Racine Journal Times writer Gery Woelfel is reporting the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks are in trade talks centering around sending veteran small forward and new Sun Caron Butler to Wisconsin.

I wrote three weeks ago about Butler's role on the Suns and spelled out the reason why it might be a good idea for the Suns to keep him in Phoenix for the entire season. Is Dave's reverse-foresight spreading throughout the Bright Side staff? I guess we'll find out.

As of yet, Woelfel is the only person I've seen to report this news. He claims multiple sources, yet his report has not been confirmed by any other media members.

The Bucks do seem set on fighting for a playoff berth this season, and a veteran like Butler could help them do so. Summer free agent acquisition an presumed starter Carlos Delfino has a broken bone in his foot and might not be ready for the start of the season, according to Woelfel.

Butler was also born in Racine (part of the Milwaukee metro area) and was a Bucks fan growing up, so there could be motivation from both the Bucks and Butler to make this deal happen.

But what about the Suns? What might motivate them to do this deal? As of yet, Woelfel has not given any details about any other parts that might be involved in this deal (be it player or draft pick). The Bucks are currently about $7 million below the cap, so they need only send back a smaller contract to make the deal work under the cap.

I'll leave it to you Bright Siders to speculate which players might be involved. But first, do you believe there is any truth to this rumor?


Butler himself either knows something we don't or he saw Woelfel's report. Either way, this thing might have some legs after all.

Much respect for the organization of the Phx Suns#staytuned

— Caron Butler (@realtuffjuice) August 29, 2013

**UPDATE 2**

ESPN's Marc Stein corroborated the report.

Source w/knowledge of talks confirms @GeryWoelfel report that Bucks trying to trade for Wisconsin native Caron Butler. Deal "still in works"

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 29, 2013

***Update 3***

Stein says it's going down. Just waiting to get the details sorted out.

One source close to talks tells ESPN that Caron Butler has been informed that he will indeed wind up with Bucks. Teams hashing out details

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 29, 2013

****Update 4****

Coro finally gives us the details.

A #Suns trade of Caron Butler to the Bucks for Ish Smith & Slava Kravtsov (no pick) should be finalized Thursday. Suns add $5.65M cap space.

— Paul Coro (@paulcoro) August 29, 2013

More from Bright Side Of The Sun:

Unless you live under a rock, you either watch Breaking Bad or know someone who does. Millions tune in to AMC every Sunday night to witness new episodes of what many have deemed to be one of the greatest television shows of all-time. Breaking Bad is the story of Walter White's incredible transformation from a straight-laced family man to a menacing drug kingpin. If you have yet to see the show, do yourself a favor and start from the beginning. Today.

Breaking Bad is a remarkable examination of the darkness in a man's character and what can evoke it. In Walter White's case, cancer is his catalyst, family is his excuse, and chemistry is his method (pun absolutely intended). In a scene from the show's pilot episode, Walter White describes chemistry as the study of change, a constant cycle of "growth, then decay, then transformation."

This concept of "growth, decay, and transformation" is seen on a regular basis in the NBA. In the last decade, the Phoenix Suns have been a great example of this process: growth from 2003-07, decay from 2010-13, then transformation from 2013-? The team's front office seems to have learned from the decay of the 2010-13 seasons that a full-on rebuild, a complete transformation was necessary. They learned their lesson: "no more half-measures." The Suns hope their "full-measure" transformation leads to more growth instead of further decay. Will the Suns prove to be on-court Heisenbergs in the future? Only time will tell.


Special thanks to Richard Parker for his exceptional contribution above.  Yes, everything above this is Richard, not me.

In addition to touching on this analogy Kris and I discuss Michael Beasley and Channing Frye with emphasis on the team's handling of their respective situations and the perception of their character.

Special thanks to Kris for his exceptional job doing our show prep.  Yes, I have tricked Kris into doing my show prep.


Phoenix Suns Podcast Episode 35

The jury is out on whether Eric Bledsoe is a future NBA star. Indeed, the jury is out on whether Bledsoe is even a future NBA starter.

But the jury has affirmed the charge that Eric Bledsoe is better than most people thought when he was drafted #18 overall in 2010. Bledsoe, a high school point guard, spent a single season at Kentucky where he was so good that he started at SG in the back court next to eventual #1 overall pick PG John Wall.

