There's no use standing pat, but there's no use giving guys away either. It takes two to tango, and the Suns must react to the market.
According to Chris Broussard, the players most interesting to other teams are Marcin Gortat, Jared Dudley and (surprise!) Markieff Morris. We have talked about Dudley's value a lot on this blog in recent days, so let's focus on Morris and Gortat today.
One such player whose name will come up many times over the next week is Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat. The Polish Hammer is one of only 5 NBA players this season who produce at least 11 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. He has to be considered one of the 10 best centers in the game, armed with a high rebound-rate and a reputation for solid defense both on the ball and helping out in rotation.
Yet he is riding a "sinking boat" with the worst team in the Western Conference and, at 28, cannot be considered a building block for contention in the coming years. His very reasonable contract ($7.25 million this season, $7.72 million next) runs only one more year before he will want his last big contract which would likely be in the eight figures.
While Gortat's name has been mentioned in the past with Boston (pupu platter) and recently with Atlanta (Josh Smith), nothing concrete has come up lately. As one Dallas owner Mark Cuban put it recently, "If you hear it in the media it's not true. We don't talk [about the real deals)."
But Marcin isn't ready to jump ship, and certainly isn't asking to be moved.
"I don't feel like running away from the sinking boat," Gortat said. "I just don't feel comfortable doing it. Obviously, I would like to finish here. I would like to first of all, play better and help this team as much as possible. But if management decides to trade me, that's fine. That's part of the deal, part of being an NBA player. I would understand."
A name no one had heard in trade rumors recently is Markieff Morris, but Broussard says he is wanted in trade talks.
Maybe it's to get the Suns to throw in a young guy in return for a bigger package (like a Smith). Teams won't want to give up a huge talent or future #1 unless they get something too.
While Suns fans deride the front office for drafting Morris, who has yet to become a full-time starter and plays a very streaky game, it does appear that people throughout the NBA have respect for Morris' potential. Morris was ranked in the top-15 two years ago at draft time and was named by NBA assistant coaches to as rookie to the Rising Stars competition on All-Star weekend (out of 9 rookies). He is still among the top-10 second-year big men in just about any statistical ranking.
No rumors yet on who wants Morris and for what, but keep your ears open. As much as the Suns like this guy, the return for Morris would have be good.
Telfair is not the only guy on Boston's radar, but he might be the best of the bunch. The question, I guess, is the second-round pick in return.
Telfair would rather not go anywhere though, according to Paul Coro of azcentral.com
"If they're a contender, and I'm going to get an opportunity to go compete in the playoffs and for the championship, then definitely, absolutely, right away," Telfair said. "But other than that, I'd rather stay with my guys that I'm with right now.... I ain't counting myself (out) as a Phoenix Sun yet."
But Bassy is #3 on a two-man depth chart, with #4 (Diante Garrett) just waiting in the wings for minutes on the worst in the West.
Expect Bassy to be gone, for everyone's sake.
The Phoenix Suns Marcin Gortat, with a side of Jared Dudley came in 11th in the rankings. Seems fair. Remember, with ALL the "NBA sources" and ALL the "NBA insiders" together in Houston over the next few days we are almost assured to see an uptick in NBA Trade Rumors. Hang on to your socks!
11. MARCIN GORTAT, Phoenix Why isn't Gortat getting more attention? He seems like the classic example of a player who is in desperate need of a change of scenery. His numbers have suffered a bit without Steve Nash, but wouldn't anybody's? While we're on the Suns, Jared Dudley would also make a hell of a nice piece.
My only beef here is the exclusion of Sebastian Telfair and Jermaine O`Neal. As we have discussed many times on this great site, those guys are kind of obvious trade deadline deals. But, of course, from a national perspective they aren't exactly big ticket items.
Even more than Bassy to the Celtics, I think that J.O. to the Heat makes a ton of sense. The Heat certainly could use O'Neal's size and performance off their bench in certain playoff match-ups (Indy!) but they don't exactly have a lot to offer.
Young center Dexter Pitman's contract matches J.O. so that's easy and the Suns would get a young prospect to try out for the rest of the year. Pitman is putting up good D-league numbers (12 ppg, 9 rpg in only 25 mpg) and has been called up to the Heat a ton of times but has barely played (and done nothing worth noting).
I have a hard time seeing the Heat giving up a first round pick for J.O. and it probably doesn't matter since they've already traded away their 2013 and 2015 first rounders which means they can't legally trade their 2014. They do have a protected 2013 pick from Philly. I don't know if they are legally allowed to move that but it's likely moot since that price is too high for J.O....probably.
So, maybe Pitman and a 2nd rounder (which would likely have very little value to the Suns)? Is that enough for J.O.? I think so given where the Suns are. He's on an expiring contract anyway so even if the Suns like having him around for rebuilding vet leadership, they'd still have to convince him to stay which they could try and do anyway if they trade him.
Additional thought: Maybe there's a way to conditionally swap picks with Miami for that Philly pick if it turns out to be better than one of the other Suns picks? Clever, huh!
Professional athletes are people too, and Jared Dudley gets addicted to odd things just like you and I.
"On an hourly basis," Dudley said of checking Twitter. "It's like CNN on steroids. I follow people from all over the world, so I get all the updates, from athletes to comedians, different pastors, people from Italy. They're giving everything across the world - and it's addicting."
Jared Dudley started using twitter years ago as a way to interact with fans all over the world, back when twitter was in its infancy. He was a pioneer in this world and now has more than 140,000 followers.
Not only does Jared keep people up on what he's doing, he is one of the few pro athletes that regularly interacts with fans in a two-way conversation. Just check his timeline here. The man is quite prolific.
"What it gives that I didn't have growing up," Dudley told Sam Amick of si.com. "Is you can know what a celebrity or an athlete are doing, to know what their everyday life is, when we're all really doing something that we love to do."
Dudley got introspective about the downside of twitter too.
"For me, personally, I try to deal on Twitter only in positive," he says. "But I think the fans get a little too worked up when it comes to the (NBA) games. Especially in basketball, there's 82 games and if your team loses two or three they want a trade. Then they blow up your timeline. It's 'What happened?' Well, you're playing against other elite athletes.
"I don't let it bother me, because it's just part of life. But if you can't handle it mentally, then Twitter might not be for you. There are going to be fans who say rude, disrespectful things. Sometimes you can retweet it, and try to put that fan on blast and kill them with kindness. But it can get to you depending on how disrespectful people can be."
Check out the whole article in either of the links above. Dudley really explains the pluses and minuses very well.
When the NBA is on haitus during the summer, following guys on twitter can give you insight into what they're doing to get better for the next season - positively or negatively.
Our own Leiland Tanner (former writer and commenter extraordinaire) wrote a piece on Dudley for BSotS last summer so people could get some insight on Jared.
Now call me a stalker - or maybe we're just really starved for Suns related news... but I scoured over every single @JaredDudley619 tweet since the final game of last season.
Dudley came in 7th in the 2012 "Tweeter of the Year" contest on hoopshype.com for 2012 after finishing 4th the year before. Being on a bad team can do that to you.
So maybe Dudley isn't the very best in the entire league on twitter, and certainly doesn't compare to the best in the world, but he's the best we've got in Phoenix and in my book is Master of his Craft.
*SB Nation is sponsoring a whole series across all NBA teams as well as other sports today, with every team site picking a Master of their Craft recipient. If you have someone else who should have won, for any skill, put it in the comments!