DRAFT PICKS: Round 1: #14 Round 2: #46, #48, #57
|15. Robin Lopez||24. Rudy Fernandez||None||21. Nate Robinson|
|29. Alando Tucker|
|* Draft rights traded|
After making the change to go with Alvin Gentry as the coach late in the season, the Suns banded together without Amar'e Stoudemire and made a decent run at the Playoffs. With the trade of Shaquille O'Neal, though, the Suns may be headed for rebuilding mode.
The league seemed to copy the Suns' seven-seconds-or-less scheme the last several seasons. That is until Denver abandoned it and got to the conference finals playing tough-nosed defense with mostly the same personnel that was scoring in bunches and flaming out in the first round the last several years. Maybe it's time for Phoenix to do the copying.
If Steve Nash's team option for next season is picked up, as Phoenix's front office has made all indications will occur, then think of 2009-10 as sort of a last hurrah for this chapter of Suns basketball. Nash will team with Stoudemire and Jason Richardson to create a group whose names might carry more weight than their games at this point, but there is still enough talent on this team to make a run at a low playoff seed. After missing on Robin Lopez in last year's Draft, Phoenix will be looking big again, but are in the position at No. 14 to really just grab the best available guy at that point. The trade of O'Neal will help the Suns avoid being as close to the luxury-tax threshold, but don't expect many huge moves this summer via free agency. Trading Shaq was done to free up cap space for the future, not this summer. There's always a chance they dangle Stoudemire on the market again, but that probably wouldn't happen until February when and if the team looks like it doesn't have the juice to make a postseason run.