NBA.com's Sekou Smith did a re-draft of 2010, and found that Eric Bledsoe has turned out to be the 9th best overall player from that draft ahead of Greivis Vasquez, Evan Turner and Ed Davis. (Suns fave Avery Bradley was re-drafted #6 overall, by the way)

Smith's commentary:

John Calipari was operating with an absolute embarrassment of point guard riches with Wall and Bledsoe on the roster at Kentucky together. Bledsoe had limited opportunities in 38 starts in three seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers. Traded to Phoenix this summer, he should thrive now that he won't be overshadowed by Chris Paul.

There is no shame in failing to win the starting PG spot over the bigger and clearly more talented John Wall at Kentucky. Wall may not have delivered a transcendent NBA career yet, but he has played well enough to earn a max $80 million contract extension last month. Only 22, Wall can clearly become much better than his max contract pays.

While Wall started for a putrid Bullets Wizards team in 2010, Bledsoe (21) joined a young Clippers team that trotted Blake Griffin (21), Eric Gordon (22), DeAndre Jordan (22) and Al-Farouq Aminu (20). But he was blocked at PG by aging, overpaid Baron Davis and later a late-career overpaid Mo Williams. Still, Bledsoe scratched out 25 starts in his 76 games and put up 6.7 points and 3.6 assists in 22 minutes as a rookie.

*The Clippers were so excited with their young talent that season that they deigned to send their 2011 unprotected #1 pick to Cleveland in order to dump half a season of Davis' salary. That pick became Kyrie Irving, the best draft pick Cleveland has had since LeBron James.

But Bledsoe's future hit a thick wall in the summer of 2011, when the Clippers acquired All-Star and All-NBA PG Chris Paul, in exchange for Eric Gordon and others. With Paul in the fold, Bledsoe would never get another chance to play more than spot minutes. Indeed, behind Paul he got only 11 minutes per game in 2011-12 (playing 40 of 66 games) and 20 minutes per game in 2012-13 (playing 81 of 82 games).

Yet somehow, Bledsoe still proved to be a darn good player and has the respect of media, scouts, coaches and fellow NBA players alike.

Statistically, Bledsoe has not proven to be better than his draft position in the 2010 NBA Draft. He is 18th in Win Shares, 17th in Win Shares per 48 minutes (for players with 800+ NBA minutes over 3 seasons), 18th in minutes per game, 16th in points, 18th in rebounds. But he has been great in steals, blocks and is 4th in assists among those guys.

How does he rank 9th in Sekou Smith's re-draft? Potential. The ranking is clearly not based on actual results, since each young player's opportunities vary. Bledsoe has been stuck behind highly paid PGs since he entered the league: Baron Davis, Mo Williams, Chris Paul.

Now he only has Goran Dragic in his way in Phoenix, and all the minutes he can handle.

Let's see how that potential plays out.

Re-drafting the 2011 Draft (Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris)

It's only been two seasons, but just for grins I thought I'd do my own re-draft of 2011 to see where the Mo Bros would rate at this point.

I am ranking these guys subjectively. Only partially based on actual production, this ranking is my wholly impartial/partial opinion of NBA value of the guys taken in the 2011 NBA Draft.

  1. Kyrie Irving (was #1)
  2. Jonas Valenciunas (5) - totally based on potential here
  3. Kawhi Leonard (15)
  4. Kenneth Faried (22)
  5. Chandler Parsons (38)
  6. Klay Thompson (11)
  7. Nikola Vucevic (16)
  8. Tristan Thompson (4)
  9. Kemba Walker (9)
  10. Enes Kanter (3)
  11. Tobias Harris (19)
  12. Markieff Morris (13)
  13. Jimmy Butler (30)
  14. Reggie Jackson (24)
  15. Iman Shumpert (17)
  16. Brandon Knight (8)
  17. Marcus Morris (14)
  18. Derrick Williams (2)
  19. Isaiah Thomas (60)
  20. Alec Burks (12)
  21. Lavoy Allen (50)
  22. Jan Vesely (6)
  23. Kyle Singler (33)
  24. Chris Singleton (18)
  25. Marshon Brooks (25)
  26. Bismack Biyombo (7)
  27. John Leuer (40)
  28. Josh Harrelson (45)
  29. Jimmer Fredette (10)
  30. Jordan Hamilton (36)

That's how I'd re-do the 2011 Draft anyway. Shows that a re-draft doesn't really move the needle a lot on the Mo Bros.

More from Bright Side Of The Sun:

Goran Dragic has been having quite a busy offseason. Between marrying his long-time girlfriend and leading his national team in the European Championship, any spare time he's had has been devoted to honing his basketball skills against the likes of an axe and flaming sword-wielding barbarian.

