Az_quarter

25 podcasts. 25 cents. A penny for my thoughts 25 times. A great deal at even twice the price (since we're dealing with fictional pennies).

To touch on all things quarter, I reminisce on a story I was told as a young lad about the United State's first president... and it's somewhat parallel to the present day Suns. A story about a cherry tree and a hatchet.

*Quotes taken from article by Mary Trotter Kion @ Suite 101

The (very probably fabricated) tale delineates how young George chops down his father's cherry tree and, when confronted, tells the truth about his role in the destruction. His father forgives him for the mistake, even though the tree is a lost cause.

...explaining that by George being honest about the situation he has well paid his father for the ruined tree.

In case I'm being too ambiguous, the cherry tree is the Phoenix Suns and the recent mismanagement is the hatchet.

Between spin like "a more talented team", "not taking the path of trying to make the playoffs for financial reasons", "here's what a basketball genius (Blanks) looks like", ad infinitum... I wonder what good old George would have thought about the Suns recent methods of being honest with their fanbase?

George was forgiven by his father because he told the truth. I have a hard time forgiving the powers that be within the Suns' organization because I still feel they're being unnecessarily evasive.

I understand that a team can't be fully transparent with its fanbase all the time. A team slogan like "How long until the 2014 lottery?" may be more apropos than "Next starts now", but doesn't make for a very effective advertising campaign. Although the ambiguity of the word "next" can still distort the phrase to mean next = sucking.

I also understand that when speaking publicly, as opposed to reading a prepared statement, things don't always come out the way you mean them to are or misinterpreted. Maybe this was the case with Sarver's recent commentsabout "rebuilding the right way."

I was hopeful that recent hirings infused a new sense of candidness into the organization, and was hopeful that a page had been turned, but those rebuilding remarks reminded me of the status quo....

Since we're already on the topic of honesty, it turns out that George's cherry tree episode was most likely completely concocted. Making up a story about honesty... who would do such a thing? The most likely reason for the lie, money. The author is described here as...

...a shrewd businessman who possessed and uncanny sense of what the public wanted whether they knew it or not.

I'll let you draw your own conclusions there...

I (firmly believe that) I will love the Suns (George) the rest of my life, but it's pretty hard for me to move past recent transgressions (hatchet job) when I still feel I'm being duped. Hopefully the tergiversation, dissimulation and disingenuousness (my spin) I've perceived (feel free to have your own opinion) in recent years will wane. In the interim, the Suns need to put down the hatchet.

25.

Phoenix Suns Podcast Episode 25

And here is the list Kris alluded to in the podcast:

_5_medium

163780259

There is always the argument every year for teams to draft the best available player (BPA) or take the best player at a position of need. Most lottery teams have needs across the board leading to the concept of BPA and then other teams, playoff teams, are privy to drafting a need to continue along their current success.

The Phoenix Suns are in the position of the former.

Last season the Suns were not a particularly talented bunch which is what led to the second worst season in the franchises history. The group was falsely labeled as a playoff threat with the additions of Goran Dragic, Luis Scola, and Michael Beasley. Those three were supposed to replace the production lost leading the team back to contention. Instead they faltered at nearly every position.

According to data collected via 82games.com the Suns were not particularity strong at any position last year.

The net production for point guard (-2.6) was good for 26th best in the NBA with Dragic leading the way and Sebastian Telfair, Kendall Marshall, and Diante Garrett shouldering the load. With Dragic and Marshall both young and before their prime that is a position with potential to grow in house.

At the shooting guard position (-3.3) was the worst position on the team led by Shannon Brown, Wesley Johnson, and others filling in the position that was good for 28th in the league. Only three teams had worse overall units at the two.

Adding help in the backcourt is a major need and an option in this years draft class with Ben McLemore, Victor Oladipo, C.J. McCollum, and others showing strong promise as prospects. All are options at No. 5 for the Suns if they go with the concept of BPA this year. That is a clear and popular option among experts as well as the fans.

The front-court was a strong point for the team last season from the small forward, power forward, and center positions.

Jared Dudley, P.J. Tucker, and Beasley were the primary threes last year year (+0.3) good for 12th in the league. At power forward Scola, Markieff Morris, and Marcus Morris were capable (-1.2), combining to be the 19th best unit in the league.

Looking at prospects such as Otto Porter Jr, Anthony Bennett, and even Cody Zeller would provide an upgrade at the forward positions.

Odds are that the consensus Top Four players to NBA teams will be gone before the Suns are on the clock. If Nerlens Noel, McLemore, Porter Jr, and Oladipo are all gone, which direction does the team go?

