Steve Kerr will definitely need to earn his money this summer. With a superstar that is coming off eye surgery, a declining superstar who wants a new contract, and a man that is larger than life that wants nothing more than to win ring number five, leaving tough decisions for Kerr to make.
So what is a GM to do? Well I am glad you asked because I have a PhD in laptop general managership. (Yeah I think I made that word up, but it is my word now)
If I am Steve, Kerr and in this article I am, I trade them all. Well, obviously that is easier said then done, so let's breakdown each trade and what the 2009-2010 roster for the Phoenix Suns would look like.
Nash has been not only a great player for the Suns, but a great ambassador. But he is on a slow decline and wants two more years added to this year, as well as a raise. For everything he has done for the team he deserves it, but it will only hinder the Suns for the future.
What do you do? I package Nash and the 14th overall pick to the Knicks in exchange for the eighth pick, Chris Duhon and make them sign David Lee and trade him in the deal. Lee would need to sign about a four year $32 million deal to make the salaries work, but I think this would be a nice trade for both teams.
How does it benefit the Knicks, well although Nash is only under contract for another year, he would definitely be the type of player that the Knicks could entice LeBron James with if they decide they want to keep him. Plus, if you think he is done, it is only a one-year deal.
For the Suns, you get a capable point guard to replace Nash, a very nice power forward who will play defense and rebound (something that the current one does only on his time).
With the swap of draft picks, the Knicks will be in the range to pick someone like Eric Maynor, Earl Clark, or maybe even a Jrue Holiday who is shooting up the charts.
The Suns, with the eighth selection would look at Stephen Curry, Tyreke Evans, Johnny Flynn or maybe even Brandon Jennings.
He has let it be known that he wants out of Phoenix. I for one am okay with it, even though I still believe the Suns made the right move in trading for him.
He has upped his tradability (again with the made up words) by him getting in shape and increase in productivity. He will only be on someone’s book for a year, and is always good for marketability purposes.
What do you do? I send Shaq to the Bulls, who are interested because that would allow them to move Luol Deng and his huge contract. They would also have to include Jerome James, who would be foolish not to pick up his player option, which would then make the salaries match.
How does this benefit the Bulls? It allows them to free up over $14 million in cap space for the 2010 off-season. Chicago fans will say, what about Chris Bosh? Well, the answer is simple; you have the ability to still trade for him. With pieces like Brad Miller, Tim Thomas, and Joakim Noah, this deal isn’t out of reach.
The trade also benefits the Bulls in that the $14 million they save will allow them extend Bosh.
How does this help the Suns? They will have a wingman for the next five years in Deng who has All-Star ability. The Suns will be very thin on the wing, with Matt Barnes and Grant Hill both being gone. That also gives you the ability to dangle Jason Richardson in the off-season.
This is the toughest one for me, not because he will be hard to move. Amar’e, 27, is one of the best offensive power forwards in the game.
What is enough, and how do you move the franchise?
There is a rumor out there that reportedly has no legs, but is something that I would definitely listen too. The Suns send Amar'e to the Wizards, and in return receive Antawn Jamison and Mike James' horrible contract and the fifth overall pick.
How does this benefit the Wizards? They need a better presence inside that can score and help a healthy Gilbert Arenas and a determined Caron Butler. Amar'e gives them this in spades.
For the Suns this is a little more difficult. They are getting a 33 year old who is a good player, but not as young or as talented as Amar'e. Plus James is a throw in, why do players with the last name James get these big contracts?
The fifth pick is the cherry on top that would make this trade occur. The fifth pick would give the Suns options like Jordan Hill, James Harden, Tyreke Evans, and maybe even a Ricky Rubio falls to them.
Could any of these happen, I definitely think so, and they are things that I hope happen.
If I had my druthers, the first two would take place. Even though I am a huge Nash fan, we cannot afford to keep him and get nothing when he walks next year. Plus even if he wants to stay, we cannot keep him at $14 million a year for another couple of years.
Shaq would be an easier sale, because of the big expiring contract and the fact that he is still a top five center in the NBA. I don't know if that is saying something about Shaq's longevity or the amount of terrible big men that there are in the NBA.
If the Suns can pull off any of these three trades, they will be better in the long run, but maybe not next year.
Possible Lineups w/ all 3 trades:
PG- Chris Duhon, Goran Dragic, Mike James
SG- Luol Deng, Leandro Barbosa, Tyreke Evans, Alando Tucker
SF- Jason Richardson, James Harden, Jared Dudley
PF- Antawn Jamison, Lou Amundson, Jerome James
C- David Lee, Robin Lopez
As I stated earlier, the Steve Kerr will earn his keep this summer, or fall further down the list of inept GM's in the NBA.
(As a notation, the Shaq and Amare trades are actual rumors out there and the Nash thing is something I came up with, but makes a ton of sense to me).
Another trade possibility has come through the wire. According to a local radio host, the Boston Celtics have made an offer for Amar'e Stoudemire, that would include Stoudemire, Leandro Barbosa and the 14th overall pick for Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen.