How the Phoenix Suns Can Stave Off Mediocrity

Mark BrownCorrespondent IJune 18, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 15:  Steve Nash #13 and Shaquille O'Neal #32 of the Phoenix Suns look on against the Golden State Warriors during an NBA game on March 15, 2009 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns are in a very difficult situation right now. They went from being arguably the best team in the NBA to a lottery team in just a few short years. One thing is clear: the Suns need to make moves.

I have proposed two moves which I feel would allow the Suns to get back on track. They would be younger, save money and hopefully win a few more games.

Step One: Trade Amare Stoudemire to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Caron Butler, Mike James, and the fifth pick in the draft.

It's no secret that Washington is looking to deal its pick in the upcoming draft, as they would be forced to acquire a guard and they don't really need one right now. Grabbing Amare Stoudemire would be perfect for them.

Washington desperatley needs a big man on their team, because Antawan Jamison just isn't enough. Pairing Stoudemire and Jamison would be a formidable front line. DeShawn Stevenson would go to small forward, Nick Young at the shooting guard. As a bonus, they get rid of Mike James's bad contract.

Amare Stoudemire isn't a great rebounder or defender, but he does get nine rebounds a game (much better than most) and will play some defense. He would certainly be an upgrade over Brendan Haywood. Washington needs to change things around, to at least look like they're trying, and this move would be perfect.

For the Suns, they would get an athletic wing man who could step in as the defensive ace this team has lacked since Raja Bell was traded. He is a very tough kid and is a very physical defender, and Phoenix would love to have that.

He is also a very talented offensive player and a good shooter. The Suns wouldn't have to worry about their offense, and with Stoudemire gone, the lane will be free for Steve Nash again. The Suns wouldn't have to worry about Stoudemire's complaints or threats of leaving in 2010.

The fifth pick may be high enough for Phoenix to snatch Ricky Rubio. Rubio's stock has dropped because he has refused to work out for many NBA teams.

With the Grizzlies looking at Hasheem Thabeet, Oklahoma City not needing another guard, and Sacramento no longer interested in Rubio, Phoenix would have a great chance at landing their point guard of the future.

Phoenix could then use the 14th pick on a player like Earl Clark, who would give them additional depth. Mike James would simply be a filler. He could play minutes and give Steve Nash the occasional night off.


Step Two: Trade Jason Richardson to the Los Angeles Clippers for Marcus Camby.

It's no secret that the Clippers are going to draft Blake Griffin, a power forward. They'll need space in the frontcourt for him. Of course, Los Angeles would much prefer to deal Zach Randolph instead, but it's doubtful anyone will take him.

If the Clippers are too reluctant to deal Camby, the Suns could ask for Chris Kaman instead. If this were to happen, LA would have to toss in a scrub to make the salaries match.

The Clippers would be getting an explosive offensive player who could help take pressure off Blake Griffin and let him develop at his own pace. Los Angeles isn't going to make the postseason anytime soon and they need to play their young guys (Griffin and Gordon).

The Suns would be getting a legitimate big man to replace Amare Stoudemire. Both Camby and Kaman are defensive minded players, something that would be great for the Suns to have in one of their big men.

Once that has happened, the Suns could use the money they'll have from their soon to be free agents (Grant Hill, Matt Barnes, Stromile Swift and Louis Amundson) and look to either resign Amundson or go after players like Chris Anderson or Marcin Gortat.

They would have about 3.76 million dollars from those expiring contracts and could surely sign one of the three. They could also use the 2.2 million dollars saved by dealing Richardson for Camby, or 2.7 million if they get Kaman. This would total to 5.96 or 6.46 million dollars, depending on who they get.

So for the Wizards:

PG-Gilbert Arenas, Javaris Crittenton

SG-Nick Young

SF-DeShawn Stevenson 

PF-Antawan Jamison, Darius Songaila, Andray Blatche

C-Amare Stoudemire, Brendan Haywood, Etan Thomas 

(The Wizards would probably have to trade some bigs for wings.)


For the Clippers:

PG-Baron Davis, Mardy Collins

SG-Eric Gordon, Ricky Davis

SF-Jason Richardson, Al Thorton

PF-Blake Griffin, Zach Randolph

C-Marcus Camby/Chris Kaman, DeAndre Jordan


And for the Suns:

PG-Steve Nash, Ricky Rubio, Mike James, Goran Dragic

SG-Caron Butler, Leandro Barbosa

SF-Earl Clark, Jared Dudley, Alando Tucker

PF-Camby/Kaman, Louis Amundson/Chris Anderson/Marcin Gortat

C-Shaquille O'Neal, Robin Lopez

(Phoenix may look to trade Dragic for a big man or perhaps a wing.) 


Let me know what you guys think!