Meanwhile, his NBA team has arguably been even busier. In the last few months, the Suns have completely retooled their front office, drafted two first round picks that figure to be significant parts of their future, completed two major trades to continue stockpiling assets, nearly became NBA (Summer League) champions, and introduced a brand new set of team uniforms. The team's moves this summer has fans feeling largely positive vibes for the first time in a while, and that excitement has seemingly spread all the way to Slovenia to infect Dragic. In a recent interview with Matt Petersen of Suns.com, he discussed his feelings and support for the team's offseason moves:

"I’m really excited with what they’re doing," Dragic said. "I talked with [Suns General Manager] Ryan [McDonough]and [Head Coach] Jeff [Hornacek] a couple of times. They told me what they're doing and how they want to do things. I think it's awesome."

"When I was a kid and I was watching the games, they were talking about those legends and about NBA history, so I know that Jeff was a great player," Dragic said. "The most recognized thing about Jeff was when he was at the free-throw line and he would touch his face before taking his free throw. He was one of the best shooters in the NBA. I have a great opportunity to learn a lot from him. He was a point guard, too. So I’m going to try to get as much information as I can from him to be a better player."

One of the most exciting developments of the Suns' summer has been the acquisition of Eric Bledsoe from the Los Angeles Clippers. The dynamic 23 year old guard will star alongside Dragic in a two-headed monster of a starting back-court that some fans have dubbed "DragonBlade." At the end of the 2012-13 season, Dragic proclaimed that the team's most important need for the upcoming season was "another playmaker who can pass the ball, set up the offense along with him on the floor." Enter Bledsoe.

"He’s a mini-Lebron James," Dragic said of Bledsoe. "He’s got that big strength so when he's in the open court, he’s unstoppable. Like a lot of fans know, I like to play fast basketball. When I get the ball to the other guy, he’s going to run. We’re going to score a lot of points."

Both Dragic and Bledsoe are fast, athletic, and dynamic guards that thrive in the open floor. Last season, Dragic took 44% of his shot attempts in the first ten seconds of the shot clock and shot .542 eFG% on those attempts, while Bledsoe attempted 45% of his shots in the first ten seconds, shooting .506 eFG%. This essentially reveals that nearly half of both players' shot attempts in the 2012-13 season were in transition (or semi-transition), which is when the highest efficiency shots are taken. Moreover, both guys are ball-hawks and are quite adept at playing the passing lanes to create turnovers. Among guards with at least 800 minutes played last season, Bledsoe was third in the league in Steal Percentage, while Dragic was among the top 20.

Given Jeff Hornacek's stated desire to emphasize high percentage shot-selection and the importance of scoring in the first eight seconds of the shot clock, it's easy to see why the Suns will be eager to push the pace with Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe leading the way.

When asked by Matt Petersen about his goals for the near future, Dragic said:

"Right now, my goal is to be healthy, to not have injuries in the European championship. When I’m done with that, [I'll] try to play as hard as possible and improve a lot of things. Personally, I’d like to upgrade from how we did last season to this season. I think we have a better team this year. I’m hoping we’re going to fight for the playoffs."

Many might scoff at the notion of Dragic hoping to fight for the playoffs with the current iteration of the Phoenix Suns, but this is exactly what should be expected from a player of his attitude. Fans know how much winning means to Dragic - his fiery play and consistent effort on the court are perhaps his most endearing qualities. Until the Suns are statistically disqualified for the playoffs, you can bet Goran will continue to set that bar as his goal for the team. Never change, Gogi.

Let's hope Goran returns to Phoenix next month after a successful stint as the leader of the Slovenian basketball team. Furthermore, let's hope he begins to form a chemistry with his new back-court partner that can build on the excitement of potential.

More from Bright Side Of The Sun:

Over the history of the Phoenix Suns there have been two constants -- they have been remarkably consistent over the years with winning seasons and they find elite point guards to run the show. Since the last great point guard left the reigns have yet to be taken over.

Is the next elite point guard on the horizon?

As the Valley has seen there are numerous different ways a point guard can be great from the undersized dynamo that was Kevin Johnson dunking on all-time greats to the scoring threat of Stephon Marbury. From the triple-double machine Jason Kidd to the greatest shooting and passing guard of all-time in Steve Nash. There have been a few good talents to come through the desert and lead the team.

The team has made an effort to add as much quantity to the roster in an effort to find another quality player like Johnson, Nash, Kidd, or Marbury.

