Suns’ Blockbuster Summer Worth Reviewing

Press conferences have become a common theme at US Airways Center as the Suns keep making headlines during the 2013 offseason.
(NBAE Photos)
We’re entering the back-end of summer movie season, when most of the built-up titles have already been released. It’s the point of the year when nearly everyone has a phrase-length opinion ready if/when a friend asks “have you seen [insert move title here]?”

The theater on Planet Orange has been just as busy, with seemingly every notable production followed up by a different show that keeps the customers/fans coming back. New general manager. New head coach. The draft. Two trades.

And just like summer movie season, there’s still potential for something more before it’s over.

For now, here’s a critical review, complete with movie comparisons, of Planet Orange’s summer slate thus far.

RYAN MCDONOUGH TABBED AS NEW GENERAL MANAGER

Movie comparison: Now You See Me

Breakdown: Like the movie’s plot, the McDonough hire was widely viewed as intriguing, with potential for being more than that. There was no over-long hype period before the release, and people wanted to know more about it.

Now that the movie and the man have had their respective time in the limelight, the public’s reviews have been nearly all positive. McDonough and his staff have pulled off a series of slight-of-hand transactions, headlined by two first-round picks and two trades that have renewed optimism on Planet Orange -- and have its citizens wondering what in the world could be next.

JEFF HORNACEK HIRED AS NEW HEAD COACH

Movie Comparison: Monsters University

Breakdown: A nostalgic trip back to when times were better, Hornacek and “MU” were both savvy moves to snag faithful fans’ attention. There’s more than that, of course. Both plots involve a teach-learn platform, though the main characters are cast in opposite roles.

While it’s doubtful that Hornacek inspires the same fear as Dean Hardscrabble (I saw at least three kids cry horrifically on their way out of the theater), there’s a level of rock-solid expectation that, coupled with confidence, has already drawn rave reviews from the Suns’ summer league players.

SUNS DRAFT ALEX LEN, ARCHIE GOODWIN IN THE FIRST ROUND OF THE NBA DRAFT

Movie comparison: Man of Steel

Breakdown: The build-up to both Man of Steel and the NBA Draft couldn’t have been longer or more anticipated. There was a sense that, after years of general malaise, both Superman and the Suns’ impact in the draft were going to be restored to former glory.

Those hopes proved accurate for positive die-hard fans, though both M.O.S. and the Suns' draft have received mixed reviews from outside critics. Were Superman and Len as good as people wanted them to be? Was the production too new-school (graphics/Goodwin) for old-school fans?

Like the Son of Krypton, the Suns’ draft crop will likely need multiple viewings from their fan base before a fair evaluation can be set in stone.

Then of course, there’s this movie-team parallel as well:

lensplashrip1d.jpg

SUNS TRADE FOR ERIC BLEDSOE, CARON BUTLER

Movie Comparison: The Lone Ranger

Breakdown: Who says two playmakers can’t succeed on the same stage? For all the talk that “there can only be one point guard”, there’s just as much non-talk about all the off-guard duties Bledsoe and Goran Dragic are capable of shouldering.

The reaction to the Bledsoe trade couldn’t have been more similar to movie fans’ double-take when they recognized Depp’s mug behind the face paint. “Wait…what? Really?! YES!!!”

And while Bledsoe is playing the part of John Reid as the new kid come to save the day, he’ll be counting on his longer-tenured partner (Dragic) every step of the way.

SUNS TRADE LUIS SCOLA FOR GERALD GREEN, MILES PLUMLEE AND A FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK

Movie comparison: Despicable Me 2

Breakdown: Any NBA fan have seen this before: the established, formerly great veteran being shipped off for spare parts. Shaq. Nash. Marbury & Penny.

Make no mistake, this is a sequel, especially for the oft-traded Gerald Green. Both Green and Suns fans are hoping this one pans out.

Plus, unlike a lot of sequels, Despicable Me 2 and the Scola trade have a lot of potential to get better down the road. Steve Carell’s comedic cartoon role and one-line quotes grow on you over time. Over the span of one season, the value of this trade will grow when the Suns cash in on the Pacers’ first-round draft pick, potentially the third one they’ll have in what McDonough admitted was a “very solid” 2014 NBA Draft.