In a condensed offseason from the lockout, the Suns were pretty much quiet making moves. They bought out Vince Carter’s contract, brought back Grant Hill, locked up rookie Markieff Morris and signed short-term deals with Shannon Brown, Sebastian Telfair and Ronnie Price.
ESPN’s Chad Ford, who has been a heavy critic of Phoenix in recent years, voiced his displeasure over the Suns offseason. In an insider article on ESPN in which Ford gave each team across the league a letter grade, the NBA writer gave the Suns a grade of D+ for their offseason moves or lack there of.
Here is the only piece of Ford’s article about the Suns that I could find.
The Suns’ free-agent haul this year won’t do much to inspire Suns fans. It consisted of Shannon Brown, Ronnie Price and Sebastian Telfair. Of the three, Brown is a legit pickup, albeit a role player. Their draft pick, Markieff Morris, is big and can shoot, but the chances of him being a starter in the NBA, let alone a franchise savior, are slim.
I agree with Ford that this team didn’t have the greatest offseason in the world. Brown, Price and Telfair aren’t good enough to drastically improve the Suns this season, but he also needs to realize that the front office didn’t have the necessary tools to make Phoenix better immediately.
Even with getting rid of most of Carter’s contract, the Suns didn’t have the money to spend to go out and get some of the top free agents available on the market. They also didn’t have the necessary trade pieces to go out and get someone like Paul Millsap, who is expected to be moved by the Jazz at some point.
Ford makes a good point on how the Suns missed their window of trading Steve Nash two seasons ago. At the same time though, the Suns would have missed out on a Western Conference Finals appearance that season if they would traded their star point guard. Fans would have missed out on that as a result.
One of the best things that Phoenix did this offseason was signing Brown, Price and Telfair to only one-year deals, rather than multi-year deals which has been a common occurence in recent years with the Phoenix front office.
The Suns now have much more payroll flexibility and will be players for possibly two big free agents in next year’s class which features several stars and great players.