+ Small, quick point guard who can penetrate but struggles to finish.
+ Weak outside shooter. Drives to score; doesn't see floor. Turnover-prone.
+ Poor rebounder. Quick but undersized defender. Effective against fast guards.
Jonny Flynn's injury opened up minutes for Telfair in the first half of the season, where he reaffirmed that his combination of poor distribution and misplaced confidence in his jump shot makes him barely adequate even as a 10-minute stopgap. By his own standards, it was a fine shooting season -- Telfair scored more on fewer shots and had a career-high TS% of 49.7. The fact that such a low mark was his best ever is depressing, and Telfair also had too many turnovers. Overall, it was his fourth straight season with a PER between 10 and 11.
Defensively, at least, Telfair has become borderline adequate. He's still undersized and struggles when big point guards take him on the block, but he's quick and his effort was more consistent last season. While he fouls a lot and doesn't help on the boards, his rates of blocks and steals were solid and his advanced defensive stats suggest he wasn't a negative overall.
More point guards on the radar, at least earlier in the day. I'm hoping that Shannon Brown might be considered in addition to Tefair because he can play SG at 6'4" and really strong...
Two more prospects have emerged onto the long list of free-agent point guards the Suns are considering to join Zabian Dowdell in backing up Nash.
It's time to move on. It's time to part ways. These past 7 years have been good if not great. It's been a fun ride, filled with many ups and many downs. There's been a lot of good memories, but we can't let them hold us back. I love Nash and I always will appreciate what he did for this Franchise, but at some point you have to have the guts to accept that it's over and move on. We have to let go. Not the memories, but Nash. It's for the best.
The way I see it is that we had our last chance or opportunity with Steve back in 2010 and then rid ourselves of any futures opportunities by letting Amar'e go. Originally, I was one of the guys pulling for the Suns to keep Nashty and give contending another shot back in the olden days of 09, while the other half of the Fanbase and the media wanted to trade him. I'll admit, I wasn't opposed to trading Steve Nash (if it were to actually happen), but then I'd rather we just kept him because I knew it wasn't completely over. I knew we still had a shot.
Going into 09-10, the Suns had the talent. They just needed a couple more role players, some luck and chemistry. The biggest thing on that list was chemistry. With Porter and Shaq out, chemistry became a realistic goal. If they could achieve it, they were certain to rise to contention once again.
What they didn't need was more faith. They already had it. The players themselves knew it wasn't over. Remember that the reason Grant Hill and Steve Nash re-signed was because they believed the Suns could still be a contender and were a much better team than what their 08-09 result showed. Does anybody else remember Grant Hill's should be famous among Suns fans quote,"We have unfinished business"? Those are the words he told us after signing his new contract with the Suns. Remember trade deadline? We were just a few games over .500 and Jared Dudley was campaigning to not trade Amar'e Stoudemire. Why? Because, "we need him to compete!". Even Jared Dudley thought the Suns could still be a contender, mid-way through the season following a 12-18 game stretch.
Compare then to now. Ask yourselves, what are the players saying? How is the chemistry? Where is the talent? Can we get better?
Between contending, rebuilding and remaining mediocre, I'd rather we take the rebuilding process if contending isn't a possibility and I don't believe it is.
Now, there are two ways we can go about this, but they both involve the Phoenix FO doing something they don't seem to have the guts to do. Call up New York and Orlando about trading Steve Nash.
It's simple, the Knicks could give us Billups, Landry, Dougles and Shumpert. It's a terrible offer, I know and I don't like it for either team, yet I believe the Knicks would do it if they failed to land CP3.
The Magic could offer Nelson, a couple late 1st round picks and Bass/Anderson. Terrible offer, although I like it a bit more than the former and it may be the best we could get.
Plus, I seriously see the Orlando Magic saying yes to that. They're in a tough situation in that they could lose Dwight Howard for nothing if they don't improve, but the problem is that they can't seem to find the players to convince Dwight to stay.
Nash despite his age, I believe will be enough to convince Dwight. Grant Hill too (I know weird). They get Nash, sign his buddy Hill and bring in another role player or two and they should have a squad better than their previous two versions if not better than their 08-09 version. Hill and Howard should make for a great defensive team while Nash and Howard should make for a great offensive team. I know a lot of Magic fans would be against this because of the age of those guys, but I'm positive that if it really happened, they'd all talk themselves into it including the media. After all, it's not hard to talk yourself into Steve Nash and Grant Hill, especially when Dwight Howard is on your team and Grant is actually healthy. That right there is Championship material.
Back to the Suns. We move on having accomplished the first phase of the rebuilding process. Then next summer, we can add some intriguing, young players through free agency and a few 1st rounders to our group of Jameer Nelson, Bass/Anderson, Gortat, Frye and Dudley. Not a bad way to begin the second rebuilding phase.
What say ye?
[Note by Beavis 25, 12/06/11 9:24 PM PST ]
There is a actually a 4rth option, "Conbuilding". Kerr tried it in 08 and 09 and it worked until Sarver traded Amar'e, Dragic lost his confidence and Lopez his back and legs, but I think it may be too late to try it again. Just wanted to note that.