Thirteenth Topic: Phoenix Suns Point Guard Rotation

1. Breaking the Ice: Who is the future of the Phoenix Suns at the point guard position -- Goran Dragic or Eric Bledsoe?

Jim Coughenour: None of the above? I still don't buy Bledsoe as a point guard. Not with a career average of 5.5 assists per 36 minutes and a 1.6:1 assist to turnover ratio. Goran appears to be more natural at the position, but entering his prime he will still struggle to be an above average starting point guard. My guess is that if the Suns keep these guys as long term that the roster will need to add talent in other areas because the team has relegated itself to average guard play.

Jacob Padilla: I have trouble seeing Eric Bledsoe as an every play starting point guard. He played shooting guard next to John Wall in college and played behind and next to Chris Paul in Los Angeles (as well as alongside ball-handling bigs like Blake Griffin and Lamar Odom and a ball-dominant shooting guard in Jamal Crawford). Bledsoe has never been a true No. 1 point guard, and I don't think his skill-set matches that role, at least as of yet. I think Goran Dragic is our guy at point guard for the next few years as the team continues to build up talent around him, but it's a fluid situation.

Dave King: That's a good question, and one I can't answer right now. I think, ultimately, IF Eric Bledsoe reaches his ceiling, then he's the future and Dragic becomes a 6th man of the year type. If the Suns are to win 50+ games in the next two years, it's going to be with Bledsoe playing most of the point guard minutes because the only way the Suns win 50+ games real soon is because McStunna hit a jackpot or two this summer.

Kris Habbas: Is neither an appropriate answer here? While I appreciate and enjoy what Dragic does on the court, he is 27 entering this season and has limitations that make me feel he will always be at his best as a reserve. I have always had reservations for Bledsoe becoming a superstar, but at least he is still 24 mid-way through this season and has more potential to be a point guard of the future, but his future here is unclear. Neither. Both. Who knows?

Richard Parker: I'm not sure there is a right answer to this. Maybe the future of the Phoenix Suns under Jeff Hornacek doesn't really entail a traditional "point guard" position. I do believe both players will coexist and flourish together but at this point, neither is a star, so to appoint either as the future of the team's point guard position would be premature.

Sean Sullivan: I don't believe he's on the roster yet. We may...MAY have found our shooting guard of the future in Goodwin, depending on how he develops over the next couple of years, but I don't believe the next K.J., Kidd, or Nash is anywhere to be found on this team at the moment. Dragic is more than serviceable, and Bledsoe could be a very good combo guard, but I don't believe either of them have the transcendent qualities as a point guard that will have fans talking about them as one of the greats 20 years from now.

2. Since the team has both of them now, Dragic and Bledsoe, should they play them more separate or together? Explain.

JP: Together, although staggering their minutes some would probably be a good idea.

DK: They should play together, simply because there is no better option. This isn't the San Antonio Spurs who needed Ginobili to come off the bench to save wins while the second unit was in there. This is the Suns, who are trying to identify the future while losing 50-60 games a season. Dragic and Bledsoe should each play 35+ minutes, with at least one on the floor at all times.

KH: They will be fun together and could cause some havoc in the open court, but for every steal and fast-break finish they could give up twice as many plays in the open court after missed gambles. Both of these players are at their best creating chaos and chaos can go good and bad depending on the situation.

RP: They should definitely play most of their minutes together to create a fast, athletic, and dynamic starting back-court. However, I expect Jeff Hornacek to spread their minutes out such that both will get some time as the sole play-maker on the floor (i.e. without one another), which could be bad news for Kendall Marshall.

SS: Definitely together. The Suns need to create a lineup that utilizes as much of their talent as possible...Getting their best players on the court together. Phoenix doesn't have the luxury of an All-Star roster like the Clippers (did I really just type that?) right now, where they can afford to keep one of their stars on the bench as a sixth man or a back-up. The Suns need to find a way to get their best players out on the floor, period...they can figure out the positions as they go.

JC: I would probably plan on starting and finishing with them to start the season and have at least one of them on the court at all times (if the game's competitive). They're really the only proven, productive guards on the roster. Until they prove it won't work I expect the Suns to see if it will.

3. Overall the numbers suggest that Bledsoe is comfortable playing in a two point guard system, but with the best point guard in the league. Can that be replicated here? Explain.

