Nine Walkers to go forth 'gainst the Nine Black Riders!" intoned that great elf-lord of nobility, he of the Elvin Gentry.

The young hobbit, little Stevo Nashins, his hair a disheveled mop after the arduous trek through the West, stood with head bowed, but an eager and determined gleam in his eye. "And what warriors would you send with me on this most perilous journey?"

"One of the Fair Ones, he from the FO, will declare who your mighty companions shalt be," stated the elf-lord, gesturing to a figure emerging from behind a far curtain.

"W-w-w-we will send some twuly gweat helpahs wif you, huh, huh, huh, huh," lisped the new speaker, a short Elmer Fudd wook-a-wike, er, look-a-like. "I will let Coach tell you."

Stevo's enthusiasm faltered at the sound of the buffoonish cartoonish character before him, but his heart stood firmly determined to battle on with whomever would walk beside him.

"Your first companions on this quest shall be an elvish long range archer, a war hammer-wielding dwarf, and this deadly canine," spoke the elf-lord, pointing to the three characters to step forward.

"What?" spake Stevo. "You mean this elvish fry-cook whose aim is questionable, this towering dwarf who had to have the faceguard of his helm modified to allow for his nose and whose handle of his war hammer is so long that it could be called 'pole-ish,' and this junkyard dog? Oh, well, I guess every band of warriors needs some second rank fighters."

"No, these will be in your first rank."

"But what of that fierce Gondorian swordsman, Boramar'e? Mighty were his sinews and prodigious were his thrusts!" exclaimed Stevo.

"Well, he turned traitor and went off to the big city of miNYs tirith to be the Man and get a Ring of his own, but he sliced open his own hand practicing his swordplay on a candle snuffer, I hear tell. It's unclear how could cut his own swordhand, but he was ever a fierce fighter."

"No, you don't get him, but here, take another hobbit on the trip!"

"What about some kind of wizard who can defend all manner of foemen?" posited Stevo.

"Er, no, we got nobody like that. How about having another hobbit?"

"There was that young Dragon from a far off land, who flamed fearsomely against the black and sable enemy of Saint Antonio a while back, burning them to the ground. What of him?" inquired Stevo.

"Oh, he was traded for a babbling brook that drifted off over the sea. Here's another hobbit to take along."

"My precious, my precious," croaked the new little brown creature.

"He's a hobbit? Why is he just clutching that rock and not sharing it with anyone?"

"That's just what he does. Look, Stevo, times have been really rough here in MiddleDesert. Hoards of treasure just don't grow on trees. We had to hock your mithril mail, and we sold your sword, Sting. But, you can wear this!"

"It's a hat..."

"It's a cap, and there's lots of space in there that will really help further down the road."

Stevo adjusted the straps of his backpack, and with a look of grim determination, once again set out on the quest for the Ring...

...

Meanwhile, in the next valley over, Aragorn was sharpening his sword to a razor edge, and Gandalf was honing his powers of fire and lightning, as these two agents of the Free Peoples prepared to pledge troth with Stevo in the valley of the sun, and join his search, to bring the Ring home...


The Suns can do their own Kurt Thomas fleecing.

There are a few statements that must be remembered this year in any conversation about changing the team going into next season.

Amnesty can only be used on guys who were under contract on your roster BEFORE the new CBA was signed.

The Suns are only under the salary cap for $23+ million if they renounce their cap holds on expired contracts, which means they would have no leverage over any other team to re-sign their own free agents.

And finally, for the first time since Steve Nash returned in 2004, the Suns can take on lopsided trades. For years, Suns fans have been forced to think of trades in terms of dollar-for-dollar exchanges. Or, outgoing salary dumps to teams with cap space.

In other words, the word "trade" is kind of a 4-letter word to Suns' fans thinking because its nearly impossible to outright WIN a dollar-for-dollar trade.

Well, those days are over (as long as the Suns renounce cap holds on Nash and Hill). The Suns now CAN take on bigtime salary, as well as accepting draft picks for the privilege to eat someone's big contract. The Suns can now take on a Kurt Thomas-like contract from a cap-hurt team, and get a draft pick or two for their troubles.

Do not discount this possibility in your planning for future greatness.

Remember the Oklahoma City Thunder. They kept open cap space for years, rather than spending on free agents to put around a young Durant. During that time, they acquired 4 #1 draft picks over 3 years in exchange for absorbing a mere 2 one-year bloated contracts (Kurt Thomas and Morris Peterson).

Remember the Memphis Grizzlies who needed a PF, and were able to absorb Zach Randolph into their cap for a kiss and a bag of skittles.

Remember the Boston Celtics, who were able to acquire Ray Allen for their first-round pick. A bad move by itself, but that move convinced Boston and Minny to execute the Kevin Garnett swap and win a title in 2008, one year after the Celtics had one of the worst records in the league.

The Suns can now relieve a team that needs to shed salary. In one year, the luxury tax starts escalating. Teams will be shedding big contracts left and right, and giving up draft picks to entice another team to take on their guys.

If the Suns really want to build through the draft as Babby said in the press conference the other day, then acquiring draft picks in one-sided trades is definitely a good way to go.


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