The theme of Phoenix Suns free agency this offseason will likely be a refrain Chicago Cubs fans are most familiar with: “Wait ’til next year.” Much has been made about the...

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So I was looking at the Phoenix Suns depth chart...

PG Steve Nash, Zabian Dowdell

SG Jared Dudley, Mickael Pietrus

SF Grant Hill, Josh Childress

PF M.Morris, Hakim Warrick

C Marcin Gortat, Channing Frye, Robin Lopez, Garrett Siler

...and feeling a little sick.

My next instinct was to try to fix it, because something is obviously broken. =-/

I mean, the dropoff in PG play when Steve leaves the game is to be expected, but did we really want to go straight from legend-of-all-time to D-league-callup? And I'm a Dowdell fanboy!

Then there's center, where we have 3 guys who should be in a rotation (a little crowded), and PF, where we have 0 rotation players at this point. Yes, Channing will slide over and play that position, but that only works on certain nights again certain teams. Some PF's end up torching him, and he's in foul trouble fast and often trying to stay in front of them.

Then theres SG, where we have 2 guys who are rotation players, but neither of them is starter-quality.

And I sort of put the needs in that order:

1) Backup PG

2) Real PF

3) Starting caliber SG

Of course, that could only bring me to Tom Ziller's excellent article on available free agents. Assuming that all the Tier1 guys are out of our price range, and that anyone we got would be someone worth cutting into our free agent monies next offseason, I thought the following people would be worth pursuing:

Rodney Stuckey & Aaron Afflalo: We probably can't get either of these guys, but they're both certainly worth offering the midlevel to.

TJ Ford: Veteran backup PG - check. He would be better than Dowdell, and we could probably actually have him, unlike the two above. He may be better than brooks as well.

Andrei Kirilenko: I know what your'e thinking - he isn't a real PF! On the other hand, all his best years of production were playing the 4, and if ever a player needed a fresh start, this is the one. Insert obligatory comparison to Shawn Marion here.

Chuck Hayes: Some guys just win no matter where they go, to the contrary of common sense. Chuck Hayes is one of those guys. He won't be particularly expensive, he'll play tenacious defense, rebound the hell out of the ball, and is generally an

Josh McRoberts: If Morris pans out as an NBA player, I envision him playing a lot like McBob does now. So why not skip the development stage and just go straight to it? He rebounds and stretches the floor, and he's more mobile than Channing at the 4 spot. Would he be better if he wasn't playing for the Pacers?

Nick Young: Offer will probably be matched by Washington, sure. But that will help us next year. And if not, we would finally have a player on our team who wants to shoot. (Pop quiz: can you name a player on our current roster who is shoot-first?)

Leon Powe: 2 things happen every time Leon Powe plays. First, he puts up great scoring and rebounding numbers in limited minutes. Second, his knee explodes. Come to Phoenix, Leon. This is the premier destination for guys-who's-knees-explode.

Who do you think would be a good fit here?

SB*Nation has announced that the new NBA schedule will be released tomorrow night on NBA-TV:

The schedule will be released at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night in a special being aired on NBA TV, according to the station's schedule. It will be discussed on the program NBA GameTime.

However, we have received an exclusive sneak peek here at BrightSideoftheSun!

Because of the urgency of time constraints, league officials seem to have turned the creation of the new schedule over to the accounting firm of Bigg, Ash, and Mann. While the entire new schedule has not been released, we are able to see the timing of certain games, thanks to this sneak peek leak by one of the schedule's new creators:

All eyes will be on the LA Lakers and the Miami Heat, as they are showcased in three games around the world on consecutive nights. They first meet in London on Jan 10th, then Mexico City on the 11th, followed by a game in an exciting new venue, in Afghanistan on the 12th. The Lakers will then immediately play against the Suns in Phoenix on the 13th. Miami will come to Phoenix on the 17th, after playing at Orlando, Dallas, and Chicago on the three previous nights.

Because of a quirk in the schedule, Phoenix' only road games will be in Toronto, once each month, but those games will each count as 6 games in the standings, because the Suns are only ever scheduled to play three times a week. Their home games appear to be mostly against Minnesota and Cleveland, though they do face Dallas after it has completed an 8 game in 7 night west coast swing. Portland comes to the Valley after consecutive outdoor games in Juneau, Siberia, and Antarctica, all against the Spurs, who then arrive in Phoenix after playing in Boston the night before.

We would like to thank one of the new schedule's co-creators, a Dr. Steven Ash, for allowing us this sneak peek at the new schedule. Dr. Ash explained that some of the quirks in the schedule are there to smooth out the Stern Smugness and Snottiness of previous antiSun biased schedules. He and his team from the Bigg, Ash, and Mann Firm, or BAMF, for short, have broken in to the schedule creation business just recently. We can be assured of the validity of this new schedule, having been informed that the league's computers are completely unhackable to anyone short of a quantum physicist.

We sought confirmation of this release from league officials, but Garret Siler was sitting at the entrance, completely blocking the door; however, we did see Grant Hill with a rope go out the window, so maybe he was going to assist the commissioner and his staff.

Vince Carter was never going to play this season for the Phoenix Suns at an $18.3 cap number, the only question was whether the Suns would find a suitable trade partner before waiving his largely...

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Oh no! Free Agency could be scary for Vince.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

To add to all the no-brainer news lately, sources close to the Phoenix Suns organization are saying that the Suns have already decided to waive Vince Carter for the upcoming NBA season.

Espn's Chris Broussard and Marc Stein, at least one of which tends to have trustworthy sources, report that Phoenix will opt to buy out Vince's contract for $4 million, making him an unrestricted free agent. The waiver must be complete within 72 hours of the opening of the free agency period, which begins this upcoming Friday.

Perhaps more noteworthy is the fact that there are a few teams with possible interest in Vince, including Chicago, Miami, and San Antonio. Carter has been a common punching bag for Suns fans throughout his potentially short tenure with the Suns, with many questioning his competitive drive and ability to be an effective teammate.

This shall be an interesting free agency period, indeed.

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