DK: We shall find out soon enough. I believe the Suns will at least be interesting and entertaining, if overmatched. Bledsoe will be a break out player one way or another this season - either exploding onto the NBA scene in starting minutes, or in showing that he's really a 6th man. Odds say it will be the latter, but this is where McStunna needs to hit a home run to shorten the rebuild from four years to two years.

KH: No. He can play with Dragic, but in no way should people think that the Los Angeles Clippers of last year are wearing orange jerseys here in the Valley. Just, no. They will be exciting to watch in segments and equally frustrating in others.

RP: Obviously, that level of success won't be achieved in Phoenix this year because Goran Dragic is not Chris Paul. However, I do think Bledsoe's best role is not as the primary playmaker but as a complementary, Swiss army knife-type guard. Therefore, I expect a Dragic-Bledsoe backcourt to not only mesh well, but to be a strength of the 2013-14 Suns team (perhaps its only real strength).

SS: Playing in a two guard system? Definitely. While he's no CP3, I think Dragic's style complements Bledsoe's very well. Dragic is a very good passer and can knock down perimeter shots off the ball as well to help spread the floor if Bledsoe wants to drive and/or create. I think they fit together very well...at least on paper.

JC: Was Bledsoe really comfortable with being second fiddle to Chris Paul and playing 20.4 minutes per game? I have to imagine he is salivating at the prospect of being the best player on this team and ossifying himself as a quality starter in the league. Rather than residing in the expansive shadow cast by Paul, which is funny considering his diminutive stature, EB will have many more responsibilities this season. Can he adapt and overcome? I'm sure he'll score more than the 8.5 points per game he poured, yes I said poured, in last season.

JP: Not to the same effectiveness, no. But I do think that's how Bledsoe can be most effective. (That's all I'll say here; much more coming soon)

4. The team has talked about Archie Goodwin being a point guard, but also drafted Kendall Marshall just a year ago in the lottery... Who should get the lion's share of the minutes as the back-up (or third) point guard?

KH: I am going to be on an island here (so it is appropriate I am going first here) in saying that the minutes should go to Marshall. He was a lottery pick just A YEAR AGO and the team has to invest in his development while he is on the roster. Marshall is not a bad locker room guy; he is not a headline maker off the court so why give up on him? Stats, style, and performance aside he was a rookie last year so if you like him, love him, or are indifferent; a team cannot give up on a kid this early.

RP: Much like the others, I don't view Goodwin as a point guard so I do believe Marshall should be given backup point guard minutes (behind Dragic and Bledsoe). However, there may not be too many minutes for Marshall to earn with two stronger point guards ahead of him and a budding best-player-in-the-NBA-history candidate to his right in Archie Goodwin.

SS: Archie Goodwin is not a point guard. I repeat, Archie Goodwin is not a point guard. His biggest struggles at Kentucky came when they attempted to play Goodwin at the one instead of his natural position off the ball. I know the coaching staff has indicated that they want to develop him as a PG, but I think that's a mistake. He is very effective as a scoring, slashing two guard, and I think the Suns would be better suited to developing that aspect of his game rather than forcing him to become something he's not. Marshall gets my vote for backup PG duties.

JC: Goran and EB can still platoon some of the minutes at backup while the other rests. Marshall should get the majority of backup minutes off the bench, which I only expect to be 10-15 minutes a game most nights. I don't think Goodwin will get a ton of playing time this season. No reason to rush him along and destroy his arrogance confidence by subjecting him to on court ridicule unless he's ready to compete at this level. Don't forget Diante Garrett, either. I fully expect him to be battling Goran for a starting position all season long.

JP: I don't think Archie Goodwin is a point guard at all. He's a shooting guard, and there's nothing wrong with that. I don't understand the team's reported desire to make him a point guard. His skill-set is that of a slashing two-guard (albeit on who can handle the rock some), so asking him to run the offense is taking him outside of his comfort zone (as we saw at Kentucky). Kendall Marshall should get the point guard minutes when both Dragic and Bledsoe are sitting on the bench.

DK: There's no way (in my mind) Goodwin is a starting point guard in this league. But then again, Barbosa was given PG duties for most of his first few years and LB wasn't a point guard either. He just had to play point due to his size. In that context, Goodwin could play some minutes at the point the way LB did. Yet, Goodwin is plenty big for the shooting guard position so there's no need to force him to distribute. Play Dragic, Bledsoe and Marshall at PG and give Goodwin free reign to drive and score.

5. Should the team be more patient with Marshall? Nobody here was a part of drafting him, but nonetheless he is a lottery pick that is a part of the young foundation here.