Center becomes the most intruiging position for the Suns as they were about average (+0.3) good for 13th in the league. Marcin Gortat, Jermaine O'Neal, and Hamed Haddadi were a good unit defensively, but to be frank, there is not much potential for that group to grow as a whole. O'Neal is on his last legs while Haddadi is very limited as a player.

Here is the theory. Gortat is a very good center, but the odds of him remaining a member of the Suns long-term at the age of 29 is far-fetched.

Gortat is a part of the present, but not likely the future of the organization so bringing in a suitable "replacement" for the team going forward has to be an attractive option with the talent in this years draft. The NBA Draft is about projecting the team two to three years out and how the pieces would fit in contending in conference and for a championship. This years crop of centers all have potential to be build with.

Whether it be a potential all-around talent like Alex Len of Maryland or a raw defensive talent like Rudy Gobert of France the centers are as good this year as any other year.

With the potential of the 2014 NBA Draft in the distance adding a center now (next years class is average so far) to learn the ropes from Gortat for a year while building the proper strength for the paint at the next level is ideal. Both Len and Gobert are projects and will require patience as they get stronger and learn the NBA game, but each have the potential to be game changers in this league.

As we saw this year the league still has room for the throw-back centers that over the years had become a "dying breed." Three of the final four teams in this years playoffs all have a center that dictates the pace of the game in the paint. Can Len or Gobert become as effective as Roy Hibbert, Tiago Splitter, or Marc Gasol? Time will tell, but the potential is there.

With the lure of the 2014 NBA Draft in the air and potential superstars on the horizon adding a piece like Len or Gobert allows the team to continue the slow, methodical rebuild towards contention.

Winning a lottery is a crap shoot as the team with the best odds also has a 75% chance of losing as well. Banking on the lottery to get Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker is the logic of a video game general manager.

Banking on the logic of being a bottom five team again next season however is not. Building piece-by-piece with a center now and a great wing next year is a route to consider. Is this the avenue the team will take, potentially, but regardless it is a viable Plan B if all four of the top prospects are gone. Does the team go BPA or add a position of need that may at the end of the day be the best building block for the future?

163780259

There is always the argument every year for teams to draft the best available player (BPA) or take the best player at a position of need. Most lottery teams have needs across the board leading to the concept of BPA and then other teams, playoff teams, are privy to drafting a need to continue along their current success.

The Phoenix Suns are in the position of the former.

Last season the Suns were not a particularly talented bunch which is what led to the second worst season in the franchises history. The group was falsely labeled as a playoff threat with the additions of Goran Dragic, Luis Scola, and Michael Beasley. Those three were supposed to replace the production lost leading the team back to contention. Instead they faltered at nearly every position.

According to data collected via 82games.com the Suns were not particularity strong at any position last year.

The net production for point guard (-2.6) was good for 26th best in the NBA with Dragic leading the way and Sebastian Telfair, Kendall Marshall, and Diante Garrett shouldering the load. With Dragic and Marshall both young and before their prime that is a position with potential to grow in house.

At the shooting guard position (-3.3) was the worst position on the team led by Shannon Brown, Wesley Johnson, and others filling in the position that was good for 28th in the league. Only three teams had worse overall units at the two.

Adding help in the backcourt is a major need and an option in this years draft class with Ben McLemore, Victor Oladipo, C.J. McCollum, and others showing strong promise as prospects. All are options at No. 5 for the Suns if they go with the concept of BPA this year. That is a clear and popular option among experts as well as the fans.

The front-court was a strong point for the team last season from the small forward, power forward, and center positions.

Jared Dudley, P.J. Tucker, and Beasley were the primary threes last year year (+0.3) good for 12th in the league. At power forward Scola, Markieff Morris, and Marcus Morris were capable (-1.2), combining to be the 19th best unit in the league.

Looking at prospects such as Otto Porter Jr, Anthony Bennett, and even Cody Zeller would provide an upgrade at the forward positions.

Odds are that the consensus Top Four players to NBA teams will be gone before the Suns are on the clock. If Nerlens Noel, McLemore, Porter Jr, and Oladipo are all gone, which direction does the team go?

Center becomes the most intruiging position for the Suns as they were about average (+0.3) good for 13th in the league. Marcin Gortat, Jermaine O'Neal, and Hamed Haddadi were a good unit defensively, but to be frank, there is not much potential for that group to grow as a whole. O'Neal is on his last legs while Haddadi is very limited as a player.

Here is the theory. Gortat is a very good center, but the odds of him remaining a member of the Suns long-term at the age of 29 is far-fetched.

