Joined: 20/10/2017 01:43:54
Phoenix bungled free agency in 2011 and 2012 before hiring McDonough as GM and then Jeff Hornacek as coach ahead of the 2013-14 season. McDonough offloaded Marcin Gortat for a future first-round pick just days before that season in an attempt to tank -- the first time Robert Sarver, the Suns' impatient (by his own admission) and meddlesome owner had green lit a true rebuild.
They zoomed to 48 wins instead behind an All-NBA season from Goran Dragic; they barely missed the playoffs in one of the toughest conference races in NBA history. In the summer of 2014, they tripled down on point guards, nabbing Isaiah Thomas in a sign-and-trade for almost nothing, on a bargain deal, a third point guard to play alongside Dragic and Eric Bledsoe.
None of the three were happy, a problem the Suns should have foreseen, even if snagging Thomas at that price was irresistible. Phoenix created a point guard version of the Jahlil Okafor-Nerlens Noel-Joel Embiid problem that would flummox Philadelphia later. Phoenix ended up trading at least two from a position of weakness.
Dragic requested a trade in February 2015. He was in the final year of his contract, and several suitors recoiled at giving up assets for a guy who could walk in five months. Kenneth Acker Womens Jersey The Suns somehow extracted two first-round picks from Miami in exchange for Dragic: a top-7 protected pick in the 2018 draft (unprotected in 2019) that looks a bit more enticing today with Miami at 5-6, and an unprotected pick in 2021. You can knock Phoenix for lots of things, but that is a nice haul for a non-All-Star point guard with both feet out the door.
The possibility of stopping right there, in the winter of 2015 with those two extra http://www.football49ersofficialonline.com/WOMENS_YOUTH_REUBEN_FOSTER_JERSEY.html picks, haunts the Suns. They could have stood pat and gone forward with Kenneth Acker Womens Jersey Thomas, Bledsoe, Marcus and http://www.nikeminnesotavikingstore.com/datone-jones-jersey-for-sale-c-73.html Markieff Morris, Alex Len (the No. 5 pick in the 2013 draft, and McDonough's first pick as Kenneth Acker Womens Jersey GM), TJ Warren (the 14th pick in 2014), a pick in the upcoming 2015 draft, boundless cap flexibility, and most promising of all, a lightly protected pick from the Lakers -- via the Nash trade -- that was among the jewels of the league.
That isn't a golden ticket to 55 wins. Len has been a disappointment considering he went five spots above CJ McCollum, 10 above Giannis Antetokounmpo, and 22 above Rudy Gobert. Every team has draft http://www.officialathleticsproshop.com/Kendall_Graveman_Jersey regrets http://www.raidersnflprostore.com/Authentic-Derek-Carr-Jersey like that. Half the league missed on Antetokounmpo. Damn near the entirety of it passed on Gobert.
But it's a nice foundation of trade chips, veterans, and prospects. For a moment, the Suns could have lived the dream: compete for the playoffs now, with a cupboard stocked for tomorrow. Straddling both paths at the same time is perhaps the hardest team-building challenge in sports. Phoenix had done it.
The Suns opted out of the scenario in a series of confusing moves that upended everything. Minutes after flipping Dragic, they dealt Thomas to Boston in exchange for a low first-round pick, and then surrendered the Lakers pick for Brandon Knight. It was puzzling then, or at least incredibly high risk. It has morphed into the sort of fork-in-the-road Kenneth Acker Womens Jersey moment that can destabilize a franchise for years.
McDonough has already said he would like a "mulligan" for the Thomas deal. "It is a deal," he says, "that we get criticized for."
It's hard to remember now, but the majority of NBA insiders back then viewed the Lakers as a free agency juggernaut that might sign their way back to mediocrity in 2015-16 -- devaluing the pick Phoenix traded. They struck out, repeatedly and sometimes embarrassingly, before Jeanie Buss ordered a regime change. The pick still hasn't conveyed; it is unprotected now, and will go in this draft to either Philadelphia or Boston. It was a crown jewel after all.
Five months after those trades, nudged on by an owner intoxicated by that 48-win season and who badly wanted to end Phoenix's playoff drought, the Suns signed Chandler, then almost 33, to a four-year, $52 million contract. They then used Chandler as bait for LaMarcus Aldridge. "I am not a real patient person," Sarver told Grantland that summer.