Grading Each Phoenix Suns Deal from the NBA Trade Deadline
Despite constant trade rumors about players such as Jared Dudley, Marcin Gortat and Jermaine O'Neal over the past several weeks, the Suns only made two trades, and the only player to leave Phoenix was third-string point guard Sebastian Telfair.
Many people expected the Suns to make a big splash by acquiring a big name such as Josh Smith or Iman Shumpert, but no blockbuster deals were made.
Still, for a front office that has been openly criticized by Suns fans for years, this was a very successful trade deadline. The Suns made a couple of minor moves that should help them for the future without giving up too much in return.
Let's dive deeper into each of those two moves and look to see exactly what the Suns did right before the trade deadline this year.
Suns acquire Marcus Morris for a second-round pick
This first move was announced last night, and it did come out of nowhere, but many KU fans just became Suns fans last night after it was announced that Marcus Morris was traded to the Suns for a future second-round pick (via hoopsrumors.com).
Marcus Morris was not connected to the Suns in any rumors before the trade, but now he has been re-united with his brother, sophomore power forward Markieff Morris.
After struggling throughout the entire 2011-2012 NBA season, Marcus Morris is showing a lot of improvement this year. He's playing 21.4 minutes a game, and in that time he's averaging 8.6 points and 4.1 rebounds while shooting 43 percent from the field.
Morris is a tweener, and he has the ability to play either forward position for the Suns. He is not an incredible defender nor is he the most athletic player on the court, but he's a sharpshooter who is currently shooting 38 percent from behind the arc, making him a great acquisition for a team that is 29th in the NBA in three-point percentage.
Furthermore, you have to believe that this trade will improve team chemistry. The two Morris twins should bring out the best in each other and motivate each other, and hopefully we will see improvement and development from both young players moving forward.
The best part is that the Suns acquired a developing young forward for just a second-round pick. That pick could ultimately be a superstar player, but that chance is so small that it makes this trade very low-risk for the Suns.
Morris may never be a star, but he could definitely be a great contributor to a contending team a few years from now, and that is all the Suns really need. For a second-round pick, it's a steal. Now Suns fans just need to learn how to tell the two twins apart.
Sebastian Telfair to Toronto for Hamed Haddadi and a second-round pick
The Suns made another minor trade this morning, sending backup point guard Sebastian Telfair to the Toronto Raptors for center Hamed Haddadi and a 2014 second-round pick (via Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, h/t hoopsrumors.com)
This trade may not seem important, but it definitely makes a lot of sense for the Suns. Telfair has fallen out of the rotation in Phoenix, and the Suns were able to get some trade value out of him while also creating more playing time for rookie Kendall Marshall.
The Suns did not receive much in return, but that can be expected. Since the Raptors are over the cap and could not absorb Telfair's contract, they needed to send a small contract back to Phoenix, which is where Hamed Haddadi comes in.
Haddadi, the 7'2" giant from Iran may never be a great player. After all, this is his fifth season in the NBA and most people still don't know his name. However, the center became a fan favorite in Memphis due to his personality, work ethic and performance on the court.
Haddadi probably won't receive many minutes as long as Gortat and O'Neal are on the team, but he produces in the time he's given. For his career, Haddadi averages 12.5 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per 36 minutes, and he is an above-average defensive player. He will make $1.4 million next season, which is not as overpriced as you might think. In fact, the Suns do save a little money after making this deal.
Still, the greatest part of the experience will be Phoenix fans uttering the line "who's your Haddadi" every time he steps on the court. If that isn't already a thing, please make it into one. I really want to see that happen.
The second-round pick is nothing to scoff at either, and the Suns will receive the lowest of Toronto's and Sacramento's second-rounders in the 2014 draft. Both of those are likely to be in the top 45 overall picks, and there's always a slim chance to pull an All-Star from that talent pool in the draft.
Overall, the Suns freed up more playing time for Marshall, added a fun personality to the team, saved a little money and added another pick. It wasn't a major move, but it gives Suns fans nothing to complain about.
In the past several years, Suns fans have held a grudge against the front office for every bad move they have made. It's true, they have made plenty of mistakes, but before any of you start an angry riot, I'm hoping you will consider the events that took place over the past 48 hours and remember this day.
Today will not be remembered for any superstar talent that the Suns acquired, nor will it be remembered as the day in which we said goodbye to Jared Dudley or Marcin Gortat. However, let today be remembered as a day in which the Phoenix front office took significant steps toward rebuilding their team and gaining back the trust of fans.
Overall, how would you grade the trade deadline for the Suns this year?
Why? Because they created a plan and stuck to it. The Suns did not bite on an offer for Josh Smith, but rather they showed restraint and instead made the most important moves to help the team rebuild with youth. The Suns traded in a second-round pick and a veteran, and in return they replaced that pick, added a young prospect and saved money all at the same time.
No matter how small these moves were in terms of talent, they should have a significant meaning to every fan who has felt betrayed by the franchise. In your eyes, this may not make up for all the bone-headed trades that have occurred over the past several years.
But it's a great first step.
Most importantly, do not choose to forget this day. Do not continue to criticize the team for their mistakes while refusing to accept their achievements. Sometimes, you must give credit where credit is due.
Today should mark a happy and momentous day for all Phoenix Suns fans, and let it be treated as such.
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