Re-Grading Every Phoenix Suns Offseason Move

Danny Dukker@DannyDukkerCorrespondent IIDecember 20, 2012

Re-Grading Every Phoenix Suns Offseason Move

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    We are now 25 games into the NBA season, and the Phoenix Suns sit near the bottom of the Western Conference at 10-15.

    Goran Dragic and company have been very inconsistent throughout the year. The Suns made a lot of moves in the offseason, and some key ones have flopped miserably.

    Now's the time for some reflection and a whole lot of regret—let's grade the offseason moves of the Suns.

Signing Goran Dragic

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    The Suns were in a bad spot: Steve Nash was leaving them to go search for a championship, leaving a huge void at point guard in the process.

    Phoenix went out searching for guards to replace him, and luckily, his former backup was available. Dragic played his first two years in Phoenix before being traded in the middle of the 2010-2011 campaign.

    He was now more polished and seemingly ready to lead a team, and the Suns signed him to a three-year contract, paying him $7.5 million a year.

    So far Dragic's numbers are a solid 15 PPG and six APG. Considering that this is his first year starting, those stats are pretty good, and I couldn't have expected too much more.

    This was a pretty good signing considering the need, but I do have one major problem with this signing. Just a few weeks before the deal, the Suns drafted Kendall Marshall with the 13th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

    Since that is the very next slide, I won't go too far into details. Without giving too much away, they both take away from each other's  grades.


    Grade: B-

Drafting Kendall Marshall

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    This move by the Suns still makes me upset. With Nash out the door, Phoenix went ahead and used its only draft pick of the year to pick up a promising point guard from North Carolina: Kendall Marshall.

    Seems logical enough, but then the Suns go ahead and pick up Goran Dragic (see previous slide). Why pull off both moves?

    I will admit that at that point in the draft, there wasn't much sure talent to go around, but the pick did not have to be wasted.

    Andrew Nicholson and Jared Sullinger were both on the board and would have been fine picks. You could argue this was a safety pick, but it was still a waste.

    Looking back on it now and seeing as Marshall has only played a grand total of 34 minutes, the move only seems worse.


    Grade: F

Signing Michael Beasley

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    Michael Beasley has been by far the most disappointing player on the Phoenix Suns this season. I can say that from a statistical point of view and from an intangible one.

    Averaging just 11 points a game when the expectation from most was around 20 is just sad. His defense has been nothing short of terrible, and the same can be said for every other aspect of his game.

    The Suns knew they needed a scorer coming into the year, so signing Beasley to a decent, three-year contract seemed like a great move.

    It didn't take long for problems to show, but it was assumed it was just a matter of adjusting.

    Considering that we are more that a quarter of the way into the season, we can conclude that adjusting wasn't the issue. Beasley just can't seem to focus, and his lack of interest is evident.

    Beasley wasn't looked at as a big player during free agency, which allowed the Suns to casually pick him up. Now they can only look back and regret that decision.

    Maybe there is still some hope, but at this point, a roster change is needed.


    Grade: F

Signing Luis Scola

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    This was a very smart move by the Phoenix Suns. Luis Scola has been one of the most consistent power forwards in the league during his career.

    The Suns signed him to a three-year deal worth just over $4 million each season. Scola has played very well overall in Phoenix, and he has continued that level of play while coming off the bench in recent games.

    His averages of 12-and-7 are just slightly below his career numbers of 14-and-8.

    That is easy to forgive when considering this is only the second year where Scola is averaging less than 30 minutes each game. Good signing by the Suns, although I feel he should be starting.


    Grade: B+

Signing Jermaine O'Neal

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    The Suns needed someone to back up Marcin Gortat, and O'Neal was perfect for the role.

    He was the defensive presence off the bench who made sure the Suns didn't skip a beat while Gortat sat.

    With his averages sitting at seven points, five rebounds and two blocks, I have nothing but good things to say about O'Neal's play.

    His contract is only for one year and is worth under $1 million. It was the type of signing that could only help the Suns and provided no risk at all.

    Gortat has had an up and down year, but O'Neal is playing great off the bench, and he has not let the injury bug catch him in his 17th season in the league—great veteran presence for Phoenix.


    Grade: A

Signing P.J. Tucker

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    Tucker was another very low-risk signing by the Suns. He was given a small contract, paying under $1 million a season and has played tremendously.

    Tucker has become the closer for Phoenix with his hustle and ability to hit some very timely shots. He is only averaging five points a game, but he has been very efficient and has not forced shots.

    Another important note is that Tucker only played in 17 NBA games before this season—the last one took place during the 2006-2007 year.

    Phoenix didn't sign him to be an important part of its team, but 25 games in, we owe a good portion of those 10 wins to Tucker's hustle plays.


    Grade: A

Signing Wesley Johnson

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    While this was a relatively questionable signing, the Suns were again not risking too much. It was only a one-year deal, and based on Wesley Johnson's play, he won't be a Sun next season.

    I'm not trying to be too harsh on him, as he has only played in 11 games so far, but he has not impressed in any of them. His defense was his biggest asset coming in, and that has not changed.

    He is a very gifted athlete and uses that athleticism beautifully on the defensive end of the floor. The problems come with his offense.

    Johnson's field-goal percentage is currently at 32 percent. This number is not all that surprising, considering Johnson has not shot better than 40 percent in his first two years in the NBA.

    If this was a long-term deal, then his grade would be very low. However, he has a short-term deal that could only do good things, so I will be generous.


    Grade: C

Trading Steve Nash

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    This is the move that changed the Phoenix Suns. While not really a full-blown trade considering the Suns only got some picks in return, it's still worth mentioning.

    Specifically, the Suns received four picks, spread over three seasons. It was something that needed to be done, and Phoenix can now move on.

    This will be yet another approach by the Suns to capture the championship, and time will only tell if they succeed. They are off to a very slow start, but the future looks bright.


    Grade: A


    Thank you for reading and please leave your your thoughts in the comments below!