No need to wait until 7pm EST to see the 2011-2012 NBA schedule for the Phoenix Suns on NBA TV tonight, we have it now! Thanks to Paul Coro and the AZ Republic, we have obtained the complete Phoenix Suns schedule before the official unveiling.
As expected, some of the NBA's biggest stars and marquee players will not be seen at US Airways Center this season; including Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Amare Stoudemire (although they will still face these players in away games). In addition, the Suns will face some unique challenges this season because of the condensed schedule. A shortened season creates less time to play the games; which means less rest for aging superstars Steve Nash and Grant Hill. What other challenges will the schedule bring for the Suns? Continue reading after the jump for the complete schedule and a breakdown of what the Suns can expect in the coming season.
Here are a few of the biggest challenges I see the Suns facing based on this schedule. First, like every NBA season, the Suns will play some back-to-back games, but, this season it happens 17 times. Not only that, they also have two stretches where they will play three games in a row (Feb. 13,14,15 and March 14,15,16)...and in both cases the Suns will have to travel between both home and away games during these stretches. Another potential pitfall of the schedule is that the Suns will face every eastern powerhouse team (Heat, Celtics, Bulls, Magic, Knicks) in an away game...doesn't exactly seem fair.
The good news? The longest road stretch is only five games which isn't too bad, and the Suns also start and finish their season at home. Also, the three-in-a-row games are against Warriors-Nuggets-Hawks in February, and Jazz-Clippers-Pistons in March...So at least their opponents for these three game streaks are projected to be only average.
When it comes to free agents, you sign people to plug holes in your roster (or, nominally spend money you didn't otherwise spend on your superstar). This season, barring any parenthetical reasoning, there is only one massive, gaping hole in the Suns lineup: Shooting guard.
Names floating around the national media water cooler, aka twitter, related to the Suns are:
Jamal Crawford (average-sized, can shoot the rock, but doesn't do anything else)
Nick Young (tall, can shoot the rock, but doesn't do anything else)
Anthony Parker (average-sized, can shoot a spot-up shot and play defense, but old)
Von Wafer (average-sized, can shoot the rock, but doesn't do anything else)
Thornton and Young are restricted free agents, while Crawford, Parker and Wafer can sign with anyone. All but Wafer would be a certain starter on a team lacking a starting-caliber shooting guard.
The problem here is money. The Suns cannot offer more than $5 million in the first year to any free agent. With that as the starting point, you can cross off Crawford and Young. They will either get more from a "room" team, or take the same money from a contender. The Kings have to spend a boatload just to spend the league minimum on salaries, so any offer to Thornton will be matched.
That leaves us, according the twitter-cooler, with Anthony Parker and Von Wafer.
Anthony Parker, 36 years old now, has spent the last few years in Cleveland after playing (and dominating) overseas for several years when he didn't get a fair shake in the NBA out of college.
...Parker also has no jets left and can't get anywhere near the basket on his own steam. He made 22 shots at the rim in 2,091 minutes and had one of the lowest free-throw rates at his position. The one thing he can still do, much better than people realize, is handle the ball and pass. Parker had the best assist ratio of any shooting guard and was second in pure point rating.
His strength is his defense. Parker is strong and competes and was the only Cav who could be trusted to guard good wing scorers last season. He has trouble against quickness, but post-up guards in particular have a rough time working against him.
Overall, he's barely hanging on offensively, and at 36 needs to be in a role where he can just catch-and-shoot or move the ball to the next guy. But his defense makes him an enticing short-term pick-up for a contender.
Contenders, including Boston, or at least exciting-sounding middling teams, including the New York Knicks, are interested in Parker for the same reasons the Suns are interested. He will likely be good with a one-year deal at somewhere barely north of the veteran minimum.
However, the Suns need someone who can create and make their own shot, and Parker is NOT that guy. He is more of a Raja Bell type of player. In fact, he IS Raja Bell without a clothesline maneuver on his resume. His career scoring average is 9 ppg.
Von Wafer wasn't even in an NBA rotation last season. Oh wait, nevermind, he was with Boston. He played in 58 games for about 9 minutes a game. He has never been on the same team for more than 1 year. In fact, he's been in the league for 7 seasons and played for exactly 6 teams. In fact, he was completely out of the league in 09-10, immediately following his best NBA season at 19 minutes and 9 points per game. No one wanted him. Not a ringing endorsement.
This is why I think the Suns are in more interested in the trade front this season and 2012 free agency.
Don't be too bummed when you don't hear the Suns mentioned in any hot FA rumors. They have no money for the big guys.
While the Suns may not see Chris Paul on December 26, they also won't see a lot of East all-stars either, thanks to the shortened schedule and the Suns' fall from elite:
The NBA lockout is ending, but Phoenix still is getting locked out from seeing those Eastern Conference stars. With schedules sliced from 82 to 66 games, six East teams will not visit Phoenix this season. The six (Miami, Chicago, Orlando, Boston, New York and Indiana) were 2011 playoff teams that account for every East All-Star starter and 10 of the 12 East All-Stars.