Every off-season at least one team decides to overpay for a free agent. This years lucky losers…The Phoenix Suns. Or should we call them the Nash-ville Suns?
Phoenix jumped the gun after they realized that their offer wasn’t gunna match the opposing contracts being thrown at Kobe Bryant. They panicked and decided to go after a point gaurd, a good move since they were looking at throwing Leandro Barbosa into the spotlight too quick, but they picked the wrong one at the wrong price.
Steve Nash was the best point gaurd on the market and is a good choice to help groom Barbosa into an All-Star himself and in the mean time keep the Suns in playoff contention. The problem with this signing is Nash somehow tricked the Suns into thinking his 14.5 points, 8.8 assists, and 3 rebounds per game was worth 5 years and $65 million.
Nash signing with Phoenix hurt the Dallas Mavericks more than it helped the Suns. Dallas now has to start 1st-round pick Devin Harris at the point and has been forced to sign Marquise Daniels to a big contract because of thier lack of depth at gaurd.
Dallas went from the offensive to the defensive this off-season in a matter of hours. They were so busy trying to find all the pieces they needed to trade for Shaq, they overlooked the fact that one of the biggest pieces to that puzzle, Steve Nash, wasn’t as close to signing back with the team as they had thought. Dallas was in the driver’s seat and was widely regarded as the team to watch this summer because they would be making the moves to put them closer to the championship. Unfortunately, the Mavericks forgot to take care of Nash and he took the first long term deal that came his way.
The Suns decision to commit the ultimate salary-cap sin, overpaying a player, set the franchise back and also took them out of the race for Kobe Bryant and the rest of the premier free-agents. Thats what happens when you pay a decent player max money.
Luckily for Phoenix, they still have enough cap space to actively pursue mid-grade free-agents, most notably restricted free-agent Center Mehmet Okur of the Detroit Pistons. The 7-footer has outside skills as well as post up moves and is a young, quality center who is only being over-looked because Detroit is swept up in ‘Sheed fever.
Phoenix has a core group of Steve Nash, Joe Johnson, and Shawn Marion, and a bench that goes two or three deep and then drops off. If the Suns can pick up one more key player and add some bench productivity, they could make a run for that 8th seed in the East.
The Suns are now in a tough spot with thier salary-cap and have to spend wisely to get the most out of thier money. Will they learn from thier mistakes? Or will they over-pay yet another player?
Only time will tell.