Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver recently stated that the most likely scenario for the Suns to acquire a star player was through a trade, and that the organization’s plan was to build up pieces to put themselves in a position to possibly do that.
Now what star player could possibly be available in the near future?
The biggest stars are staying put for the most part or have free agency coming in the next season. There is, though, one player that is said to be “available”—Chris Paul.
True, it is rumored he wants to play in New York. It's also true that he recently came out and said that he wants to represent New Orleans.
But, really, what was he going to say? That he is tired of a sad and dirty city? Of course, he’s going to say publicly that he wants to stay with the Hornets.
Now, New Orleans has all the leverage here. Paul has two years remaining on his current contract. He gets paid almost $15 million this coming season and more than $16 million the season that follows.
The Hornets also have a young point guard in Darren Collison, who showed he can play at a high level and a margin of the price.
Going back to the Suns, why should they get involved and try to get Paul?
He’s a star. He’s an elite point guard. He would play to the strengths of an already potent scoring attack.
Since 1989, with the exception of the last part of the 2002-03 season, the Suns have ALWAYS had an elite point guard. Kevin Johnson, Jason Kidd, Sam Cassell, Stephon Marbury, and Steve Nash are the elite point guards that have brought the ball up the court for Phoenix.
The only other elite point guards that did not play for the Suns were John Stockton and Gary Payton in the previous generation. Nash, Paul, Deron Williams, Tony Parker, and Derrick Rose are the current group of the elite, and Nash is in the twilight of his career.
Goran Dragic could be very good, but he is not as of yet anywhere near elite as a point guard.
It would be appropriate for the Suns to look into getting Paul. They could offer Jason Richardson and the trade would work with the salaries.
Additionally, Phoenix would likely have to offer a future firstround draft pick, but to get a player like Paul, you go for it.
New Orleans would lose their star, but Darren Collison showed that he can run the team. Richardson would give them much needed production from the shooting guard position.
Phoenix would get their starting point guard for the next several years and would have the face of their franchise as well.
It has the look of a killer deal. Plus, imagine both Nash and Paul on the court at the same time. Both can shoot and create—it would be a nightmare for defenses.
Now obviously I am ignoring the negative ramifications.
Paul would improve the team’s defense against point guards, but Nash would be stuck guarding shooting guards or small forwards. That would be a nightmare.
Furthermore, it would make an already undersized team even more undersized. It would be a team of point guards and small forwards.
What the trade would allow after this coming season would be to have Dragic start alongside Paul, and allow Nash to play the final year of his contract (and possibly his career) as a backup.
The size problem and defensive issues would be resolved and you still have one of the best point guards in the game, and a Paul/Dragic backcourt could develop into one of the deadliest combinations in the league.
Will this trade happen? I really doubt it. Should it? As a Phoenix fan, this is one trade that you should be willing to sell off your soul, spouse and children for.
And that isn’t an exaggeration (okay maybe a little).
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