3 Free Agents Who Could Impact the Phoenix Suns

John Degroote@john_degrooteCorrespondent IIOctober 2, 2012

Michael Beasley poses during Suns media day
Michael Beasley poses during Suns media dayMark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

When the Phoenix Suns tip-off the ball on the 2012-13 NBA season, it will mark the start to a new era of Suns basketball.

Steve Nash, who spent nearly a decade in the Suns' orange, was the face of the franchise during his time in the desert. In the offseason, he took his talents to play along side Kobe Bryant in L.A.

Goran Dragic and Kendall Marshall were picked up in the offseason, via free agency and the draft respectively, and are now expected to carry the torch from Nash to the new era at the point guard position.

The Suns made a bevy of other moves in the offseason to form their new-look roster. Luis Scola and Michael Beasley were highlights of the Suns' free-agency period, while former Minnesota Timberwolves guard Wesley Johnson was sent to Phoenix in a three-way trade.

While the roster looks much different, the Suns should be an improved team. They can get even better by adding the final pieces to their rotation from the players left in free agency.


Chris Andersen, Center

When the announcement came out that Channing Frye would miss the entire season with an enlarged heart, the Suns' depth at center took a major hit.

They currently have four centers on their roster, which includes Marcin Gortat, Solomon Jones, Luke Zeller and Jermaine O'Neal.

Gortat has the starting spot locked down after a career year, but below him on the depth chart is thin. Solomon Jones has never averaged more than 5.5 points and 3.7 rebounds a season, Luke Zeller is a fresh-faced rookie and, at the age of 33, coming off an injury and Jermaine O'Neal is about as reliable as a dial-up internet connection.

Chris Andersen would be a huge energy boost on the bench. He has never been a stat-sheet hero, but he is a reliable, veteran center whom the Suns should pursue to add depth. "The Birdman" has only averaged 17.8 minutes in his career—almost the exact amount he would be asked to play with the Suns.


Leandro Barbosa, Guard

Barbosa may be the most overlooked player still on the free-agent market.

The 2007 Sixth Man of the Year averaged 11 points and nearly a steal per game off the bench last year with the Pacers and Raptors.

The Suns should bring in the "Brazilian Blur" to add depth, leadership and scoring to their bench.

Reportedly the Lakers (h/t CBS Sports) were interested in the bringing Barbosa in to add to their championship run roster. However, Barbosa is familiar with Phoenix, playing the first seven years of his career in a Suns uniform. He would also thrive in Alvin Gentry's system.


Kenyon Martin, Forward

Martin is a proven forward who could add some grit to the group of forwards on the Suns' current roster. Jared Dudley, Luis Scola, Ike Diogu, Markieff Morris and Michael Beasley are the Suns forwards going into training camp.

Diogu may not make the final roster, and while Dudley and Scola are great scoring options, they are far from being lock-down defenders.

Morris, Beasley and Martin could provide the Suns with three very good defenders as they go against teams with more athletic, scoring forwards.

Last season, "K-Mart" averaged 1.7 blocks per game in the playoffs with the Clippers, while only playing 17 minutes per game.

The problem with Martin is that he is not willing to accept the veterans minimum with a team, which is probably why he is still on the market. It would be nice to see Martin in the desert, but the Suns should not overpay for him.