Let me preface this article by saying I loved Mike D'Antoni as a coach on the floor. He gave his players a freedom and ability to just play basketball that is not usually seen in the NBA.
While he failed at obtaining the ultimate goal of an NBA title, he made the Suns one of the most exciting teams in the NBA for three seasons.
So why am I upset with him and Robert Sarver?
It's simple really: They destroyed the future of the Phoenix Suns. Now I understand that few teams in the league are able to continue to dominate and play at a very high level while also building for the future.
I also understand that had Mike D'Antoni not been afraid to play a rookie point guard, the Suns would currently have Rajon Rondo on their roster. Would he be as good as he is now? Probably not because he would not have received the playing time that he would have needed.
In the same draft, the Suns also traded away Spanish point guard Sergio Rodriguez. This one is even more of a head scratcher to me. Robert Sarver did not want to pay a rookie, Mike D' Antoni did not want to play a rookie, so why was Rodriguez traded?
He was the perfect rookie for the Suns, someone who would stay overseas for a couple of years, and then come in a little older and a little more NBA ready to play.
Why trade him?
Oh, there is more. In 2004 the Suns traded the draft rights to the seventh overall pick to the Chicago Bulls. They did this because they believed the player they wanted in Andre Iguadola would not be there. They were wrong.
They made the deal in advance, thinking that Andre would go in the top five. When he was still there at seven it was too late, they had already made a deal with Chicago to draft the player they wanted Luol Deng.
So as my mother always told me, don't count your chickens before they hatch.
In the deal the Suns received the Bulls 2005 first round pick, which ended up being No. 21.
Well, by now you have figured out how the Suns operate, and they traded the pick, along with Quentin Richardson, a fan favorite the year he was here, for Kurt Thomas and Dijon mustard...I mean Thompson.
In the same draft, the Suns drafted some crazy guy from Poland, whose name escapes me, but if you read this article, you might recognize the name. Yes, the Suns traded away Marcin Gortat for, wait for it, cash considerations.
Another move that made little sense for the Suns, when Gortat was only a second round pick, he had the reputation for being a good defender and good rebounder, which the Suns seriously lack now and then.
So if you are keeping track the Suns could have Andre Iguadola and Sergio Rodriguez on their current squad.
Or if they make the trade with the Bulls, still they have Nate Robinson, Quentin Richardson, Sergio Rodriguez, and Macin Gortat. Oh wait, there is more.
The 2007 draft is the one that irks me personally the most. The Suns again made a draft day trade with the Portland Trailblazers. The Suns used the Celtics pick to draft Rudy Fernandez for the Blazers. No, that is not all, they also sent their best pure shooter and one of their better perimeter defenders in James Jones.
What did they receive in return? Let's go with multiple choice on this one:
C. I can't believe this is a yearly occurrence
D. All of the above and lets not talk about it anymore
What does all of this mean? Well it means that Suns have traded away their future for cash and nothing.
They, Mike D'Antoni and Robert Sarver respectively, did not want to play or pay the incoming rookies.
I can understand that part, if you don't want to pay these guys, then at least keep the foreign players that will not come over for one or two years.
I am sure the Suns would not mind having Sergio Rodriguez, Rudy Fernandez and Marcin Gortat coming off the bench.
So now the Suns are at a crossroads. Do they hold the core together one more year? Do they make moves in order to prepare for the future?
I know it is easy to say what if, but there are sometimes you just have to say, WHY?
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