RP: Yes. He is just one NBA season old and needs more time to develop. The team can and should entertain offers for him (though I can't imagine there would be too many) but there's absolutely no reason to actively look to dump him. He is still an asset and although he needs to massively improve his overall skillset, he is a unique player on this roster in the sense that he's the team's only true pass-first point guard. Keep him and see how he performs - the Suns have nothing to lose.

SS: Absolutely. I'm probably one of the remaining few Marshall supporters left, but I'll keep beating the patience drum until it breaks. Marshall has a very limited game right now, no question. But his court vision, passing, and reportedly his I.Q. are all top notch, and what better foundation to start with in a young point guard? His shot looked better toward the end of last season, and improved still when I saw him play in summer league. He does need to develop a consistent jumper, no doubt, but he looks as if he's working hard on it and it seems to be paying off...Let's give him a little more time and see what he can do. It's not as if he has much trade value at this point anyway.

JC: He's far from untouchable if there's any interest around the league, but based on his rookie season and subsequent summer league performance I'm not sure much exists. He's definitely easily movable from the Suns' perspective. It seems logical that he should get the opportunity to play his way into or out of minutes based on his in game production, but I don't get to see how he plays in practice to earn those minutes in the first place.... It will be interesting to see how the new administration embraces or distances itself from the (remaining) previous players on the roster. McMiracle definitely doesn't seem beholden to any of the players he inherited.

JP: Yes the Suns should be more patient with him. There's no reason for the team to give up on him completely after one year into his career, especially when he was going to take plenty of time to adjust to the NBA game in the first place. The Suns aren't in any sort of win-now mode, so there's little reason not to give him a chance to prove himself.

DK: Someone should be patient with Marshall, though I don't know that it's the Suns. I still would not be surprised if Marshall is traded before training camp. He doesn't seem to fit the guard profile on this team. If Marshall is still with the Suns, then yes he needs minutes but that might not happen unless there are injuries.

KH: See Above Rant

BONUS: What is your opinion on loyalty? As mentioned, nobody was here for the 2011 or the 2012 drafts, but it seems that Markieff Morris gets more rope than Marshall. Should the team ride with the guns they were given or go and get their own?

SS: It's a business. All is fair in love and basketball...or something like that. While I do believe their should be some loyalty toward guys like Steve Nash and Grant Hill who have paid their dues with the organization, I don't think this same concept applies to guys like Markieff, Marshall, or even Dragic. The Suns should definitely try to develop their young players and make the most of what they have, but If they can make moves to better their team, they need to do it, period.

JC: I think loyalty is overwhelmingly a good thing, so in general I'd have to say I'm for it. I don't even think loyalty really bridges into the current situation with the Suns, though. It's not a Steve Nash conundrum. These are all players with relatively little tenure and barley perceptible footprints in the organization. They are under contract and evanescence and impermanence are the nature of professional sports. As far as guns go I just hope they don't start giving guns to the fans... that could get ugly come 40 point loss to crappy team X time.

JP: I think the Sun organization overall has been pretty loyal to its players, and that's good for the team's reputation when it comes to free agency. However, loyalty is not the same thing as sticking by a play no matter what. If that player can't do his job, then there is no reason to hold onto him. Give the guys a chance under Hornacek, but if it doesn't work out it would probably be best for both parties just to move on.

DK: There should be no loyalty on a 25-win roster. Period. Everyone on the entire team should be available in any trade that brings better individual talent. McStunna proved he's willing to do that with trading Dudley first, because it brought back Bledsoe. He will and should continue. And it shouldn't stop with who he inherited. Goodwin, Len and Bledsoe should all be available for better individual talent as it becomes available.

KH: No question. An amateur basketball player is working to sell themselves to get to the NBA and the team takes them as an investment in the future of the organization. If an investment is not immediately gratifying either move on from it (trade him) or show some genuine patience and commitment and allow that investment to have time to get back on track. Marshall is the investment and if Ryan McDonough keeps him, Coach Jeff Hornacek should play him. Attack.

RP: A team should never ride with the guns they were given if those guns have no ammo, as was the case with the 25-win 2012-13 Suns. While McDonough should (and has) look to upgrade the team's talent moving forward, it's important to continue emphasizing development of the talent already on the roster. The team shouldn't ignore the Marshalls and the Morrises in its constant quest to acquire further talent. Successful team-building requires proper talent evaluation and shrewd acquisitions, but none of that will matter without patient player development.

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