The latest hot rumor concerning the Suns never-ending search to unload Amare Stoudemire has them trading their power forward to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Andre Iguodala and Samuel Dalembert. Supposedly the Suns are initiating the conversation and the “Sixers are the side holding up the deal.” You can read the story here.
If there is any truth to the rumor, then Suns GM Steve Kerr and majority owner Robert Sarver truly are incapable of running a winning NBA franchise.
Here’s the 5-cent rundown on why this proposed trade is a loser.
Iguodala is either a small forward or shooting guard. With Amare gone, the Suns would have no replacement at power forward. Channing Frye is an even lesser rebounder and defender than Stoudemire and has a non-existent inside game. With his great perimeter shooting, Frye could serve as a “stretch 4” but this would be useless without a power game.
Believe it or not, Robin Lopez would be thrust into the role as the Suns primary low post threat. There’s a lot to like about Lopez right now, but it would be premature and poor career management to make him “The Man” during the 2009-10 season.
Speaking of Lopez, his emergence would be put into limbo with the addition of Dalembert. As a true center, Dalembert is known mostly for his defense, shot blocking and rebounding. Sounds a lot like what the Suns want from Lopez, right? On top of that, Dalembert’s $12.3 million contract next season would make it difficult to justify bringing him off the bench. For this very reason, the 76ers are trying to trade Dalembert and are finding the market to be very limited.
Back to Iguodala, his place in the Suns starting lineup would come at the expense of either Jason Richardson or Grant Hill. Richardson is scheduled to make $14.4 million next season, so benching him would make as much sense as benching Dalembert.
Grant Hill is one of the classiest players in the NBA. He re-signed with the Suns only after they convinced him that their future plans actually pointed towards building a winning team (not “rebuilding”) and that Hill would play a major role in helping to bring along the younger players.
Trading for Iguodala and then immediately benching Hill would be a slap in the face for Hill, not because anyone is arguing that Hill is better than Iguodala right now, but because it would be symbolic of relegating Hill to a lesser role within the team.
In the end, the Suns would have a gaping hole in the low post. It would make the opponent’s job of shutting down the Suns perimeter shooters even easier. They would have to bench Grant Hill at the expense of losing his leadership. They would be taking on Dalembert’s hefty contact at the expense of Robin Lopez’s development. And the Suns would still have no draft picks for this coming offseason, having traded away all their picks already. This trade is clearly a loser.
Therefore, it’s all the more reason for the national press to insist that Suns management are the ones pursuing the deal. What an insult.