Gortat is a part of the present, but not likely the future of the organization so bringing in a suitable "replacement" for the team going forward has to be an attractive option with the talent in this years draft. The NBA Draft is about projecting the team two to three years out and how the pieces would fit in contending in conference and for a championship. This years crop of centers all have potential to be build with.

Whether it be a potential all-around talent like Alex Len of Maryland or a raw defensive talent like Rudy Gobert of France the centers are as good this year as any other year.

With the potential of the 2014 NBA Draft in the distance adding a center now (next years class is average so far) to learn the ropes from Gortat for a year while building the proper strength for the paint at the next level is ideal. Both Len and Gobert are projects and will require patience as they get stronger and learn the NBA game, but each have the potential to be game changers in this league.

As we saw this year the league still has room for the throw-back centers that over the years had become a "dying breed." Three of the final four teams in this years playoffs all have a center that dictates the pace of the game in the paint. Can Len or Gobert become as effective as Roy Hibbert, Tiago Splitter, or Marc Gasol? Time will tell, but the potential is there.

With the lure of the 2014 NBA Draft in the air and potential superstars on the horizon adding a piece like Len or Gobert allows the team to continue the slow, methodical rebuild towards contention.

Winning a lottery is a crap shoot as the team with the best odds also has a 75% chance of losing as well. Banking on the lottery to get Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker is the logic of a video game general manager.

Banking on the logic of being a bottom five team again next season however is not. Building piece-by-piece with a center now and a great wing next year is a route to consider. Is this the avenue the team will take, potentially, but regardless it is a viable Plan B if all four of the top prospects are gone. Does the team go BPA or add a position of need that may at the end of the day be the best building block for the future?

Solar-flare-3

During an NBA off season, news comes out in fits and spurts and it's not always easy to get a separate story up on BSotS as fast as we want. So, let's keep this open thread to discuss news as it breaks.

Daily Draft Workouts

For the first time in years, the Phoenix Suns are making draft workouts available to the media. We can get in to the last ten minutes of the workout, and then speak to players, Hornacek and front office folks. Either Kris (from SB Nation NBA and nbadraftinsider.com) or I will be there most every day.

The Suns will hold pre-draft workouts with 4 to 6 players every day between now and Monday.

The team is not advertising participants in each workout until we arrive, so we can't preview the daily activities. But once the practice is over and interviews are done, we'll tweet out the participants and maybe even some pics. And then each night, we'll recap what went down.

Based on twitter, it appears that Shabazz Muhammad, Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller and Rudy Gobert are already in town. Not sure if they are all working out today, together, but it will be soon.

UPDATE: Confirmed by Habbas and Coro: Guards Ben McLemore, Michael Carter-Williams, Victor Oladipo and Shabazz Muhammad squaring off TODAY (Wed, June 5), with Gobert and Zeller the bigs. All are listed in the top-15 of just about every Big Board. I love it when the top players agree to work out against each other!

CORRECTION: MCW not working out today. The other 5 are good to go, plus EJ Singler and Jared Berggren. Alex Len is also in town, but not working out (injury) and suns.com just posted a piece on Anthony Bennett who is also injured and not working out for teams before the draft.

The Suns currently hold the #5, #30 and #57 picks - a range wide enough to attract just about every prospect to Phoenix.

Horny's assistants

McDonough mentioned the other day that Jeff Hornacek may have finalize his assistants by the end of this week. Hornacek ran the first draft workout on Monday with the help of Suns staffers, but it sure seems like he'd prefer to have his whole staff there with him over these next six days. I'll keep an eye out for new faces.

I would love it if Hornacek would keep Noel Gillespie on staff from last year, and bring in an old face of the franchise (Grant Hill and/or Eddie Johnson).

But even more important than those feel-good hires, I hope Hornacek hires a solid veteran coach as his lead assistant to help Horny transition into being a real head coach. Someone needs to help him learn how to run a team, and a solid vet (like Mark Jackson did with hiring Mike Malone two years ago, for example) would go a long way in that regard.

Draft promises

Some guys are already cancelling their workouts, likely due to draft promises. Don't expect to see Sergey Karasev (projected mid-first) in Phoenix, since he just flew back to Russia till the draft. The Greek freak - 6'9" PG Giannis Adetokunbo - has already left the country, as has Dennis Schroeder (PG, Germany). All are projected as mid-to-late first rounders.

Strengths If you only look at his junior year statistics at New Mexico (12.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.9 rebounds per game), Tony Snell appears to be nothing more than a nice pickup in the early...

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