End of an Era

The sun is setting on Phoenix's Steve Nash era

To use a cliché that will probably be used more than once in the coming months but the sun looks to be setting on the Phoenix Suns’ Steve Nash era. Nash’s 6 year tenure delivered everything to the Phoenix franchise except for that elusive NBA championship. Nash made stars out of nobodies, and made out his General Manager’s and coach’s to be geniuses. However, with Kid Canada at 36 years of age and the Suns front office appearing to make some more questionable decisions, NBA fans will have to get accustomed to seeing Phoenix as pretenders rather than contenders.

Yesterday, it was reported by the Arizona Republic that the Phoenix Suns acquired disgruntled Toronto Raptor Hedo Turkoglu in a trade for guard Leandro Barbosa and forward Dwayne Jones. It was also reported by the Arizona Republic that the Suns are involved in a sign and trade with the Atlanta Hawks that would have restricted free agent Josh Childress going to Phoenix with brand new 5 year $30 million contract. These moves are in addition to the signings of Channing Frye and Hakim Warrick to multi-year contracts earlier in the off-season.

The Raptors have just been looking to get rid of Hedo Turkoglu’s monster 5 year $53 million contract after Turkoglu stated he did not want to play in Toronto anymore.

The Phoenix Suns’ decision to take on 4 more years of Hedo Turkoglu seems questionable at best. Obviously, it is possible that we see him regain the form that made him into a marquee player in the NBA, but I highly doubt that.

One of the major reasons that Turkoglu was unhappy in Toronto was because he felt he did not have the ball in his hands enough, much like that kid in elementary school who always whined because he didn’t get the ball enough but never actually did anything with it when he got it.

What makes the Phoenix Suns organization think that Turkoglu will have success in Phoenix?

Hedo Turkgolu had more downs than ups in his 1 season with Toronto

I don’t blame Turkoglu for wanting the ball more because he is a guy who makes plays for others. In his brief stint with Toronto you could see his excellent court vision and his ability to make plays that very few players can make. His 6 foot 10 frame causes mismatches for opposing players and in theory he also should have a solid mid-outside shooting game.

However, it is evident that Turkoglu will have the ball in his hands even less of the time with the Suns’ offence revolving around Steve Nash and his handling of the ball.

On top of playing like garbage in Toronto, he was also lazy. He didn’t rebound, defend, or play hard on the offensive end. The last thing the Phoenix Suns need is a guy who doesn’t defend and rebound.

Just like in Toronto, Turkoglu is going to turn into a sluggish stand-still 3-point shooter, which he a) was not very successful at and b) not happy with the role.

Hedo Turkoglu is 31 years old and not getting any younger. He came into training camp last year out of shape, not ready to play, and content to count his money while the organization gave him a reprieve. The Phoenix Suns do not need a guy who’s going to complain about his role on the team, and not produce on the floor. If Phoenix Suns fans are hoping for some clutch play from the so-called “Mr. Fourth Quarter,” they really should not be counting on it because Raptor fans saw none of that last season.

Following the Suns loss of star power forward Amare Stoudemire, they went out and acquired the 28-year-old underachieving power forward Hakim Warrick to replace him, and then re-signed the overachieving outside shooting Channing Frye. They committed $18 million and $30 million respectively, but without a legitimate inside scorer these moves just don’t make sense.

There is no way that Steve Nash can keep going all superhuman on us. At some point in time he is going to show signs of aging, and the Phoenix Suns are going to have to re-tool. Nash has 2 years left on his contract, which is a very small window for the organization. Nevertheless, with the roster that they have now, it is apparent that they will be unable to contend.

A starting line-up of Steve Nash, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, Hakim Warrick, and Robin Lopez is not going to get the job done.

Raja Bell, Boris Diaw, and Shawn Marion all thrived under Steve Nash

Committing multiple years to mediocre players is going to seriously hurt the Phoenix Suns in the future once Steve Nash is gone. Steve Nash has made some guys a lot of money including Raja Bell, Boris Diaw, and Shawn Marion. How have these players fared before or after their time in Phoenix? Answer that question, then ask yourself how are all these new players with big contracts going to thrive once Steve Nash is out of the picture?

I haven’t even talked about Josh Childress who could potentially be a good fit for the Suns run and gun style. But after some up and downs in two seasons in Greece combined with Steve Nash’s aging, 5 years at $6 million per is too steep a price.

Oh yeah, if you guys are thinking that I forgot about Goran Dragic and screaming that he is the ultimate successor to Steve Nash…well I didn’t.

Let’s get the facts straight. Goran Dragic has shown the ability to be a very good point guard at some point in the NBA, but no one is Steve Nash. Nash is a once in a lifetime player, and the NBA has never and might never again see a player like him. Once Nash hands the reigns over to Dragic the style of play and most likely the success will not be the same. You can take that to the bank.

I think that it is clear that when Steve Nash does eventually retire or leave Phoenix we are going to be talking about the bad contracts that the Phoenix Suns have given to these players.

Honestly, if I didn’t know any better I would have thought that Bryan Colangelo is running both the Raptors and the Suns.

An aging Steve Nash, no Amare Stoudemire, and numerous bad contracts is not the recipe for success in the desert.

Amare Stoudemire may not have helped bring the Suns an NBA championship. However, he did make the team into contenders.

Contenders? I’d be happy to see the Phoenix Suns as pretenders in the coming years.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. I’m now on twitter follow me @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favour.

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