Monday, June 11, 2012

How Can I Help You? Phoenix Suns

Should Nash stay or should Nash go?
Of all the "How Can I Help You?" articles I've done or will be doing, this one may be the easiest ones. The Phoenix Suns have one major issue among other smaller issues: retaining Steve Nash. And unfortunately, it doesn't look like they'll be able to.

The Suns have three key free agents, but none bigger than Nash. There are two major factors that the resigning Nash is dictated by. First, Nash is looking for a three-year deal, while Phoenix has only expressed interest in giving him a two-year contract. Second, he wants to win. He realizes he only has two or three good years left in him. All signs point to him going to Miami or Dallas or wherever gives him the best chance to win. All this being said, I think we've seen the last of Steve Nash in a Suns' uniform.

We'll give the two other key free agents, Shannon Brown and Robin Lopez, the benefit of the doubt of resigning with Phoenix. Both are key players but no better than a fifth starter or bench option. Now let's take a look at the Nash-less Suns.

The biggest hole is clearly point guard. No Nash, Aaron Brooks is leaving, and no one else of note on the team. Shannon Brown will continue to fill that SG spot and can play the point, but it's clear what the team needs.

Phoenix has Jared Dudley at the small forward spot. Dudley has really improved his game lately and is more than capable starting there with his defense and three point shooting. At power forward, look for Markieff Morris to take the reigns from Channing Frye this year, giving them a nice little duo there down low. And of course at center is Marcin Gortat and Lopez. Gortat played at a ridiculous level last season, and although his production will drop after losing Nash, he is still talented enough to start.

So the frontcourt is set. A backup shooting guard or small forward are desirable. Oh yeah, and they need a POINT GUARD.

Marshall's passing ability is second to none.
Some may think that both of the top point guards (Damian Lillard and Kendall Marshall) will be gone by the time Phoenix's lone 13th pick comes around, but I think otherwise. The only team that really should draft a PG that early is Portland, and they'll probably go with Lillard. If everything falls the right way, the Suns should wind up with Marshall in their laps. And if it doesn't, they should make it work by trading up. They need Marshall.

Marshall is like Nash: a floor general, makes his teammates better, an incredible passer, and has great court vision. If there's ever a player to be the next Nash, it's Marshall. He'll need to work on his offensive ability, but he is the perfect pick here. Phoenix barely missed the playoffs this year. They have a talented team. They'll try their best not to lose too much of a step by taking Marshall here.

The pick would give the team a starting five of Marshall, Brown, Dudley, Morris, and Gortat and reserves such as Frye, Lopez, and Grant Hill. While this team will still have trouble with depth, they will fill their biggest hole at point guard.

Next up is the Houston Rockets, who I feel always winds up picking at #14.

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