Phoenix Suns: Has the Team Dug Itself a Hole?

Vincent YinContributor IOctober 22, 2010

PHOENIX - OCTOBER 19:  The Phoenix Suns huddle on the court before a preseason NBA game against the Golden State Warriors at US Airways Center on October 19, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. 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 Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

For the first time in over two decades the Suns seem to be on the verge of what one would call "the end". Not only have they seemed put themselves into a risky situation by experimenting with players who would normally not fit with each other, but if this attempt does not succeed, the Phoenix Suns will see no light at the end of the tunnel.

Not only did the Phoenix Suns spend a lot of money on signing new players, they also managed to lose their one of two of their key players in Amar'e Stoudemire. Both Amar'e Stoudemire and Steve Nash are reluctant to play without each other.

Who will be the replacement player on the Phoenix Suns' roster to spread the offense, the man who will force opposing teams to alter their gameplan in the last second, and the star who will bring electrifying highlight-material plays, hyping up the crowd in home games?

The Suns have supposedly tried to replace Amar'e Stoudemire's presence with players such as Hakim Warrick, Josh Childress and Hedo Turkoglu. All have contracts lasting more than three years, which will means they will most likely be stuck with the contracts until they runs out.

So it will most likely be until 2014 when the Suns can next try their luck at luring stars through free agency. In the 2014 Free Agency alone, the Suns will gain a total of about $23 million, if Hedo Turkoglu does not option out of his remaining three-year deal in addition to his one-year team option.

Now this may come as a surprise to many, but I believe changes need to be made to the direction of this team. It's possible for the Suns to become a contending team, but it does not seem realistic to assume such thing.

This upcoming off-season, Jason Richardson will be entering the free agency, and by the 2012 off-season, Steve Nash will most likely be degenerating, and may even be out of the NBA. This gives the Suns a lot of moving space, but would the departure of Steve Nash give the city of Phoenix and the professional basketball franchise a good image, or at least a place where a star would want to be?

The rebuilding process takes time, but three teams have shown in the past five years that teams can become instant contenders within a season or two. Those teams are the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat and Boston Celtics.

The Lakers were on the receiving end of a blockbuster trade that gave them the dynamic duo of Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant. The Celtics lured in two superstars to accommodate Paul Pierce in Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. Much similar to the Celtics, the Heat were able to lure in two other superstars in Chris Bosh and LeBron James to accompany superstar Dwyane Wade.

It has become far too frequent to call this just luck, but the chances of a city like Phoenix, which has no previous accolades representing any kind of success in the NBA Finals, is about nearly zero.

Recently it was revealed that Jason Richardson and the Phoenix Suns are in the discussion stages of a possible contract extension. This could mean both good and bad for the Suns. If they do decide to give him a long term deal, then they may be stuck with a piece of machine that does not function well in the event of Steve Nash's departure.

The good thing is that the Suns will have a player who can help this team win. After all, when Jason Richardson is having a good night, the Suns are more than likely to end up with the victory.

Upon joining the Phoenix Suns two seasons ago, Jason Richardson has developed an outside game while still being an inside threat. Electrifying dunks aren't the only thing getting Richardson onto the Daily Zap on every night the Suns play. He has a multi-dimensional game since he has been introduced back into the fast-paced system of the Suns.

This may be a time for the Suns to rebuild, but seeing as they have only missed the playoffs three times in the last twenty-two years, I personally do not envision them giving up hope just yet. They may even be able to get lucky and lure in a replacement for, say, Steve Nash or a player who complements well with Steve Nash, via a trade this season.