It appears Phoenix is sending the Big Shaq Fu to Cleveland in exchange for… Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic. Yikes. Even though O’Neal is past his prime he’s still a productive player, while the same can’t be said for either of the players the Suns get back.
Can you say salary dump Phoenix? Of course, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. After Robert Sarver bought the team back in 2004 he’s been adamant about keeping the team payroll below the luxury tax. Since signing Steve Nash in July 2004 the Phoenix Suns have often pulled moves to pinch pennies, usually involving draft picks.
Look at the following trades made over the past five years:
* traded rights to Luol Deng for a 2005 first-round pick (Nate Robinson) and cash
* traded rights to Marcin Gortat for cash
* traded rights to Sergio Rodriguez for cash
* traded rights to Rajon Rondo, cash and Brian Grant for a 2007 first-round pick (Rudy Fernandez)
* traded rights to Rudy Fernandez for cash
* traded two first-round picks (2008, 2010) to Seattle for a 2008 second-pick
Basically the Suns got somewhere around $10 million to give up those talents. I’m pretty sure the team could use those players right now. Instead it looks like Nash & Co. are on their way to gaining ping pong balls for next year’s draft. But oh wait, they traded the 2010 pick too!
Safe to say it’s been a disastrous strategy.
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