The All Star break has mercifully arrived in Phoenix. While representatives from 27 NBA teams head to Houston to participate in the various competitions, every member of the Phoenix Suns will be...

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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!

2013 NBA Trade Deadline Power Rankings -

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.

Dudley says that former Suns guard Jason Richardson introduced him to twitter, and we all know that other former teammates of JD are big on twitter as well: Shaquille O'Neal and Steve Nash.

"What it gives that I didn't have growing up," Dudley told Sam Amick of "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 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!

Former Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry, who after leaving the team was searching for a hobby or a new job, has found something to do. TrueHoop’s Henry Abbott caught up with Gentry to...

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The Phoenix Suns play only two road games between now and the February 21, 2013 trade deadline, next Tuesday and Wednesday against Portland and Golden State, respectively.

According to reporters citing anonymous sources, the Suns are dangling every single player on the roster to see what offers shake loose. Prevailing assumptions are that offers get better and better closer to the deadline, and the Suns are one team in a position of power.

Yet according to Lance Blanks himself on Monday to KTAR, the Suns may not trade a single player.

The way I read it is: the Suns won't be fleeced without their express written consent, but would certainly jump at a lopsided offer in their favor.

Logic dictates that no one on the roster should be considered untradeable. This Suns team is worst in the West and third-worst in franchise history. Unlike the old days of Nash, Amare and Marion, not one player on this current Suns roster would be considered a starter on all 30 NBA teams. Not one player is even in the top 5 at his position. That makes you tradable for something better.

Yet logic also dictates that the Suns are in a position of power, and don't need to offload anyone just for the sake of doing it.

Suns desires

So far, the Suns have been linked to wanting free-agent-to-be PF Josh Smith (since debunked, at least until summer), free-agent-to-be PF Al Jefferson (probably for the expiring contract), soon-to-be restricted free agent swingman Gordon Hayward, second-year G Iman Shumpert (Suns love Shump!) and Rudy Gay (since traded to Toronto).

And that's just the start. Expect to hear a lot more rumors of all kinds - Suns buying, Suns selling, Suns facilitating as third team.

Keep up with all the rumors on the Bright Side home page in sections called: Phoenix Suns trade rumors and NBA Trade Rumors

Suns Cap/Assets Sitch

The Suns have no bad contracts. Their best players - Goran Dragic, Marcin Gortat, Jared Dudley - are on great contracts for what they bring to a team: being the 3rd - 6th best player on a contender. No need to trade them unless something better, or with a higher ceiling, comes back.

The Suns have lots of draft picks already. Probably a top-5 pick in June, probably another lottery pick (Lakers have a 68% chance of missing playoffs), a high second-rounder and a middle second rounder. That's about all one team can handle in a single season, even considering trading a pick or stashing players overseas.

And there is a strong theory that if the Suns could add a "very good" player in free agency with their 15 million in cap space (Josh Smith?) and the right lottery picks, they could get themselves right back in playoff contention by keeping Dudley, Dragic and Gortat.

So why make any panic trades?

The Suns are one of few teams in the NBA with cap space (> $6 million) to absorb a contract in a lopsided deal to help a team that needs to get under the luxury tax. In the past, that kind of leverage got a smart team an extra #1 pick for their troubles (OKC, Cleveland, etc). Kind of like buying a pick.

Yet, there are some Suns players likely to be gone soon.

Sure to be gone soon

If not by the trade deadline for a second-round draft pick, Sebastian Telfair has no role on this team anymore. Though I have no inside info, I expect the Suns to trade him or release him before he plays another game.

Probably gone soon

Jermaine O'Neal has helpfully shown his health and worth as a backup center to a contender, certainly making him worth a second-round pick by next week. The Suns have only 29 games left in the season - why not get something for him before he becomes a free agent?

After that, what comes back must exceed what goes out

Marcin Gortat may have worn out his welcome with the team, and it's clear that he and Dragic do not have any kind of on-court chemistry. The Polish Machine is still complaining about his lack of spotlight on offense and even Lindsey Hunter is often sitting him in favor of Jermaine O'Neal just like Gentry did.

Yet there's no reason to dump Gortat now unless the Suns get something better in return. He will be a good commodity during the draft and will be an $8 million expiring contract in 2013-14. Given that the luxury taxation starts becoming exceptionally punitive next spring, Gortat will likely be more valuable to a salary-dumping team next year than he is this year.

Don't sell low on the Hammer!

Goran Dragic is in the top-10 or top-15 point guards in the NBA, has a great team-first attitude and works his butt off. Plus, he's got a great contract ($7.5 million, 3 years) for that contribution. He provides great bang for his buck, likely the best value among PGs in their prime not still under a rookie contract.

But by definition there are several PGs ahead of him in the NBA, many more near his level and more still that are younger and have higher potential. Fans get frustrated with Gogi, but that's because we put him in a #1 role for which he is ill-suited. Dragic is best as a 3rd or 4th option on a contender.

Goran Dragic would be a great trade piece at the deadline, but the problem in trading him for a better player is that you just traded away a guy that new player really needs to succeed.

Don't see low on the Dragon!

Jared Dudley's contract goes on for several more years, so he's not likely to have any higher ceiling than in 2013. Yet he would be just as valuable in four months at draft time as he is in the next week.

Dudley is loved throughout the league by players and GMs alike, and appears to be mentally checked-out since he was mentioned in conjunction with Iman Shumpert last weekend.

Given his contract and skills, Duds would return the most valuable booty in any trade. Yet just like the Hammer and the Dragon, it's just not worth forcing him out the door unless the Suns get something better in return - either now or in the near future (high draft pick).

Don't sell low on JD-for-three!

Anyone else on the roster is just a mechanism of the CBA trade rules. No one likely wants to give good or equal value for the rest of the Suns roster (when combining contract and contributions), so the Suns would only use them to make a trade work.

Expect to hear a lot of rumors over the next week, fans. Lots of teams will want Dudley, Gortat and/or Dragic. What they're offering will be the key.

If a rumor sounds too good to be true in favor of the Suns, it probably is.

If a rumor sounds so bad you can't understand why the Suns would do it, they probably won't.

Just wait till Gambo tweets it's a done deal, I guess. Lol.

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