The Phoenix Suns are really at a crossroads.
Do they trade Steve Nash? Or do they continue to stick with the former two-time MVP and blow up the team? Several important decisions will have to be made this offseason and before the trade deadline.
The roster is not completely in shambles, but there's no question an infusion of youth is desperately needed. The Suns have to add young, impact players this offseason, which is contrary to previous philosophy of owner Robert Sarver.
Sarver has traditionally been one of the cheapest owners in the league and, to much public dismay, has traded away players like Shawn Marion and Joe Johnson and allowed Amare Stoudemire walk in free agency.
Sarver has made terrible choices for his basketball franchise, but this offseason could help him slowly rebuild his team.
Sarver has to either be willing to spend to send out a solid product every game or accumulate draft picks in order to do what the Oklahoma City Thunder did and build through the draft.
Here is a rundown of the current players under contract for next season:
PG: Steve Nash and Zabian Dowdell
SG: Vince Carter (who will be waived before the season)
SF: Jared Dudley, Mickael Pietrus and Josh Childress
PF: Channing Frye, Hakim Warrick and Gani Lawal
C: Marcin Gortat, Robin Lopez and Garret Siler
Free Agents: Grant Hill (Unrestricted) and Aaron Brooks (Restricted but has signed to play in China)
Draft Pick: Markieff Morris (13th overall)
There is decent talent on the roster, but the team needs a couple more parts. Current issues with the roster include lack of shooting guards, lack of a backup point guard and the need for youth. The first two issues can be tackled much easier then the third.
I expect the Suns to be active in free agency, especially with those first two issues.
Addressing the shooting guard position will be the most important aspect to tackle quickly. Specifically, the team should express interest in players like Arron Afflalo, Nick Young, Jason Richardson, Shannon Brown and Jamal Crawford.
For the backup point guard position, there are considerably less options. Players like Rodney Stuckey, T.J. Ford and Ronnie Price should be targeted.
The Suns also have their own free agents to deal with. Grant Hill is an unrestricted free agent and most, including Hill, expect him to be back in Phoenix. Hill means too much to this team to let him walk.
The other free agent is Aaron Brooks, who has signed to play in China and will not be back until February or March. Brooks signed to play in China just 10 days before the lockout ended and will be in China unless his team releases him.
Another aspect that could change this team is trades. Steve Nash's name has long been on the trading block and it might finally be the time Nash is traded away. Contending teams from all over the NBA have been mentioned as possible destinations. In my opinion, Atlanta, Miami and New York are the best locations for Nash.
The trading away of Nash could dramatically change the look of this team and probably hurt the team's playoff odds for the year.
Overall, the Suns will have a fringe playoff team assembled if the right additions are made. That means using the amnesty clause on Josh Childress and signing adequate guards (both shooting and point).
If the team could sign both Nick Young and Ronnie Price, the team would be much better than last year. But this all depends on the willingness of owner Robert Sarver to spend.